Warm Up This Monsoon With 5 Soothing Sambar Varieties

One delicious and healthy option to enjoy during the monsoons is sambhar, a South Indian stew made from lentils. This hearty stew is bursting with flavour from a wide range of veggies, lentils, and aromatic spices. Due to the abundance of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals in it, your immune system will be bolstered, and your general health will improve. Spices like turmeric and cumin not only improve the flavour but also protect you from cold and flu by reducing inflammation and increasing antioxidant levels in your body. Experience the pleasure of a classic and nourishing monsoon dinner by eating a bowl of Sambhar with some steaming rice or idli. 

Classic Sambar: This is the most traditional recipe for sambar; the first, the best, the one from which everything else was derived - the sambar that can be found in the kitchen of any grandma. Yellow lentils are simmered in a masala broth together with fresh vegetables and curry leaves during the cooking process. However, despite its ease of preparation, it contains an infinite number of layers and nuances. 

Brinjal Sambar: This brinjal sambar is an elevated version of the traditional sambar that your grandmother probably made in her kitchen. It is still considered sambar, as the yellow lentils and masala broth are still present in the dish. The only difference is that this version includes a little bit of fresh brinjal in addition to the fresh vegetables and that traditional flavour of sambar. 

Tomato Sambar: The luscious tomatoes, lentils, and aromatic spices that go into making Tomato Sambhar make for a deliciously zesty South Indian lentil soup. Tomatoes' deep crimson colour and robust flavour are a welcome addition to this classic recipe. It's a nourishing and comforting option because of the lentils' high protein and vitamin content. Tomato Sambhar is a healthy and tasty accompaniment to steaming rice or idli that is perfect for a rainy day lunch. 

Arachu vitta Sambar: The sambar meal is a staple of Indian cuisine, and this arachu vitta sambar is a delicious twist on the classic. Tamarind, coconut, and chillies are just a few of the spices that give this dish its fiery flavour. It's delicious whether it's cold or hot outside. When the weather is cold, it will help warm you up, and when the weather is hot, it will help cool you down. Making this sambar is an excellent use of your time in the kitchen. 

Murungakkai Sambar: Moringa pods, sometimes called drumsticks or murungakkai in Tamil and Sahjan ki Phalli in Hindi, are a nutritious and widely used food source. They are a staple in Indian cooking, where they are utilised in a wide range of dishes. To create a unique take on the traditional South Indian sambar, drumsticks are the star of drumstick sambar. There are various modifications on the basic lentil and vegetable stew that is called Sambar. The drumsticks in this recipe are prepared with a mixture of lentils and spices. 

Here’s a recipe for Murungakkai sambar to try at home, shared by Anahita Dhondy Bhandari on her Instagram.  


Tur dal - 1/2 cup 

Mixed or single vegetable - 1 cup (preferably drumstick if single) 

Tamarind - 1 small ball 

For Tadka and Sautee: 

Oil - 2 Tbsp (cold pressed sesame oil will give the best effect) 

Mustard - 1/2 tsp 

Medium onion - 1, sliced or 7-8 Shallots, whole 

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp 

Large tomato - 1, sliced 

For garnishing: 

Curry leaves chopped- few 

Coriander leaves chopped- few 

Ghee- 1-2 teaspoon  

Other Ingredients: 

Salt as per taste 

Hing powder - a pinch 

jaggery- 1 teaspoon (crushed into powder) 

Sambar powder- 2-3 tablespoon 

Method: Cook the tur dal and keep aside. Soak the tamarind in little warm water and leave it aside. Take oil in a pot, when hot add the Mustard and wait for it to splatter. Add the chopped onion and fry till light pink (Not brown), add turmeric powder, chopped tomato and salt, and wait for the tomato to mash. Add the mixed vegetables, water and cook the vegetables (do not pressure cook)> After the vegetables are cooked add the tamarind water after squeezing the pulp. Add 2- 3 tablespoon of Sambar masala and cook on sim fire for 5-8 mins. Add the tur dal, hing, jaggery and cook for another 5 mins first on high flame and later sim. Adjust salt if required. Add finely chopped curry leaves, coriander leaves ghee and boil for another 1-2 mins.