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Home-style Sambar | South Indian Sambar | Perfect Vegan Indian Curry

Sambar a typical South Indian staple and my most favorite curry any day of the week. This is an old post where I have updated with new pics. Being a South Indian, this is my favorite and healthy dish that we do at home, atleast once a week. Since the oil content is less its healthy, dhal is rich in protein.
My first challenge after marriage was doing Sambar, though I did try this back at home, it took me a while to get the taste and alter it to my husbands taste. He likes sambar to be nice and thick so I have to add more Dhal than usual. You could still follow the recipe and reduce the dhal proportion to suit your taste.


Prep & Cook time ~ 30 mins
Serves ~ 3-4 
Recipe Source ~ Own
Serving Suggestion ~ White Rice, Appalam or Dosa/Idly


Thoor Dhal - 1/2 cup
Tamarind paste - 2 spoons/ goft-sized ball
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Jeera seeds - 1 tsp
Hing - pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder/ Sambar powder - 1-2 tsp
Garlic pods - 5-6 peeled 
Green chili - 2 slip in center
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
Drumsticks - 1 chopped 1 inch size pieces (optional)
Curry leaves - one spring 
Coriander leaves - finely chopped (garnishing)
Salt- as per taste
Oil (refined,sunflower) - 2 tsp


  • Wash and soak dhal in hot water for 30 mins-1 hr and put it in a pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles, add salt, hing and turmeric to this
  • Once it is cooked to this add the chopped onions, tomato and vegetable you prefer, let it cook. 
  • Add the red chilli powder and garlic and give it a good stir, let it cook for 5 mins
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water and keep it ready, in a small pan heat oil and add the mustard seeds and let them splutter, jeera and curry leaves and add this to the dhal mixture.
  • Now add the tamarind paste to the dhal mixture and let it cook for 5 minutes
Serve hot with dosa, idlies or plain rice.

Cooks Wisdom

- You could add any vegetable to this dish - carrots, raddish, egg plant or even potatoes
- Cooking dhal in the pressure cooker reduces cooking time
- You can adjust the amount of toor dal according to how thick you want your sambar to be
- Seasoning at the end adds more flavor to the sambar but its purely optional

Linking this recipe to our lovely group Vegan Thursday hosted by Priya aks


  1. protein rich sambar...Drumstick adds a flavor of its own to any sambar' this click

  2. very delicious sambhar rasam and poriyal :) tempting me badly :) pass the plate priya !!


Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoyed my recipes :-) In case you have tried any of the recipes featured here, do let me know in the comment section. For any other queries email me - cooklikepriya(at)

Priya Ranjit

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