south Indian sambar with vegetables

25th June 2009


Sambar is another Indian dish that I regularly make and I serve with dosa or with rice.   You can experiment with any type of seasonal vegetables you have on hand or whatever is abundant in your garden.  Whole green mung beans can be used instead of the yellow lentils.

4V7A2649 4V7A4436_1980x1297

south indian sambar with vegetables

Toor Dal is a yellow split lentil which has a wonderful, slightly sweet taste.  If you do not have toor dal, use red lentils.  I kept the vegetables chunky to give it real substance.  Sambar Powder, jaggery (Indian sugar), fresh curry leaves and tamarind paste can be bought from any Indian store.

Serves 3 – 4  


½ cup toor dal

4 cups water

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp ghee/oil

1 medium carrot (cut into rounds)

1 medium zucchini (cut into large chunks)

½ red bell pepper (roughly chopped)

a handful of beans (finely chopped)

sambar – coconut paste:

2 tsp sambar powder (or more to taste)

1 tsp tamarind concentrate

¼ cup shredded dried coconut


2 Tbsp ghee/oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

8 fresh curry leaves

¼ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)


1 heaped Tbsp jaggery/sugar

1 heaped tsp fine rock salt

fresh coriander

preparation :

Clean, wash and drain the toor dal.  Place the dal, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Simmer until the dal breaks down and is soft, about 30-40 minutes.  If it becomes too dry, just add a little water.   Add the vegetables halfway through cooking and simmer over a medium heat until the vegetables are soft.

sambar – coconut paste:

Place in an upright blender, the dried coconut, tamarind paste, sambar powder and the remaining 1 cup of water.  Blend into a smooth paste – approximately 1 minute.  Add this to the dal.  Use a cup of the liquid from the dal to swish around in the blender to clean out any of the remaining sambar – coconut paste.   Set aside.


In a small pan heat the ghee/oil when hot, add the mustard seeds, wait until they splutter and pop and then add the curry leaves, and asafoetida.  Pour the spices over the dal, add the jaggery, salt – mix and cover with a lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to come together.

Stir in the finely chopped fresh coriander.  If you have kale or spinach in your garden, this is a nice addition as well.  Taste and adjust by adding more tamarind, jaggery and salt.


Goodness shared from Stacey

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Leave a Comment

All rights reserved © Goodness is…. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie