For Tamarind Pulp

 1 tablespoon tamarind

⅓ cup hot water


For Cooking Dhall

½ cup KKG Kumaran toor dhall or arhar dhall  (pigeon pea lentils), 100 grams

¼ teaspoon turmeric

1.5 to 1.75 cups water or add as required


For Cooking Vegetables

1 to 1.5 cups cleaned and chopped vegetables like okra, french beans, potatoes, small round brinjals, pumpkin

1 to 2 drumsticks, scraped and chopped in 3 to 4 inches sticks.

6 to 7 pearl onions (sambar onions) or 1 small to medium onion, thickly sliced

1 small to medium tomato, quartered or diced

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder – optional

salt as required

1.5 to 2 cups water or add as required


Important Ingredient

1 to 1.5 tablespoons sambar powder


For Tempering

2 tablespoons sesame oil (gingelly oil), can also use coconut oil or sunflower oil, or ghee

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

1 to 2 dry red chilies – halved and seeds removed

10 to 12 curry leaves

2 pinch asafoetida 

5 to 6 fenugreek seeds – optional


For Garnish

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves) – optional



  1. Soak 1 tablespoon tamarind in ⅓ cup hot water for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Once the tamarind gets soft, then squeeze the tamarind in the water itself. Discard the strained tamarind and keep the tamarind pulp aside.


  1. Rinse ½ cup KKG Kumaran toor dhall (100 grams) a couple of times in water.
  2. Drain all the water and add the dhall in a 2-liter pressure cooker. Also, add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.
  3. Add 1.5 to 1.75 cups of water and mix. Cover and pressure cook dhall for 7 to 8 whistles or 10 to 12 minutes on medium flame.
  4. When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the dhall. The dhall should be completely cooked and mushy.
  5. Mash the dhall with a spoon or wired whisk. Cover and keep aside. You can see the consistency of dhall in the pic below.


  1. When the dhall is pressure cooking – rinse, peel, and chop the vegetables.
  2. Take 1 to 1.5 cups chopped vegetables in a pan or pot. Also, add 6 to 7 pearl onions or 1 small to medium onion (thickly sliced) and 1 small to medium tomato (quartered).
  3. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, and salt as per taste. Adding Kashmiri red chili powder is optional and can be skipped. 
  4. Add 1.5 to 2 cups water and stir.
  5. Keep the pan on a stovetop and begin to cook vegetables on a medium-low to medium flame. In between do check when the vegetables are cooking.
  6. Cook till the vegetables are almost done. Ensure that you don’t overcook the vegetables.


  1. Once the vegetables are almost cooked, then add the tamarind pulp and 1 to 1.5 tablespoons sambar powder. mix well.
  2. Add the mashed dhall. mix again very well.
  3. Simmer on a medium-low flame till it comes to a boil. 
  4. You will see a frothy layer on top when the sambar begins boiling. At this step switch off the flame. Cover and keep aside.


  1. In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons of gingelly oil. Add ½ tsp mustard seeds.
  2. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
  3. Then add 1 to 2 dry red chilies (halved and seeds removed).
  4. Immediately add 10 to 12 curry leaves, 5 to 6 methi seeds, and 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing).
  5. Fry them till the red chilies change color and curry leaves become crisp.
  6. Immediately add this tempering mixture to the hot sambar.
  7. Cover the pan with its lid for 4 to 5 minutes, so that the aroma and flavors from the tempering mixture get infused with the sambar.
  8. Serve sambar hot. You can garnish it with a few coriander leaves if you prefer. It can also be served with steamed rice, idli, dosa, medhu vadai, or uttapam. 

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