Instant Sambar: The Best companion of Dosa

This sambar recipe is an instant, one-pot recipe that goes perfectly with your dosa, idlis, vadas, and medu vadas. This Udupi-style recipe is there to make your day when served for morning breakfast. Sambar contains all the goodness of lentils and vegetables. The aroma of the spices makes it a perfect curry to accompany with traditional South Indian breads or even rice. The tadka of curry leaves and red chilies add flavour and an alluring smell which makes it appetizing to people. Sambar is a single curry dish that could go along with anything and is so rich with nutrients that it is regularly made in most of South Indian houses. The craze for this dish remains the same even in North India. 

Tracing the roots and origin of sambar

Sambar not only has a rich taste but also is great for health. This lentil and vegetable combo recipe is said to be originated in India but is also cooked and loved by the people of our neighbouring countries Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Burma). Sambar is believed to have its traces from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The story behind the recipe goes as such that Maratha ruler, Shivaji’s son, Sambhaji created the dish when he himself cooked a dal recipe in the absence of his head chef. From there this recipe spread all over the South Indian states including states like Maharashtra and nearby. Sambar along with hot steam rice is a perfect meal combo in South Indian households and tastes heavenly. 


  • 2 tbsp Tuvar Dal 
  • 1 small piece Bottle Gourd 
  • 1 small piece Pumpkin 
  • 1 small piece Carrot
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Drumstick
  • 2 Green Chilli
  • 1 tsp grated Ginger
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Sambar Masala
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind Pulp 
  • Coriander Leaves

  • For Tadka:
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • ½ tsp Asafoetida
  • 10-12 Curry Leaves
  • 2 Red Chilli
  • 1 pinch Kashmiri Red Chilli

Method Of Preparation

  • Wash and soak 2 tbsp of arhar dal/Pigeon pea in lukewarm water for 20-25 minutes 
  • Chop bottle gourd (lauki), pumpkin, 1 tomato, carrot, and 2 green chiles into bite-size pieces. Take a drumstick and cut it into 1 or 1.5 inch pieces
  • Take 1 tbsp of tamarind/imli and soak it in 1/2 cup of warm water for 30 minutes
  • After 20 minutes, add soaked dal and 1 tbsp  of water to the mixer and grind the dal coarsely
  • Add coarsely ground dal, 1.5 cup of water, chopped veggies, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, 1.5 tsp of salt to the cooker
  • Cook the sambar for a whistle 
  • Mash the imli and filter out the pulp using a strainer
  • After a whistle, cook the sambar over low heat for 2 minutes. Once cooked, take the sambar out on a plate
  • Add 1 more cup of water, 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder, 1 tbsp of sambar masala, 1 tbsp of grated ginger, some chopped coriander, 2 tbsp of tamarind pulp to the sambar, and cook it for 3-4  minutes
  • Take the sambar out in a bowl and heat 1 tbsp of oil in the Tadka pan
  • Add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds, 1/2 pinch hing, 10-12 curry leaves, 2 red chilies, 1-pinch red chilli powder to the oil, and mix well
  • Mix Tadka to the sambar, and Instant Sambar is ready to be served 

The delicious instant sambar is ready!