Shallot Sambar - South Indian

Sruthis.Kitchen's picture

Aug. 23, 2013

There are so many varieties of making Sambar and here is one of them. The sweet shallots cooked with tangy, spicy lentil soup is a perfect side dish for any meal to make it complete and flavorful. Shallot Sambar recipe that I shared here is our family's signature recipe. Here goes the recipe for this yummy Sambar.


For the dal
Toor dal 1/2 Cup (8 tbs) , soaked (for 30 minutes and drained)
Turmeric powder 1/2 Teaspoon
Tomato 1 Medium , chopped
Water 1 1/2 Cup (24 tbs) , divided
For the shallots
Shallot 1 Cup (16 tbs) , peeled and chopped
Oil 1 Teaspoon
For the seasoning
Mustard seeds 1/2 Teaspoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 Teaspoon
Asafoetida 1 Pinch
Sambar powder 3/4 Teaspoon
Red chili powder 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt To Taste
Sugar 1 Teaspoon
Jaggery pieces 1 Medium (Optional)
Tamarind flakes 5 Medium , soaked
Water 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Cilantro 2 Tablespoon , chop
Curry leaves sprigs 1 Medium



1. Soak the tamarind in ¼ cup of water for some time, set aside.


For the dal

2. In the pressure cooker pour 1 cup water and place a bowl in the center, in the bowl add the dal, ½ cup of water, turmeric powder, salt and tomato. Pressure cook until 5 whistles.

3. In the meantime extract juice from the tamarind and set aside.

For the shallots

4. In another pan pour 1 teaspoon of oil and sauté the shallots, sprinkle pinch of salt and cook until tender.

5. In the meantime mash the dal with a hand blender and add it to the cooked shallots.

6. Add tamarind juice, 1 cup of water, red chili powder, sugar, jaggery, sambar powder and bring everything to a boil.

For the seasonings

7. In another pan pour oil and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and cilantro. Add the seasoning to the boiling sambar.


8. Serve with rice, idli or dosa.


In case you find it difficult to peel the shallots then warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds and once they become soft you can peel the skin easily.

You can add 2 dried red chilies to the seasoning this will give added flavor to the sambar.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Medium
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 3

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 210Calories from Fat 28

 % Daily Value*

Total Fat 3 g4.6%

Saturated Fat %

Trans Fat 0 g


Sodium 185 mg7.71%

Total Carbohydrates 38 g12.7%

Dietary Fiber 6 g24%

Sugars 7 g

Protein 10 g20%

Vitamin A % Vitamin C %

Calcium % Iron %

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet