This is anna’s sambar recipe, followed always by me. It gives ultimate results every-time. I particularly don’t like the taste of gur in sambar, but anna says to include it. I have excluded it from the recipe below, however you can add utp 50 grams of gur if you like. This hot sambar will greatly enhance the taste of your idli, dosa and uttapams.


Sambar is a compulsory dish goes along with almos all south indian dishes…
Course Main Course
Cuisine South Indian
Keyword sambar
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 2 Litre
Author Lokesh


  • Pressure cooker
  • work (kadahi)


  • 125 grams arhar dal
  • 30 grams Sambar masala
  • 50 grams grated coconut
  • 20 grams tamarind
  • 250 grams tomato
  • 1 drumstick
  • 250 grams petha
  • 25 leaves curry leaves
  • coriander leaves
  • 25 grams salt

for tempering

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (sarso)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 4-5 red chili whole
  • ½ teaspoon hing soaked in ¼ cup water
  • 4 tbsp oil

Step by step instructions

  • Boil arhar dal in 300ml water along with petha after washing and soaking for about 30 minutes.
  • Soak tamarind in 50ml hot water for 30 minutes. mash it properly and strain in a bowl.
  • mix sambar masala and grated coconut in mixer grinder using small quantity of water and make a paste
  • Fry tomatoes for 5 minutes, add drumsticks and fry for 5 monre minutes. Add jeera, sarso, curry leaves, red chillis, sambar masala paste and hing water. Fry for 5 more minutes. Add arhar dal and boil again. Switch off the flame and add tamarind paste and coriander leaves.


Sambar should sit for about 2 hours to bring in the desired flavors. It can be used for upto 8 hours.
You can skip grated coconut if you want and add onion and garlic while frying tomatoes.
To try different flavors, you can add one or two types of vegetables of your choice in small quantities while boiling arhar dal, e.g. carrots, beans, brinjal, bhindi, lauki etc.

If you make south indian dishes infrequently, you can use any brand of ready-made sambar masala, as it saves a lot of time.

Different brands of sambar masala gives different taste, as their composition varies, so you can try a new brand every-time your old one is finished.

But if you make south indian dishes regularly, you can make your own masala which can be good for a week if kept in an airtight container. In my next post, I will share the recipe for homemade sambar masala.

Lokesh Sethia

By Lokesh

A seasoned chef, who knows how to cook food as well as PHP, MySql. A hardcore vocal advocate of vegetarian lifestyle and believes in eating before sunset.

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