Sambar Powder

Sambar Powder is one of the essentials in a South Indian Kitchen which also means there are umpteen versions of sambar powder possible. Each household has a specific 'formula'. I have to say I am a collector of sorts. I collect different formulas of sambar powder and try out each one of them just to get a different flavor each time. Routine is boring..don't you all agree??

So whenever I taste sambar at any friend's place, I make it a point to get their formula. Here is my collection so far. I promise to keep my collection growing as and when I get a different version! So feel free to drop in your version (either email me at mail2tamalapaku[@]gmail[.]com or leave me a comment in this section) of the sambar powder so I can add it to my collection!

So for Day 2 Week 3 of BM #18, here is my collection of Sambar Powder recipe. Feel free to try out any version. The irony of it is I always have a packet of MTR Sambar Powder in my pantry and home made Vangi Bath Powder which I add to the sambar I make in times of emergency :).

Tips for a great tasting Sambar - 
* Grind fresh coconut, sambar powder and a little cooked toor dal to make a thick paste and add it to the simmering sambar.
* Try adding some Vegetable juice instead of plain water to thin the sambar!
* Saute the onions (if using) and then boil the vegetables on stove top.
* Add a pinch of fenugreek seeds in the tadka(popu). 
* Never forget to add curry leaves in the tadka(popu).

Sambar Powder

1. From my Aunt Sudha Mani :

Coriander Seeds  4 cups
Fenugreek Seeds 3/4 cup or less
Coconut (grated) 1 cup
Dry Red Chilllies  as per taste
Chana Dal1/2 cup
Cloves 3-4

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

2. From a website collected in my pre-blogging days (So source unknown):
Coriander Seeds 3 teaspoons
Rice 1 teaspoon
Urad dal 1 teaspoon
Channa dal 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) 1/4 teaspoon
Dry Red Chili 2 medium
Hing powder (asafoetida, inguva) a pinch

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

3. From my cousin Mallika:
Coriander seeds(Dhania) 5 cups
Fenugreek Seeds 1 cup
Cumin seeds (Jeera) 1 cup
Cinnamon (Chekka) 3 inch
Marathi Mogga/Capers 2-3
Rathi Puvvu/Pathar ke phool  1 Tbsp (powdered)
Red Chillies 1 1/2 cup

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

4. From my friend Preeti :
Coriander seeds (Dhania) 2 tsp
Toor Dal 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (Menthulu) 6-7
Pepper (miriyalu) 4-5
Dry Red Chillies 4-5
Coconut grated (preferably fresh) 2 tsp

Dry roast them and powder them or make a paste adding the required tamarind juice. This method is useful when making the powder for a small serving or for one time use only.

5. Unknown Source :
Chana dal 1 1/2 cup
Coriander seeds (Dhania) 3/4 cup,
Fenugreek seeds (Menthulu) 1/4 tsp,
Red Chillies 4
Jeera 1/4 tsp
Hing couple pinches
Coconut Powder 1 cup
Curry Leaves handful
Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

Note - While preparing sambar add 1/4 tsp mirchi powder and 2 green chillies

6. Unknown Source :
Coriander seeds 2 tsp
Chana dal 2 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
Pepper 1 tsp
Jeera 1 tsp
Red chillies 10

Dry roast and powder all of them upon cooling.

Sambar Powder

7. From my cousin Sowmya :
Coriander Seeds 1.5 cups
Red Chilli 3 cups
Methi Seeds 4 Tbsp
Jeera 2 Tbsp
Chana Dal 4 Tbsp
Urad Dal 4 Tbsp
Coconut Powder 1 cup

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling. 

8. Typical Tamilian Sambar Powder
Red Chillies 4 cups (4-5)
Coriander seeds 2 cups (2 Tbsp)
Chana Dal - 1/2 cup (1 tsp)
Toor Dal - 1/2 cup (1 tsp)
Fenugeek Seeds - 1 tsp (a pinch)

Use the measurement in the parentheses for sambar meant for 6-8 people.
Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

9. From my friend Girija
Coriander Seeds 1 cup
Chana Dal 1 cup
Jeera 1 Tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1/8 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/8 tsp
Red Chillies 15
Coconut 3 tsp
Pepper 10

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.
Preparation Time about 10-15 min


  1. Pavani Says:
  2. Thanks for sharing all the different homemade sambar powders. Bookmarked!!

  3. love to see all the variety..Mallika's with the capers must give quite a unique taste!

  4. Usha Says:
  5. That is a nice collection of sambar powder recipes. Bookmarking the post.

  6. Srivalli Says:
  7. Oh my goodness so many different proportions! mindblowing right...I wish we really get a chance to try all of those..:)

  8. Priya Suresh Says:
  9. Thats really wonderful to see so many version of this powder,thanks for sharing.

  10. Prathima Rao Says:
  11. Each version is awesome!!! and so many tips...Bookmarking this post..Will be very handy always!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  12. divyagcp Says:
  13. Lots of different proportions..
    I really dont use any sambhar powder for making sambhar.
    Will try making sambhar podi..

    Divya's Culinary Journey
    Showcase- FUN IN THE SUN
    Bake along challenge # 4 - Peanut Butter
    Love lock series- Breads

  14. preeti garg Says:
  15. Awesome masala... vry useful for us

  16. Kalyani Says:
  17. now now ! thats an enviable collection of different sambhar powder recipes :) :) the sambhar powder in my pantry is almost over, and am waiting for mom to send me over a pack soon (although that wont happen).. I think I shall pick one version from this list and let you know how we liked it :)

    Sizzling Tastebuds
    Hosting Walk Through Memory Lane – July 2012

  18. Jayanthi Says:
  19. Which one is your favorite? Just curious. Love the collection, but I'm very loyal to my mom or mother-in-law, as they are the ones who give me the sambar powder, one less thing to worry for me!!!

  20. Padmajha Says:
  21. Wow!So many varieties of sambar powder. I too love spice mixes and have half a dozen or so ready at all times..

  22. I am stumped that there are so many varieties. But then again,I am not cause every family has their own signature twist! My MIL makes it and gives me all the time.I hardly ever do it but I must try my hands on making it atleast once.

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