Sambar – I


  • 1/2 cup thur dal (lentil)
  • 1 tbsp bengal gram dal
  • 6 red chilies
  • 2 tbsps coconut gratings
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • tamarind lump (size of marble)
  • 2 tsps (heaped) coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 8 pepper corns
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves
  • 1 small piece turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1 small piece asafetida
  • vegetable pieces


  1. Wash thur dal thoroughly. Boil 1 liter of water. Drop dhal in boiling water. Cook till soft
  2. Take a little oil in frying pan on another flame. Roast mustard, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, pepper, turmeric, red chilies, asafetida, Bengal gram dal, coconut gratings and 1 sprig of curry leaves -— all in the same sequence, till brown.
  3. Grind all the roasted ingredients with tamarind to a fairly smooth paste.
  4. To the cooked thur dal add vegetable pieces and a few coriander leaves. Cook till tender. Then add salt along with ground masala and desired quantity of water. Boil well. When done, remove from flame.
  5. Garnish with bits of coriander leaves. Cover vessel.
  6. Vegetables generally used for sambar (either singly or in combination) are brinjal, potato, onion, drumstick, lady’s finger, raw banana, snake gourd, ash gourd and bitter gourd. If onion is used, roast its pieces with a little ghee, before adding it. That will improve the taste.

Serves: 4

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