Kerala Sambar

kerala sambar
  • Yield : 1
  • Servings : 5-6
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 35m
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Kerala Sambar Recipe

Kerala sambar is a dal based mixed vegetable curry. There are many varieties of sambar recipes in India. People from different region prepare this curry in different style. Here you can try an easy to prepare Kerala style sambar. Any vegetable can be included to make this dish. Usually malayalees prepare sambar to finish off the leftover vegetables :)


  • Dal (Toor Dal / തുവരപ്പരിപ്പ്) - ½ Cup
  • Drumstick (മുരിങ്ങക്കായ്‌) - 1 No
  • Tomato (തക്കാളി) - 1 No
  • Potato (ഉരുളക്കിഴങ്ങ്) - 1 No
  • Carrot - 1 No
  • Brinjal (വഴുതനങ്ങ) - 1 No
  • Okra / Lady’s finger (വെണ്ടയ്ക്ക) - 2 Nos
  • Ivy gourd (കോവയ്ക്ക) - 4 Nos
  • Cucumber (വെള്ളരിയ്ക്ക) - 100 gm
  • Raw Plantain (Raw banana / നേന്ത്രക്കായ്‌) - ½ of one
  • French Beans (Green beans / ബീന്‍സ്) - 3 Nos
  • Green chilli (പച്ചമുളക്) - 4 Nos
  • Onion (സവോള) - 1 No
  • Turmeric powder (മഞ്ഞള്‍പൊടി) - 1 pinch
  • Sambar powder (സാമ്പാര്‍ പൊടി) - 3 Table spoon
  • Asafoetida powder (കായം) - 1 Tea spoon
  • Tamarind (പുളി) – Gooseberry (നെല്ലിക്ക) sized ball
  • Coconut Oil (വെളിച്ചെണ്ണ) - 2 Table spoon
  • Mustard seeds (കടുക്) - 1 Tea spoon
  • Dry red chillies (വറ്റല്‍ മുളക്) - 3 Nos
  • Shallot (ചെറിയ ഉള്ളി) - 5 Nos
  • Curry leaves (കറിവേപ്പില) - 2 Sprigs
  • Water (വെള്ളം) - to cover the vegetables
  • Salt (ഉപ്പ്) – to taste


Step 1

Wash dal and soak in water for minimum 20 minutes.

Step 2

In the meantime, wash the vegetables very well. Cut the drum sticks into 2 inch pieces and the other vegetables into medium size (cube shape) pieces. Slice shallots and slit green chillies length wise.

Step 3

Pressure cook dal and vegetables by adding turmeric powder, sambar powder (1 table spoon only), salt and enough water to cover the vegetables till you hear a whistle. Turn off the fire and wait till the pressure settles. (it usually takes more than 10 minutes)

Step 4

In the meantime, soak tamarind in ½ cup of water for 5 minutes. Squeeze and take the extract from it and keep aside.

Step 5

Heat remaining 2 table spoon sambar powder and asafoetida powder in a frying pan to avoid the raw taste.

Step 6

When the pressure settles, open the pressure cooker and heat it again by adding tamarind extract, asafoetida and sambar powder for 2 minutes on a medium flame. Taste for salt.

Step 7

Heat coconut oil in a pan and put mustard seeds. When it splutters, add shallots, dry red chillies & curry leaves and saute it. Add this to the prepared sambar.

Step 8

Kerala sambar is ready for serving. Transfer to the serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves if required.


1) You can include or exclude a vegetable, depending on the availability.

2) Instead of onion, shallots (10 Nos – without slicing) can be added for the better taste.

3) If you don’t have sambar powder you can make it by mixing coriander powder (1¼ table spoon), kasmiri chilli powder (1¼ table spoon), turmeric powder (1 pinch), asafoetida powder (¾ tea spoon), fenugreek powder (1 pinch) and cumin powder (½ tea spoon).

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Nutritional Profile

Main nutritional contents are,

  • Vitamins

  • Proteins

  • Minerals

  • Dietary Fiber

  • Sugar


1 Table spoon = 3 Tea spoons
1 Dessert spoon = 2 Tea spoons
1 Tea spoon = 5 ml
1 Cup = 236.588 ml


Myself, Shaan Geo basically a Software Engineer started my career in IT Industry. I have had a passion for food and cooking from an early age. This habit made me keep an eye out for the new variants of food and the different cuisines where ever I go. According to me cooking is an equal-opportunity talent and I find that anybody can cook. It is not limited by the age, profession, caste, colour or creed of a person. What is needed is the love for cooking. For me passion for cooking does not stop in the kitchen, when I travel, I continue to be inspired by eating in some of the best restaurants around the world.

Comments on Kerala Sambar

Comments (10)

  1. posted by K. B. RAJAN on March 27, 2013

    Good one

    • posted by Shaan Geo on March 27, 2013

      Thanks a lot Rajan :)

  2. posted by Anina on August 4, 2013

    I tried the way you said to make kerala sambar. It’s awesome. Thank you Shaan.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on August 5, 2013

      You are welcome Anina. Thanks for trying this recipe and also for the wonderful feedback.

  3. posted by Asita on September 23, 2013

    Hi, Thanks a lot because of you I can impressed my partner I am maharastriyan and he is from kerala. When I made this dish he loves it thank you so much.

    • posted by Shaan Geo on September 24, 2013

      You are welcome Asita. It is pleasure to know that you and your partner enjoyed this recipe. Hope you will try other recipes too. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. posted by Uma Pillai on November 30, 2013


    • posted by Shaan Geo on December 3, 2013

      Thanks Uma.

  5. posted by Naveen on March 3, 2014

    Man am gonna try this today. but don’t have pressure cooker, then?

    • posted by Shaan Geo on March 4, 2014

      Naveen, Thanks for trying this Sambar Recipe. Don’t worry about the pressure cooker. You can cook it in a closed vessel, but add a little extra water.


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