Sambar is a popular South Indian lentil preparation. Healthy and delicious, sambar is the perfect accompaniment with a piping hot bowl of rice as well as idlis, dosas and vadas. Plus, it's easy to make. Chef Gurdip Kohli Punj shares the classic sambar recipe.
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Cooking Time

30-35 Min

Meal Type


Preparation Time

20 Min




  • 1 cup pigeon peas, soaked
  • 1 tbsp split black lentils
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp split Bengal gram
  • 2½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4 red chillies, dried
  • 1½ tbsp coconut, grated
  • ½ cup bottle gourd, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup eggplant, chopped
  • ½ cup pumpkin, chopped
  • 6-7 pieces of drumsticks
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp, Salt to taste, Water as required
  • For tempering: Add 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil1 tsp mustard seeds2red dried chillies9-10 curry leaves½ tsp asafoetida
  • For plating: Banana leaf


  1. 1

    Wash pigeon peas thoroughly and pressure cook till soft.
  2. 2

    Heat a pan and add the cooked pigeon peas.
  3. 3

    Let them boil.
  4. 4

    Add chopped bottle gourd, diced onion, chopped eggplant, chopped pumpkin, and drumsticks pieces.
  5. 5

    Stir and allow the dal to boil.
  6. 6

    Dry roast the split black lentils, fenugreek seeds, split Bengal gram, coriander seeds, and dry red chillies in another pan.
  7. 7

    Blend these roasted spices with grated coconut and some water to a smooth paste.
  8. 8

    Add this mixture to the sambar.
  9. 9

    Stir and add salt, turmeric powder, and tamarind pulp while the sambhar continues to boil.
  10. 10

    For the tempering, heat coconut oil in a pan.
  11. 11

    Add mustard seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves, and asafoetida.
  12. 12

    Add the tempering to the sambar and put the flame off.
  13. 13

    Decorate the serving plate with a banana leaf and serve the sambar hot with rice.

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