Malayali store - Kerala Sambar

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എന്തിനോ വേണ്ടി തിളയ്ക്കുന്ന സാമ്പാർ


Sambar also spelled sambaar is a lentil-based vegetable stew, cooked with Tamarind broth, originating from South India. It is popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines.

A sadya is not complete without a great sambar!

There are different verities of Kerala Sambar, here we are discussing about mouth watering Kerala style Sambar.

Kerala Sambar is a nutritious side dish of mixed vegetables of your choice. Kerala Sambar is an authentic, traditional dish that goes well with idli, dosa and hot rice for your noon day meal. This dal based tasty vegetable curry can be included in your daily menu. Usually Kerala Sambar is prepared when left over vegetables are there. The number of vegetables and the tangy Tamarind flavor can be adjusted as per our taste. Kerala Sambar is usually made from toor dal and vegetables like cucumber, Drumsticks, okra, tomato, Shallots, pumpkin and carrots are included. This vegetable curry is later seasoned with mustard seeds, red chillies, small onions and curry leaves.

Each district or area in Kerala has their own variations in making Kerala Sambar. Our featured Kerala Sambar is well illustrated in simple steps.

Some of the verities of Kerala Sambar are 
Pacha Samabar (പച്ച സാമ്പാർ )
Varutharacha Sambar (വറുത്തരച്ച സാംബാർ )

Below we are discussing about an easy to cook sambar variation

Toor Dal(Thuvara parippu) – As required
Shallots/Pearl/Red onions(Kunjulli)– 150 gm
Drumsticks (Muringakkai) - 2 nos
Carrots – 2 nos
Potatoes (medium) - 2 nos
Raw Plantains(Paccha Kaya) – 1 no
Tomatoes – 2 nos
Lady’s finger(Okhra/Vendakka) – 4-5 nos
Fenugreek seeds (Uluva) - A pinch
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds (Jeerakam) - A pinch
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Sambar Powder
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Salt - As required
Ghee - 1 tsp
Tamarind water-1/4 cup or as required
Coriander leaves - A bunch

Step 1
Cook the Toor Dal in a pressure cooker along with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, a pinch of salt, Ghee and the required quantity of water.

Step 2
Heat a pan and splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek, black gram and jeera. Add onions and saute for a while till they become very light golden in colour.

Step 3
Add corriander powder, chilly powder and turmeric powder along with 1 tsp of sambhar powder which is optional.Saute till the raw smell goes.

Step 4
Add the vegetables along with some water. Stir well. Add the Tamarind water which is again optional. Close the pan and cook the vegetables. Add salt as required.

Step 5
Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cooked Toor Dal or dal and mix well. Add little water and bring to a boil or till the required consistency is reached.

Step 6
Finally, add corriander leaves and close the vessel so as not to lose the flavour of kerala Sambar. Serve kerala sambar hot with dosa or rice or vada.

Legend states that sambar was first made accidentally by the Maratha ruler Sambhaji, when he tried to make dal curry in absence of his chef. He added Tamarind to the dal, resulting in the dish that later came to be known as sambar

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