BM #122 Week 2 Day 2 - 

The most sought after version of Sambar is the Hotel style Sambar, which is served along with Idli or Dosa. After watching a lot of videos and going through many recipes, I came up with this version, which ended up being a hit at home.

I have avoided using onions for personal reasons but feel free to add onions as needed.

This fits into the 'A-Z Tamil Dishes' theme under letter H.

Ingredients - 

Toor Dal 1/4 cup
Moong Dal or Masoor Dal 1/4 cup
Vegetables (Drumstick, Bottle Gourd, Carrots, Tomatoes etc.) diced 4 cups
Tamarind Juice from 1 big lime size tamarind 
Salt, Turmeric as needed
Jaggery 1 Tbsp (Optional)
Seasoning (Sesame Oil 1 Tbsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Red Chilies 1, Curry leaves few and Hing 1/4 tsp)
For Sambar Powder - 
Sesame Oil 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds 2 Tbsp
Chana Dal 1 Tbsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Peppercorns 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1/4 tsp
Red Chilies 2-3

*Note - Feel free to use onions generously - some while boiling the veggies and some in the seasoning.

Method Of Preparation -

Wash and pressure cook toor dal and moong dal along with turmeric. [Up to 3-4 whistles in a pressure cooker or pressure cook/manual mode 8 minutes in an Instant Pot].

To Prepare the sambar powder - roast each of the ingredients listed under 'For Sambar Powder' in half a teaspoon of oil until they turn aromatic. Allow them to cool and grind into a fine powder. Set aside.

In a heated deep pan, add all the vegetables using and a few curry leaves. Sprinkle some turmeric. Add about 3-4 cups of water. Cover and let the vegetables cook well.

Add tamarind water (about a cup), salt, jaggery and sambar powder from step 2. Let the mixture come to a rolling boil. 

Mash the cooked dal from step 1 and pour into the simmering vegetable mixture. Add more water if needed to adjust the consistency of the sambar. Let the sambar come to a rolling boil. 

Prepare the seasoning separately. Heat sesame oil, add mustard seeds, red chilies, curry leaves and hing. After the mustard seeds pop, pour the seasoning into the simmering sambar. Cover the sambar and remove from heat.

Serve it with any tiffin like Idli or Dosa. We love it with rice too.


Preparation Time 40 minutes
Serves 6-7


  1. rajani Says:
  2. That plate makes an excellent breakfast! You will find so many recipes for tiffin sambar, you really have to mix and match and come up with your own for this one!

  3. Srivalli Says:
  4. Yup the tiffin sambar is always the most sought out one and the breakfast is not complete without this one!

  5. Radha Says:
  6. This sambhar looks exactly just like the ones you taste in hotels. Awesome, Harini!

  7. Sambar is one such thing that can tempt me any time. I have developed indigestion problem with sambar still can't avoid it. Now just want to grab that bowl....looks so tasty

  8. Archana Says:
  9. Tiffin Sambhar is hubby's only favourite sambhar the rest he avoids. I love this version of sambhar Harini. Will try it. Thanks.

  10. Narmadha Says:
  11. Sambar looks so delicious and exactly like the ones we get in restaurants. Perfect to enjoy with piping hot idli.

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