Southern Tadka – Sambhar

Mom the best cook makes amazing food. Even a simple dosa and sambhar tastes out of the world. There is no harm in sharing your mom’s recipe especially if it is made from scratch 😃 by me. This is made with no short cuts.

Ingredients required

  1. Toor dal – 1/4th cup
  2. Turmeric powder – 2 tsp
  3. Whole red chili – 5
  4. Whole coriander – 2 tablespoons
  5. Fresh grated coconut – 2 tablespoons
  6. Vegetables cut in finger size – okra, drumsticks, yellow cucumber [optional- colocassia (arbi)]. Keep the quantity similar for each except arbi which can be a bit less, this to avoid sambhar from getting too thick.
  7. Ready made sambhar powder – 2 tsp
  8. Tomato – 1 medium size chopped
  9. Mustard seeds – 2 tsp
  10. Methi ( fenugreek) seeds – 1 tsp
  11. Hint (asafetida) a pinch
  12. Small onions – 5 chopped
  13. Coriander leaves and curry leaves for garnish
  14. Oil – 1 tablespoons
  15. Salt as required


To start, clean the toor dal and cook in pressure cooker with some salt and turmeric. Need at least 4-5 whistles for the dal to cook completely.

On a pan add 1 tsp of oil, once hot add red Chillies, coriander seeds, sauté for a minute or two and then add coconut. Sauté till the  ingredients are browned as below. Let it cool.

Once cool make a smooth paste in a mixer with adequate water. Even if the paste is little coarse there is no harm.

In the same pan sauté all the vegetables, tomatoes for a minute or two and add turmeric powder, sambhar powder and water. Add some salt and let it boil till the vegetables are cooked.

Add the cooked dal and give another boil till the vegetables and dal and all spices get mixed. Add coriander leaves at this stage.

Now for the final touch. Take a small pan, add remaining oil. Once hot add the mustard seeds, methi and hing. Once the seeds splutter add curry leaves, onions, sauté till the onions become slightly brown not burnt. Pour this mix on the sambhar and sambhar is ready to be served with idli or dosa