South India is well known for the specialty of Sambar. I have tasted the homemade sambar in North and also in all states of South, but to be frank, none can beat up the taste and aroma of Tamilnadu Sambar. Though each regions here has slight changes in the tastes but the basic quality of sambar is never given up. Of all I love the traditional method of preparing Sambar in our place (yes…its awesome Coimbatore sambar). Posted here the same and its worth trying it.


Toor Dal – 3/4 cup
Tamarind – amla size
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Chilli powder -1/2 tsp
Sambar powder – 2 tsp
Vegetables -1/2 cup
(Red pumpkin/Potato/Carrot/Radish/Drumstick/Brinjal/turnip/Squash can be used)

For Tempering:
Shallots – 1/4 cup
Dry red chillies -3
Curry leaves- few
Garlic -3 pods
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Tomatoes -1
Mustard -1/4 tsp 

Traditional Sambar


1. Wash the dal nicely and add to the boiling water (cooking dal in open vessel consumes more water of about 1 liter)

2. Add turmeric powder, Castor oil to get dal cooked softer. Also add a tomato while cooking the dal.

3. Extract the dal water along with tomato and keep aside (This is used to make rasam traditionally). Now mash the dal using a laddle until mushy.

4. Meanwhile chop the vegetables in medium size and cook them in a separate vessel with 1cup of water and 1/2 cup dal water.

5. Now heat oil in a pan, add mustard and let it splutter.
6. Add in the chopped shallots, garlic,curry leaves, Dry red chillies and saute for a while.
7. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook until mushy. In this stage add a pinch of Asafoetida.
8.  Add the tempering to the mashed dal.
9. Also add in the cooked vegetables.
10. Meanwhile soak the tamarind and extract pulp out of it and add to the dal.
11. Add about 1 cup of water, salt, Sambar powder,chilli powder and cook until the masalas gets blended evenly.

12. Now transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves.

Coimbatore Sambar


  • You can also pressure cook the dal instead of cooking in open vessel, which would be time consuming.
  • You can use either of vegetables given in the ingredients. 
  • Take care to cook the vegetables separately along with little dal water to get the taste of dal in vegetables too, also cooking vegetables separately makes them to get cooked faster.
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