Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people


Sambhar Masala

  • 5 red chillies broken into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp chana dahl (split bengal gram)
  • 1/2 tsp skinned urad dahl (skinned black gram)
  • 1 tsp toovar dahl
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

Dahl Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup toovar (arhar) dahl, washed and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp  asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 cup pumpkin cubes
  • 1/2 cup potato cubes
  • 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup drumstick pieces (each cut into 2)
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 cup water additional
  • Salt to taste


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 dried red chilli, broken into pieces
  • 1 tbsp  finely chopped coriander


Sambhar Masala

  • Heata frying pan and turn the heat to low once the pan is hot.
  • Dry roast chana dahl, urad dahl, toovar dahl and red chillies until the dahls turn golden brown.
  • Add coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds and continue to roast all together on low heat until the coriander seeds turn cunchy; the fenugreeks seeds change colour and become fragrant.
  • When the fenugreek seeds become aromatic, add the cumin seeds, black peppercorn and curry leaves and continue to dry roast on a low flame for a further 6minutes. 
  • Transfer to a plate and cool completely before grinding to a powder.

Dahl & Tempering

  • Combine the toovar dahl, turmeric powder, asafetida and 1½ cups of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  • Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Whisk the dahl well.
  • Combine the whisked dahl, vegetables, salt and 1½ cups of water in a deep non-stick pan, mix well and cover with a lid and cook on a medium flame for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Add the tamarind pulp, 1/2 cup of water and the prepared sambhar masala, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chopped coriander and mix well and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a small non-stick pan, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the curry leaves and red chilies and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds. Add tempering to the prepared sambhar and mix well.
  • Serve hot with Idli or Dosa


  • You can add sliced eggplant to the sambhar along with other vegetables.
  • Drumsticks (saijan is available from Indian grocers, in the freezer section)