Easy Sambar Recipe | How to Make Sambar | South Indian sambar Recipe

Easy Sambar Recipe is a lentil based dish loaded with vegetables, flavoured with spices specially sambar masala, tempered with mustard seeds; curry leaves, red chillies etc. It is a South Indian preparation and a must accompaniment with idli, dosa, vada etc.

This particular recipe brings to you a sambar that can be prepared when you are in a jiffy. I have not used any vegetables as I use this Sambar Recipe when the refrigerator is empty and the clock is clicking ;). I make Easy Sambar Recipe using this recipe and serve it with idli/dosa made using the ready made batter easily available at the near by store or steamed rice. I often make mini rava idlis for kids.

Amy (my 10 years old daughter) never liked sambar. Until one day when she had it at my friend’s place. I asked her “what all did you add to the sambar?” she gave a very cheesy reply “love” :D. Anyways when she shared the recipe I was shocked to see how simple and easy it was ! List of sambar ingredients consist of proteins, vitamins, fats etc.

Sambar Recipe is mouth-watering recipe when it comes in the taste. Home Made Sambar Recipe will taste better then hotel sambar recipe.

Looking for more such simple and on the go recipes? Try pindi choledal bukhara etc.


A flavourful lentil based South Indian preparation – SAMBAR

Easy Sambar Recipe

Course                                 Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine                                South Indian
Prep time                            5 minutes
Cook time                           15 minutes
Serving                                4-6 persons

Ingredients for Sambar

  • 3/4 cup split pigeon peas (arhar dal)
  • 1/4 cup orange lentils (lal masoor dal)
  • 4 cups water or as required
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 medium size tomatoes, whole
  • 1 tbsp sambar masala powder
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp

For tempering

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (raie)
  • ¼ tsp asafetida (heeng)
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds (dana methi)
  • 2 whole dry red chillies
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp sambar masala powder

How to Make Sambar

1. Pressure lentils with other ingredients

Pressure cook ¾ cup split pigeon lentils and ¼ cup orange lentils along with 2 medium whole tomatoes, salt to taste, ½ tsp turmeric powder, handful of curry leaves, 1 tbsp sambar masala, 3 cups of water for 1 whistle and thereafter for 10 minutes on low flame. Once the pressure of the cooker releases, the lentils will be absolutely soft and the tomatoes will be mushy.


2. Strain the pressure cooked lentils

Place a sieve on a large bowl. Strain the pulp of the tomatoes. Discard the skin and seeds. Pass the cooked lentils through that sieve and add to the pureed tomatoes. Add 2 tbsp tamarind pulp.


3. Prepare the tempering

Heat 2 tbsp oil. Once the oil is hot add 1 tsp mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add ¼ tsp asafetida. Add ½ tsp fenugreek seeds. Once they darken, switch off the flame. Add handful of curry leaves and 2 whole dry chillies. Put on the flame and add 1 medium sliced onion. Cook till the onion turns brown. Add 1 tsp red chilli powder and 1 tbsp sambar masala powder. Cook for 30 seconds on low flame. Switch off the flame. Pour hot tempering on the strained lentil mix.


4. Bon appétit

Serve hot sambar with soft idlis, dosa, vada or rice.



  • You can omit orange lentils (lal masoor dal) and make sambar with only split pigeon peas (arhar dal). I add orange lentils as it makes sambar even lighter on tummy. Further soaking the lentils for 15-20 minutes will reduce the cooking time and give a better texture to the sambar.
  • You can use lemon instead of tamarind pulp.
  • Menu Idea: Sambar, idli, coconut chutney, curd rice and seven cup barfi.
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