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Kerala Style Sambar Recipe

Kerala Style Sambar Recipe

Kerala Style Sambar / Lentil based Spicy Vegetable Soup / How to Make Kerala Style Sambar / Kerala Sambar without Coconut.

Sambar, every South Indian’s weakness!! Isn’t it? My husband is a core fan of kerala style sambar. He will eat four or five idlis and a full bowl of sambar for a breakfast!!  Because of that reason once in a while I make this dish. I remember in Delhi, Bangalore and other cities people visit South Indian restaurants to drink sambar. Some restaurants in Bangalore serve three or four idlis in a sambar bowl with a spoon. 

Kerala sambar is made with so many vegetables where as in some parts of South India, they use only one vegetable for sambar. It’s a healthy accompaniment with rice and a good option to make kids eat some vegetables.

I had been waiting since long to make this dish one day for my blog, but all veggies were not available, especially yam / chena. My in-laws sent yam / chena and my mom sent good quality fresh chembu / coclocasia from her garden when my husband returned after his last India visit. 


My sambar recipe is an adapted version of  Mrs. K M Mathew`s recipe. This recipe I have learned from the Pachaka Rani Recipe book of Mrs. K M Mathew which I got as a wedding gift. This is one of the recipes I have learned by heart after my marriage. Since then I have not altered the recipe. Why should I change it since that recipe is a perfect one and it satisfies our taste buds? I don’t have that recipe book with me now. I made this last week and was so happy with the outcome.

Every region in Kerala has its own way of making Sambar!! You can have a look at my Kerala Aviyal too.. 


 
There are number of ways one can prepare sambar. The procedure will not be the same in every part of Kerala and in India. Every family has their own way of making sambar. But since I am happy with this recipe, the basic sambar recipe I am not planning to change. I know that learning how to make sambar would be one of the initial recipes any South Indian newly wedded bride go for immediately after her wedding.. I am sure that my sambar recipe will be helpful for all newbies..

Sambar is one of the main traditional vegetarian feasts, ‘sadya’ dishes for festivals like Onam and Vishu, served on plantain leaves. It brings so many nostalgic memories.. Sadya always displays the splendour of cooking skills. As a child, I loved it and still love to see and have so many colourful dishes around the plantain leaves. Sambar’s place is not on the sides of the plantain, but on the top of rice which is served on the middle of the plantain leaf.


We use so many different vegetables to make sambar, like drumstick (muringakka), ladies finger (vendakka), raw banana (pachakka), brinjal (vazhuthananga), potato (urulakizhangu), pumpkin (mathanga), onion (ulli), tomato (thakkali), elephant yam (chena), beans (French payaru), cluster beans (kothamara), cucumber (vellari), colocasia (chembu), carrot etc.. etc..  Each vegetable gives us a unique taste and flavour. We use Sambar Powder to give sambar it’s authentic taste. I used readymade sambar powder to make sambar. One can make sambar powder at home too. It’s a mixture of chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and fenugreek powder. I would be adding the recipe of ‘how to make homemade sambar powder’ later.

This sambar recipe will be good for all house wives, bachelors, spinsters and working women who wants to finish cooking fast in the busy morning hours. . This sambar can be done in 15 or 20 minutes if you plan it in advance and make all the necessary arrangements. Some people have the habit of storing cooked dal (lentil) in the freezer. In such case, just before cooking sambar, you can keep it in the room temperature for minimum 2 hours.
 

 
OMG, just now I saw an article about using Ajino Moto (MSG –Mono Sodium Glutamate) in the sambar and biriyanies in restaurants!! If the taste of sambar is not good, their sales will go down!! Owners of the restaurants admit it 
 

Here comes the recipe of Kerala Style Sambar..

Ingredients for Making Sambar:

Cook Lentils:

Toor Dal (pigeon peas spilt & skinned) – ½ cup;
Masoor Dal (pink lentil) – ¼ cup
Water – 2 cups,
Salt – 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp.

