It is a widely known fact that Sambar is a traditional and olf dish originating from South India. However, if you read into the history of Sambar, it is a dish that was created by Thanjavur Maratha ruler Shahuji, which the kingdom was ruling in Western India.

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Today, Sambar is very popular throughout India and Mediterranean cuisines.

What is Sambar?

Sambar / Sambhar itself is a vegetarian stew that is made of toor dal (pigeon pea), vegetables, and lentils. It is commonly eaten with side dishes such as rice, dosa, idli, and vada, although it may vary depending on the region.

Sambar Recipe

Here is the recipe to homemade Sambar:


Toor Dal:

  • 1/2 cups of pigeon peas
  • 1/4 teaspoons of turmeric powder

Sambar Powder:

  • 1 tbsp of split chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp black lentils
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 10 red chillis
  • 1/4 cups shredded coconut


  • 1 teaspoon black lentils
  • 1 teaspoon split chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 2 red chillis
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida
  • 20 shallots (uncut)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 6 eggplants
  • 1 drumstick (cut)
  • 1 cup of tamarind puree


Toor Dal (pigeon peas):

  • Rinse the Toor Dal with water
  • Cook Toor Dal in a bowl of water and add the turmeric powder
  • Cook in medium heat with closed lid

Sambar Powder:

  • Roast the split chickpeas & black lentils in a frying pan without oil
  • Add coriander seeds
  • Add black pepper and red chillis
  • Add shredded coconut. Stir & roast the spices well
  • Grind the roasted spices until they create fine powders


  • Heat oil in a pan
  • Add the black lentils, split chickpeas, and Mustard Seeds, Asafoetida, shallots (peeled)
  • Sautee until the oil is well coated to the shallots
  • Chop tomatoes
  • Add to the pan and sautee
  • Cut the eggplants in halves and add to the pan
  • Add the drumsticks
  • Mix them in the pan well
  • Season with salt and turmeric powder
  • Pour the tamarind puree, set to boil
  • Add 1 cup of water and let boil for 15 minutes
  • Add the cooked Toor Dal and stir
  • Add in another 2 cups of water and let boil for 10 minutes
  • Add 2 tablespoon of the Sambar Powders and let boil for another 5 minutes

You can serve the Sambar soup with selected side dishes. Sambar has many health benefits including very rich protein and it is high on fibers with antioxidants punch.

Enjoy the delicacy!