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Tiffin Sambar Recipe

Posted on Sun 29 Mar 2015

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There are various methods of Sambar preparation for South Indian Tiffin. Mr. Idli Sambar is an amalgamation of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka recipes. According to our experience, the Sambar should have complete body (should be able to coat well with any dish dipped in it) as well as aroma. The balance of salt, sour, spice and vegetables has to be managed well to achieve the best sambar for your Idlis, Dosas and Snacks.

Every chef has his own secret ingredient and even I have a few secret ingredients and methods which are easy prepare but, you need to have all ingredients ready to make this recipe preparation a real cake walk.

Sambar Masala

We prepare our masalas fresh on daily basis. We do not compromise by following any shortcut methods. Any recipe needs a strong foundation and in South Indian and North Indian cuisine, it is the masalas and gravys which make the base of the recipe strong.

Ingredients: 8 to 10 Portions

  • Garlic 5 Peeled Cloves
  • Jeera/ Cumin Seeds 1 Tblspn
  • Black Pepper Corns 1 Tblspn
  • Urad Dal 3 Tblspn
  • Channa Dal 3 Tblspn
  • Curry Leaves Half Bunch
  • Sesame Seeds 1 Tblspn
  • Coriander Seeds 8 Tblspn
  • Dry Bedige Red Chilli 12 Whole Nos
  • Asafoetida 1 Pinch
  • Coconut Half Grated
  • Refined Sunflower Oil 4 Tblspn

My advice:

  • You can remove garlic if you are preparing Jain Sambar.
  • If you are preparing dry sambar powder than, the above ingredients need to be slightly tossed separately each time and you must grind it together. Coconut must not be added while preparing dry sambar powder. The dry sambar powder will remain for months if kept in air tight container.
  • For instant fresh sambar masala in our restaurant, we add sunflower refined oil and toss all ingredients excluding coconut. The oil helps in coating of the sambar masala and cooked evenly.


  1. Add Oil in a Casserole over a simmer. Make sure the casserole is not hot and smoky.
  2. Add Garlic followed by curry leaves, cumin seeds, urad dal, channa dal and black pepper corns.
  3. Add sesame seeds and coriander seeds. Do not rush or add all ingredients at one shot. Make sure to allow each ingredient to dance to its glory in the casserole (light pinkish colour or slightest colour change and flavour released from each ingredient)
  4. Add the dry bedige chilli and make sure the chilli gets the heat and releases the pungent and aromatic flavour.
  5. Remove from the casserole immediately and add pinch of asafetida and add the grated or thinly sliced, small portions of coconut along with the masala and grind in the mixie by adding little water which will help in grinding of the masalas.
  6. Keep the masala paste aside for later use.

Vegetables used in sambar:

  • Shallots or sambar onions, skin peeled 5 Nos
  • Regular onions, skin peeled and sliced 1 Nos
  • Red Tomatoes, finely chopped 5 Nos
  • Sweet Pumpkin, for cooking in the cooker along with toor dal 100 Grams
  • Carrot, peeled and cut into small cubes Half Carrot
  • Green Beans cut in to small pieces 3 Nos
  • Drumstick, cut in to small pieces and cooked in the cooker along with toor dal 1 No
  • Coriander leaves, chopped and used in the garnish Half Bunch

You can use green peas, brinjal, and ladies finger and also root veggies as an option

For cooking the dal in the cooker:

  • Toor Dal 200 Grams
  • Pumpkin and Drumstick which is mentioned in the vegetable list
  • Turmeric Powder ¼ Tspn

Add all the items in the cooker add water and cook for two whistle.

Final Method of preparation:

  1. Add 2 Tblspn oil and saute shallots until light brown, Add sliced onion and saute till transparent. Add tomatoes and cook till good paste. Add 1 Tblspn of Jaggery and cook for a while.
  2. Add the masala paste and mix well, add sufficient amount of water (Approximately 2 Litres), Add 2 Tblspn of tamarind paste, salt to taste.
  3. Bring the sambar to the boil and add the dal mixture and continue boiling. Keep checking the taste for balanced flavour. Simmer for 20 mins and your sambar is ready.
  4. In a small frying pan, add 1 Tblspn ghee, ¼ Tspn mustard seeds, 5 to 6 Curry leaves. Once the curry leaves splats, add it to the sambar.
  5. Make sure your sambar is not too thick or thin.

Now that your Sambar is ready, get your Vadas & Idlis and enjoy a yummy breakfast !!!

If you have any franchise queries please call +91 9036580222 or email You may also visit our website

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