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Special Kerala-Style Sambar

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The Onam Sambar is a typical dish that is made during Onam, a festival that is celebrated by the people of Kerala in India. The Onam Sambar is a very healthy lentil-vegetable stew that is served with either steamed rice, idli, dosa or vada. What distinguishes the Onam Sambar from the other Sambar varieties of South India is the addition of coconut oil while tempering.
  Toor dhal 100 Gram
  Okra 4 , sliced into 1 inch bits
  Ash gourd 250 Gram, chopped
  Pumpkin 200 Gram, chopped
  Yam 150 Gram, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  Eggplant 2 (Brinjals)
  Carrot 2
  Drumstick 2 , cut into 2 inch pieces
  Potato 1 Large, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  Coconut oil 3 Tablespoon (Or As Required)
  Mustard seeds 25 Gram
  Coriander leaves 3⁄4 Bunch (75 gm) (1 Small Bunch)
  Sambhar powder 3 Tablespoon (Or As Required)
  Salt To Taste
  Turmeric powder 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Red chili powder 20 Gram
  Red chilli powder 20 Gram
  Tomatoes 3 , cut into lengthwise juliennes
  Onion 3 , cut into lengthwise juliennes
  Green chillies 5 , slit in the middle (Long Variety)
  Green chilies 5 , slit in the middle (Long Variety)
  Asafoetida 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Fenugreek 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Garlic cloves 4
  Tamarind 1 Tablespoon (Or To Taste)
  Water 1⁄2 Liter (Plus More)

1) Heat a large saucepan. Add 1/2 liter water. Put in dhal, salt, turmeric powder, onion and chillies. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
2) Put in cut vegetables except tomatoes. Let them cook for about 5 minutes. You can cover the pan if you like.
3) Now, add in tomatoes, sambar powder, chilli powder and asafoetida. Continue to simmer for 15 more minutes.
4) In a bowl, mash tamarind flesh with some water. Strain through a sieve and make an extract. Add the extract to the vegetables in the saucepan. Add according to taste. Simmer for 2 more minutes.
5) Mix well and remove from heat.
6) Heat a frying pan. Add in coconut oil. When the oil reaches hazing point, add the garlic cloves, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Temper for 1 minute. Do not let fenugreek seeds to brown, else they will turn bitter.
7) Pour the tempered ingredients over the stewed vegetables. Mix well.

8) Sprinkle coriander leaves on top and serve with steamed rice or idlis.

You can add more water to dilute the dish if you find it thick. A stronger flavor develops after 24 hours. You can refrigerate the dish for 3 to 4 days if you like.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Bit Difficult
Main Dish
Onam, Vishu
Toor Dal
Everyday, Healthy
Preparation Time: 
40 Minutes
Cook Time: 
45 Minutes
Ready In: 
85 Minutes
The Onam Sambar is a very versatile dish that can be had with many different side dishes. Most Malayalis first offer the dish to the Gods before feasting on it on Onam. The Onam Sambar can be made on other days too. Try it now.
Kerala Lentil And Vegetable Curry
Someone who is not from Kerala is sure to ask “What is so special about Kerala Sambar?” The answer you are likely to get from someone who is from Kerala is “It’s different from the from the typical Sambars made in the other South Indian states.” Well watch this recipe to learn how to make a traditional Kerala-style Sambar. It is not only a dish that you must have on your menu when preparing an authentic Kerala meal for festive occasions, it is also a great way to use up all the leftover vegetables in your r

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 441 Calories from Fat 128

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 15 g22.8%

Saturated Fat 7 g34.9%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 373.5 mg15.6%

Total Carbohydrates 65 g21.7%

Dietary Fiber 16.2 g64.9%

Sugars 13.2 g

Protein 18 g37%

Vitamin A 187.2% Vitamin C 150.2%

Calcium 23.9% Iron 27.7%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet


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Special Kerala-Style Sambar Recipe Video, Kerala Lentil And Vegetable Curry