Vegetables I used:

Ladies Finger (വെണ്ടയ്ക്ക) – 3 ,
Drumstick (മുരിങ്ങയ്ക്ക)  – 2 ,
Carrot (കാരറ്റ്) – 2,
Raw Banana (നേന്ത്രക്കായ) – 1,
Yam (ചേന) – 1 small piece,
Cucumber (വെള്ളരിക്ക) – ½ of one medium sized,
French Beans (ബീൻസ്) – few,
Cluster Beans (ചീനി അവരയ്ക്ക) – few
Potato (ഉരുളക്കിഴങ്ങു) – 1,
Jack Fruit Seeds (ചക്കക്കുരു) – few (optional) 
Onion (സവാള) – 1,
Taro (Chembu / ചേമ്പു)  - 1
Raw Mango (പച്ച മാങ്ങാ) – 1 (I didn’t use tamarind paste)
  Or Tamarind paste (പുളി) – 1 tsp.
Salt – to taste

Sambar Masala
:

Sambar Powder – 2 tbsp.
Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1 tbsp.
Corriander Powder – ¾ th tbsp..
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp.
Fenugreek seeds powder – ½ tsp.

For Seasoning / tadkka Sambar:

Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Shallots (kunjulli), sliced- 3
Green Chilly, slit – 1
Red Chilly Broken – 1 or 2
Curry Leaves – 4 sprigs
Asafoetida powder – 3 pinches

How to Make Kerala Style Sambar:

Wash and chop all desired veggies in to I" pieces.

Wash dal several times and Pressure Cook both lentils / dals in a pressure cooker by adding the ingredients given under section ‘cook lentils’ for 2 or 3 whistles on medium flame. Remove from heat and let it cool down. When the pressure goes off, transfer it to a mixer bowl and grind it to ensure the consistency of a thick soup. Keep it aside.

Take another heavy bottom wide pan and add 5 cups of water. Half Cook Carrot and potato first. Add more boiling water to this and add the rest of the veggies to this as per the time required for cooking each vegetable. Cover with a lid and cook for few minutes. After the veggies are half cooked add little salt. Now in a bowl take all the ingredients given under the section, ‘Sambar Masala’. Mix it well with a spoon. Take few spoons of vegetable broth from the pan and mix it well without forming lumps. Add this masala to the veggies. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Next add the tamarind paste and mix well. (Remember, I didn’t add this since I had raw mangoes and I love its taste in sambar). Add the ground or mashed dal and mix it well to blend the dal with water. Let it come to a boil. Remove from heat. Do a salt check and add if required.

Heat oil in another small pan. Add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add cumin seeds. When it begin to sizzles, add sliced shallots and fry till it gets golden colour. Add slit green chilly and broken red chillies. Add curry leaves and mix well till it turns crispy. Do a salt check as per your taste. Switch off the heat, remove from the stove and add asafoetida / hing powder. Mix well. Pour this seasoning in to the sambar. Mix it for a while. Close the lid immediately and let it rest for a while on your kitchen counter top.

Your yummy and aromatic Kerala Style Sambar is ready to be served. This sambar goes well with Idli, Dosa, vada, Rice etc. In fact sambar is so essential for these dishes.
Pictorial of Kerala Sambar:
Take all vegetables you want to make Sambar

Wash and chop all desired veggies in to I" pieces.


Measure Dal / Lentils



Take all Ingredients required for Sambar Masala and Seasoning..

 
Wash dal several times and Pressure Cook both lentils / dals in a pressure cooker by adding the ingredients given under section ‘cook lentils’ for 2 or 3 whistles on medium flame. Remove from heat and let it cool down.

Take another heavy bottom wide pan and add 5 cups of water. Half Cook Carrot and potato first. 
Add more boiling water to this and add the rest of the veggies to this as per the time required for cooking each vegetable. Cover with a lid and cook for few minutes. After the veggies are half cooked add little salt. Now in a bowl take all the ingredients given under the section, ‘Sambar Masala’. Mix it well with a spoon. Take few spoons of vegetable broth from the pan and mix it well without forming lumps. Add this masala to the veggies. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Next add the tamarind paste and mix well. (Remember, I didn’t add this since I had raw mangoes and I love its taste in sambar)
When the pressure goes off, transfer it to a mixer bowl and grind it to ensure the consistency of a thick soup. Keep it aside.
Add the ground or mashed dal and mix it well to blend the dal with water. Let it come to a boil. Remove from heat. Do a salt check and add if required.

 
Heat oil in another small pan. Add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add cumin seeds. When it begin to sizzles, add sliced shallots and fry till it gets golden colour. Add slit green chilly and broken red chillies. Add curry leaves and mix well till it turns crispy. Do a salt check as per your taste. Switch off the heat, remove from the stove and add asafoetida / hing powder. Mix well. Pour this seasoning in to the sambar. Mix it for a while. Close the lid immediately. Your yummy and aromatic Kerala Style Sambar is ready to be served.
 

