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I love South Indian Street food

Updated: May 2, 2019


Sambar is a south Indian lentil and vegetable stew. It is healthy as well as nutritious; it is usually eaten for breakfast or as a side dish. It is often served with dosa, idli or rice. Served in restaurants as part of street food menu.


¾ cup of toor dal

½ tsps. of turmeric

2 whole dry red chillies (optional)

4 tbsp. of vegetable oil

½ tsp. of Kashmiri/deggi chilli powder

½ tsp. cumin seeds

salt (to taste)

¼ tsp. mustard seeds

5 garlic cloves

1½ tbsp. of samber powder (to taste)

1 tbsp. tamarind pulp

1½ cups of water

1 tomato quartered

10 dry curry leaves

½ tsp. of brown sugar

Oil 3 tbsp.

1 tsp. of grated coconut

2 cups of chopped vegetables

Drumsticks, eggplant, chunky onion slices, Loki (bottle gourd), carrots, and potatoes.

Vegetables that cook quicker cut into larger pieces and those that take longer into smaller pieces, such as carrots and potatoes.

You can change the vegetables to taste.


1. Either use readymade tamarind pulp or soak the tamarind for about 30 minutes in hot water just enough to cover it and then squeeze out the pulp.

2. Rinse the toor daal couple of times in water and leave to soak for about 30 minutes.

3. Drain all the water and add the daal to the pressure cooker with the turmeric, two tbsp. of oil and 1½ cup of water for about 10 minutes. Or cook on the hob until soft and mushy.

4. Mash the daal with a spoon, cover, and keep aside.

5. Add the rest of oil to the pan, once heated add the chillies, the mustard seeds, the curry leaves and fry for couple of minutes. Add the garlic cloves, cumin seeds, deggi chilli powder, and the salt.

6. Add the onions, tomato, and chopped vegetables to the pan.

7. Stir-fry for couple of minutes.

8. Add 1½ cups of water and stir

9. Cook the vegetables on a medium heat until almost done.

10.Add the tamarind pulp and the samber powder and mix well.

11.Add the mashed daal and mix well

12.Simmer samber on a medium flame till it comes to boil.

13.Adjust the consistency by adding more water or reducing it.

14.Add a pinch of asafetida and the sugar.

15.Cook for about 5 minutes

16.Garnish with coriander leaves and grated coconut


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