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Kerala Sambar With Sambar Powder

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 5 1x


Kerala Sambar is a popular side-dish to rice, Idli, Dosa, Uzhunnu Vada, and Upma. It is one of the main dishes in a Sadya as well.


  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal
  • Water to cook Dal


  • 3/4 cup Carrot, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Potato, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Brinjal, cubed
  • 1/4 cup Yellow Cucumber, cubed
  • 1/4 cup Onion, cubed or 1/4 cup Shallots, cubed
  • 2 Tomatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Drumstick, cut in 2″ pieces
  • Coriander leaves
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt, to taste

Spice Powders:

  • 2 tbsp Sambar powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida (hing/kaayam)


  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil or Ghee
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 Dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Shallots, chopped in thin roundels
  • Curry leaves
  • A pinch of Kashmiri Red Chili powder


  1. In a pressure cooker, add toor dal and water (almost double the quantity of dal). Pressure cook till about four whistles.
  2. After the pressure is completely released, open lid and mash the dal lightly. Chop the vegetables into cubes.
  3. Add the vegetables to the pressure cooker along with spice powders- sambar powder, chili powder, coriander powder, asafoetida and salt, curry leaves, and coriander leaves.
  4. Pressure cook for one whistle. Keep aside and let the pressure release.
  5. For tempering, add coconut oil or ghee in a pan.
  6. Once hot, add mustard seeds.
  7. When it splutters, add dry red chilies, chopped garlic and shallots.
  8. Add curry leaves as well.
  9. Remove from heat and add a pinch of Kashmiri red chili powder. Mix well.
  10. Open the pressure cooker lid and add the tempering.
  11. Mix well before serving.


You may add any veggies of your choice. We mostly add carrots, beans, potato, onion, yellow cucumber, snake gourd, okra, brinjal, and drumstick.

For tanginess, add tomatoes or about two to three tablespoons of tamarind pulp or a mix of both.

You may also add two to three slit green chilies for added spiciness.

  • Category: Accompaniments, Kerala, Onam, Veg
  • Cuisine: Kerala/ South Indian