Sambar – Sadya Recipes


I wanted this BM to be totally about food and that’s why there is no mention about the man and the kid. But this… I have to share.

The kid is too much into cricket now a days. And my knowledge of the subject is subzero. One day, he asked me whether I know how to sweep and I confidently took out the broom and started sweeping!

No wonder he sticks to his dad all the time, asking more and more questions about the game. And I watch totally aware that my ‘ratings’ are going down.

The ultimate was when someone asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Every one expected ‘Cricketer’ as an answer, but he said, “I want to be a father when I grow up!”

He doesn’t want to be ghost anymore, nor a cooker, nor an officer but a father when he grows up! Now, how is that!!

I am still in shock. I am happy about this, but still have to start working on my sinking popularity at home…


Coming back to the recipe here, its Sambar for S, the South Indian equivalent of dal. Scroll down below for the recipe and additional information!


  • Sambar is the South Indian counterpart of dal. It’s mixed with rice and eaten with a vegetable on side. Pappad pair very well with sambar and rasam.
  • In Trivandrum side, Onasadya sambar can mean only the Parippu Sambar (Sambar made with toor dal/pigeon pea dal)
  • In North Kerala side, Onasadya sambar can have coconut in it. They go for the ‘Varathu aracha sambar’ (coconut fried and ground and added to the sambar).
  • Sambar is served right after the dal in a sadya. You can pair it with any of the side dishes and pappadam. Avial, especially, tastes very well with sambar.
  • You can make sambar with a single vegetable as well. But for Sadya, usually mixed vegetables sambar is made.
  • For a sambar, the vegetables are diced into big cubes.
  • **Ridge gourd is not traditionally added to sambar, but I love it in dal and have started adding it to sambar as well.
  • Coriander leaves are not added to Kerala style sambar. Adding it is common in Tamil Nadu side, though.


  • Toor dal                  :                 1 cup, cooked
  • Tamarind paste   :                 1 tsp ( or 1 cup tamarind extract)
  • Mixed vegetables :               1.5 cups ( I used drumsticks, ladies finger, Pumpkin, cucumber and some ridge gourd)**
  •  Turmeric powder :    a pinch
  • Sambar powder      :     2 -3 tsp, depending on the spice level preferred
  • Kayam/Hing           :     a good pinch
  • Salt
  • Water, as required to get to the right consistency

For seasoning:

  • Oil  (coconut oil, preferably)          :         1 tsp
  • Curry leaves            :         1 -2 sprigs
  • Mustard seeds        :        1  tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds   :         1 tsp


  1. Pressure cook the dal till done (for me, about 5-6 whistles). Once the pressure drops, mash with the back of a ladle and keep aside.
  2. Wash and clean the vegetables. Dice them into 1-2″ long pieces.
  3. I do the cooking part in Microwave, this can be done on stove top as well. In a MW proof bowl, add the diced vegetables, one cup water (or tamarind extract), 1 tsp tamarind pulp, sambar powder, turmeric powder, hing and salt.
  4. Microwave for 7 minutes uncovered or till the vegetables are cooked. This can be done on stove top as well.
  5. Once the vegetables are done, transfer them to a kadai, a clay pot or any deep pan (a thick steel pohini would do). Bring this to a boil, adding 2 more cups of water.
  6. Add the mashed dal and let it boil for sometime, say 5 minutes. Do a taste test. Add more salt, sambar powder as required. Its best to dilute the sambar powder in 1-2 tsp of water and then add to the sambar. If its too thick, add some more water.
  7. The thickness of sambar is a personal preference. If you like it thick, then reduce the water a bit or boil it for a longer time. If it ends up really runny, then mix 1 tsp flour/atta and 3 tbsp cold/plain water (water shouldn’t be hot, then you will have lumps of flour) and add to the sambar. Mix thoroughly, else you might end up with flour lumps.
  8. When done correctly, the sambar will be a homogeneous liquid without it separating into two layers (thin water on top and dal and veggies down) once its cooled down.
  9. Once the taste and the consistency is correct, switch off the heat.
  10. For seasoning, in a small pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and let it crackle. Add the fenugreek seeds and when it turns golden brown, add curry leaves. Take off the heat and add it to the prepared sambar. Mix and cover with a lid.

My husband likes the sambar quite thick. The day I made the sadya, we had some unexpected guests, so the sambar was simmering for at least 10 more minutes that it usually does. So the sambar here is very very thick, which was great for my husband. I also used a clay pot for making the sambar, which makes it additionally thick.


Previous Posts:

  1. A – Avial, Ada Pradhaman, Achinga Payar – Chena Mezhukkupiratti
  2. B – Beetroot Kichadi, Beet root thoran, Beans Thoran
  3. C  – Carrot Thoran, Cabbage Thoran
  4. D – Daal – Parippu Curry
  5. E – Erisseri – Chena & Mathan Vanpayaru
  6. F – Fruit Pachadi
  7. G – God’s Own Country – Kerala
  8. H – How to Serve a Sadya
  9. I – Inji Puli
  10. J – Jackfruit Payasam – Chakka Payasam
  11. K – Kalan & Koottu Curry
  12. L – Lemon Rasam
  13. M – Mambazha Pulisseri & Mathan Pachadi
  14. N – Neer Moru/ButterMilk
  15. O – Olan
  16. P – Payasam & Pookkalam

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Linking this to Valli’s Side Dish Mela.


20 thoughts on “Sambar – Sadya Recipes

  1. Rajani ratings are just that they go up and they come down. Remember the higher they go up the lower you fall.:D Was missing the man and the kids!

    Great sambhar. I am a sambhar fan by the way and it has to be just right. This one is to do.


  2. Don’t worry about your ratings Rajani. I’m sure they will go up pretty soon. Very mom has to go through these ups & downs :-)
    Sambar looks so yummy. Lovely clicks.


  3. ohh with this kind of spreads, you will surely be back on the popularity chart, even my son started off with a cooker, a fighter and now he is asking weird questions, he wants assurance that he wont turn into a girl :) btw, i may be visiting chennai, if you plan to make such delightful spreads for long, you never know i might just end up at your door step


  4. Love the father son duo talk…and the big spread….this is a different sambar..pretty thick and can’t imagine cucumber and ridge gourd in sambar…I will get over my phobias and try it when I am prepared to make a full fledge Sadya….which has to wait for a few months.


  5. OMG you are hilarious Rajani..truth be told, though I have been immensely enjoying your posts, I have been missing on the anecdotes..bring them on!…the man and the son are always so entertaining.. btw such delicious looking sambar!..I love kerala style one with loads of coconut, though I would never feel the coconut traces in it!


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