 

This sambar is too good with Idli, Dosa, vada, Rice etc. In fact sambar is so essential with these dishes.

My Recipe Notes on Kerala Style Sambar:

1. Can add vegetables like red pumpkin, tomatoes, ash gourd, ivy gourd etc.. Adding vegetables is your choice. You can even make sambar with only one vegetable!! 
2. You can use Toor dal alone. I usually use both toor dal and masoor dal since it gives a good taste. The taste of the sambar depends on the kind of dal we use. Dal can be cooked in a pot too.
3. I usually grind dal to smooth in a mixer bowl. You can mash it with a potato masher or with the back of a ladle.
4. If you are not using raw mango or readymade tamarind pulp, take a goose berry volume of tamarind and soak in ½ cup of water. Before using, squeeze it, take the pulp and discard the chunks. Adding ¼ cup of lemon juice in ¾ cup of water is a substitute for tamarind pulp.
5. Do not cook drumstick in the pressure cooker (if you are cooking sambar in the same) or with other veggies. It will become mushy and your sambar will be full of drumstick fibres. Cook it separately and add it later.
6. Do not add tamarind before all veggies are cooked completely. It will slow down the process of cooking veggies.
7. I have used readymade sambar powder. If you don’t have this at home, you can make it by dry roasting ingredients like, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1 tbsp. chana dal, 1 tbsp. urad dal, ¼ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. methi seeds (fenugreek seeds), 5 red chillies. Cool them and then grind it to fine powder.
8. You can use more or less chilly powder depends on your tolerance level.
9. You can add coriander leaves towards the end.
10.The sambar will get thick after getting cooled, so add enough boiled water if you want your sambar a little more thin.
11. After pouring the seasoning into the sambar, closing the pan with its lid gives the sambar a nice aroma.
12. You can cook vegetables in the pressure cooker along with dal, but I never do that way. For time saving, it is a good method. 
 

Serve Sambar with Red rice to your loved ones.. 
Happy Cooking

Cheers

Seenas Food Basket

Hope you all try this and let me know what you think.. If you make this recipe, take a picture and email it to seenasfoodbasket@gmail.com. We love to see your creations..
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Sambar Without Coconut Recipe / Kerala Sambar Recipe / How to Make Kerala Sambar

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Thank you for taking time to visit my blog . Each of your comments are really valuable for me which motivates me to post more and more. I appreciate your valuable comments and suggestions. Hope you liked my space and please keep visiting for new recipes. Please do not leave comments with links to your blogs , events and advertisements.

  • Kert (2017-01-04 06:48:08)
    Gonna Try out this. Hope I will get all these vegetables.
    Seena Koshy (2017-01-22 21:07:38)
    Great to hear that Kert. Not so necessary to get all those veggies. Even with few of those veggies it would be good. Thank you.
  • Rani Vijoo (2015-07-04 20:56:06)
    Mouth watering sambar recipe, love that soft idly too 😋 looks delicious Seena 😊
    Seena Koshy (2015-07-05 23:58:38)
    Thanks a lot dear Rani.. :)
  • kushi (2015-07-02 23:50:09)
    sambar looks so perfect and delicious. Beautifully written
    Seena Koshy (2015-07-03 22:08:52)
    Thanks dear.. :)
  • Manju (2015-06-26 03:43:54)
    Tried and turned out so good!! Thanks for sharing!
    Seena Koshy (2015-07-02 23:17:30)
    Thanks so much Manju.. I couldnt finish writing the comment as the session timed out!! a technical problem I have been facing since long in my blog.. :) :)
  • sonia (2015-06-16 12:33:13)
    looks so delicious maam..
    Seena Koshy (2015-06-16 20:22:31)
    Thanks sonia..
  • beena (2015-06-14 17:00:44)
    Love it. Delicious
    Seena Koshy (2015-06-14 23:24:01)
    Thanks Beena.. :)

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Hi there, I am Seena Koshy, a teacher by profession, a triple Master’s Degree Holder by qualification, a Food Blogger, a passionate Food Photographer, whose ultimate pleasure lies in cooking. My passion for food is portrayed in my recipes which are tested in my kitchen and tasted by my family. I love to spend quality time in experimenting and cooking. Thank you for stopping by our food blog, where you can find well-crafted recipes.

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