Freshly ground Sambar


TamarindSmall lemon size
Drumstick (or any other vegetable)around 10 pieces (cut lengthwise)
Small onions15 to 20
Green Chilli1
Toor dhal 3/4 th cup
Oil3 to 4 teaspoon
Mustard seeds1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder1 teaspoon
Hing / Asafotedia1/2 teaspoon
Curry leavesfew
Coriander leavesto garnish
Ghee or coconut oil (optional) 1 to 2 teaspoon

To roast & grind:

Oil1 teaspoon
Channa dhal2 teaspoon
Coriander seeds / dhania3 teaspoon
Peppercorns /Milagu4
Red chilli4 1/2 to 5
Methi seeds / Vendayam1/2 teaspoon
Shredded Coconut4 to 5 teaspoon


  • Soak the tamarind in warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Extract about 2 cups of tamarind juice from this.
  • Pressure cook the toor dhal with some turmeric for 3 whistles. For the toor dhal to get well cooked, use hot water. Once the toor dhal is cooked, mash it with a masher or ladle to get uniform consistency. If the cooked toor dhal is too thick, add 2 to 3 tablespoon of water and mix well.
  • Peel the skin of the small onions and keep it aside. Finely chop the tomatoes.
  • Chop the drumsticks lengthwise. If you are using any other vegetable, then chop into medium size cubes or cut lengthwise.
  • To prepare fresh sambar powder – In a kadai / wok, add 1 teaspoon oil, add channa dhal, coriander seeds and peppercorns. Keep the flame low. Keep stirring the contents until the channa dhal starts to change colour. Now add red chillies and methi seeds/ vendayam. Stir for few seconds until the channa dhal turns golden yellow colour. Now add the shredded coconut and switch off the flame. Stir until the coconut slightly gets sautéed in the residual heat. Transfer the contents to a plate and let it cool. Transfer the roasted lentils and spices to a blender. Grind this to a fine powder.
  • In a kadai / wok, add 3 teaspoon oil, add mustard seeds. Allow the mustard seeds to crackle. Add green chilli, curry leaves and hing. Now add the small onions and cook until it becomes tender and transparent. Now add the drumsticks and give a stir. Keep the flame low. Sprinkle some water and close with a lid. When the drumsticks are half cooked, add chopped tomatoes and stir the contents. Sprinkle more water if it is too dry. Close with a lid. Cook until the tomatoes are mushy.
  • Now add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Add the freshly ground sambar powder and mix well. Let it cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or cook until the raw flavours of the spices go away.
  • Now add the already pressure cooked and mashed toor dhal. Let it cook for about 5 to 7 minutes until the sambar thickens.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Add a teaspoon of ghee or coconut oil to enhance the flavours.
  • Serve with steamed rice.


    1. Thank you very much Nirmal for your feedback. Glad that you have taken the time to stop by and comment on my blogpost. Appreciate it very much. Take care.


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