Chettinadu Sambar

Chettinadu cuisine is popular in Tamil Nadu, they are known for using a variety of fresh and roasted spices along with coconut. Dishes are aromatic, flavorful and finger licking delicious.


For Roasting

  • Oil
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Cumin seeds-
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Small onions
  • Coconut grated
  • Oil
  • Mustard seeds
  • Whole dry red chilies
  • Curry leaves
  • Toordal or Pigeon pea
  • Drumsticks (or use mixed veggies like carrot, potatoes, eggplant, lady’s finger, small onions)
  • Turmeric powder
  • Chili powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Salt- to taste
  • