Most commonly heard in one breath as 'idli sambar' or 'vada sambar', sambar is a hearty lentil-based broth that is a popular dish from south Indian cuisine. This wholesome accompaniment can be served with a variety of dishes like plain rice, dosa, idli, vada, appam and more.
Sambar may be a popular south Indian preparation today but as it turns out, its origin can be traced back to the Maratha kingdom. According to the late food historian, KT Achaya, the mention of sambar dates back to the 17th century. Some reports suggest that the origin of this popular dish was actually an accident. During the reign of Shahuji I, the traditional Maharashtrian dish, amti, which is usually prepared with moong dal and kokum was instead prepared with tur dal and tamarind pulp. The newly invented lentil dish in the Maratha ruler's kitchen was then named 'sambar' after Sambhaji, the second ruler of the Maratha kingdom.
Healthy and wholesome sambar on a bed of steamed rice is the perfect hearty meal in most south Indian homes. Follow the step-by-step instructions in this recipe video in which Gurdip Kohli Punj shows you how to make the perfect bowl of sambar.
The key ingredient that adds a punch of flavour to sambar is the aromatic and flavourful sambar powder. It is traditionally made at home with roasted lentils and a mix of spices. Making sambar power at home is not a tedious task and you can easily make it in under 10 minutes. Click here for the perfect way to make homemade sambar powder to relish authentic sambar.
Expert Tips for Sambar Recipe
Are you an amateur cook? Are you struggling to make the perfect bowl of sambar despite having the sambar recipe? Dread not, these expert tips will help you to master the art of preparing the most delicious and authentic sambar. From picking the best tur dal to getting the tadka right, homemakers share tips to make sambar recipe at home.
A bar in Mumbai takes its inspiration from the south Indian delicacy Sambar. Punning on the staple lentil dish, this quirky pub has grabbed a lot of people's attention. With cocktails like Rasam Mary and Anna Colada, SamBar is definitely the place to visit for a one-of-a-kind experience. Click here to check out the detailed review of this place.
One of the dishes you can quickly prepare with steamed rice, sambar and a bunch of veggies is sambar sadam which means nothing but sambar rice. The combination of rice, sambar and vegetables cooked together is pretty much similar to bisi bele bath, but sambar sadam has its own unique taste. Chef Gautam Mehrishi shows you to make sambar sadam in this recipe video.
Click here for the step-by-step sambar sadam recipe.
Kadhamba sadam is another one-pot south Indian dish which contains a healthy mix of rice, vegetables, sambar and rasam. The cooked rice-dal and vegetable mix tastes great with pappadams. Chef Vaibhav Mahajan shows you how to make kadhamba sadam in this recipe video.
Click here for the step-by-step kadhamba sadam recipe.
Move Beyond Idli-Dosa
Why stay limited to idli, dosa or plain rice when south India offers many other rice-based preparations to enjoy with sambar. Neer dosa, chakodi, pathiri and ela ada are some other delicacies made using rice. Read more about these rice-based preparations.
Idli sambar and dosa may have become the most popular dishes from Udupi cuisine, perhaps because they make for delightful quick bites but there is a lot more to Udupi cuisine than just dosa and sambar. If these dishes have piqued your interest in Udupi cuisine, read about the other delicacies that make up a typical Udupi thali.
Best Udupi Meals in Mumbai
For the best Udupi restaurants in Mumbai, head to Matunga. When locals from Udupi migrated to Mumbai, they settled in this region and opened some of the best Udupi restaurants known to the city today. You're sure to get the most authentic Udupi experience at these restaurants.
Some of the most healthy and nutritious south Indian breakfast staples such as steamed idli, dosa and uttapam are served alongside an assortment of chutneys and sambar. Here are some more simple and healthy Indian breakfast options.
Traditionally homemade crispy crepe-style dosas are served with a ladleful of hot sambar and some freshly prepared coconut chutney. But if you want to try something more interesting then you can ditch the cliched dosa combinations and try savoury preparations such as korma, xacuti and beef fry with it. Click here to read some of the top savoury dishes that go well with plain dosas.
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