Cook's Hideout: Mixed Vegetable Sambar

December 28, 2011

Mixed Vegetable Sambar

For a lot of South Indians Sambar does not fall under holiday special dishes. But for me this sambar with freshly ground masala (spice) paste makes for a comforting weekend meal. I usually make sambar with sambar powder (store-bought or homemade), but when I have time or have company coming over, I take the time to make the masala myself.

Recipe I use is from Chandra Padmanabhan’s Dakshin cookbook.

Toor dal – ½ cup
Mixed vegetables – 3 cups (I used carrots, capsicum, potato) 
Onion – 1 medium, thinly sliced
Turmeric - ½tsp
Tamarind paste – 2tbsp
Salt – to taste
Coriander leaves – 2tbsp, finely chopped

For Spice paste:
Fenugreek seeds – ½tsp
Coriander seeds – 3tbsp
Chana dal – 1½tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1tsp
Poppy seeds – 2tsp
Dry red chilies – 6
Asafoetida/ Hing – ½tsp
Fresh coconut – 3 -4 tbsp, grated
Red onion – 1 small, chopped 

For tempering:
Mustard seeds – 1tsp 
Cumin seeds – 1tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ½tsp 
Dry red chili - 1
Curry leaves – 6-8 

  • Cook toor dal in a pressure cooker until very soft and mushy. 
  • Make the spice paste: Heat 2tsp oil in a small sauté pan; add the seeds, dal, red chilies and hing. Sauté until the seeds start to splutter. Remove from heat and let cool. Grind along with grated coconut, onion and a little water to make a smooth paste.
  • In a medium sauce pan, heat 2tbsp oil and add the tempering ingredients. Once the seeds start to sputter add onion, mixed vegetables and turmeric.
  • Cook until the veggies are tender, about 8 minutes. 
  • Next add the ground paste and cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Add the tamarind paste, cooked dal and salt. Add water as needed to get to desired consistency. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-high flame for the flavors to blend. 
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice and a curry. 

I served the sambar with some simple eggplant curry. Papads on the side would be awesome (I didn’t feel like frying some up).

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked up for Day 6 of BM# 11.


  1. Awesome presentation Pavani..:)..for me sambar can very well be a holiday food plus a regular one too..:)

  2. Sambar with freshly ground spices would be awesome... bookmarked would love to try this...

  3. thats really good pic. am hoping to bring in similar vessels, liked ur sambhar too

  4. Comforting sambar .. copper pot looks good Pavani.

    Event: Sinful Delights
    Event: Stuffed Paratha

  5. Interesting spice paste, never tried adding poppy seeds in sambar,cant wait to give a try.

  6. Luv the flavourful sambar....n all the props used here

  7. Delicious and comforting meal,awesome click

  8. What a great click! Beautiful presentation! Sambhar looks wonderful!

  9. Love sambhars made with fresh spice pastes. I have been waiting to go to India to get that sambhar bucket. :)


Thank you for stopping by my Hideout.

I really appreciate your feedback, so please feel free to leave your comment. I read all the comments you post, but I may not respond to them. Thank you for your time and hope you enjoyed your stay.

Have a Wonderful Day!!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin
Blogging tips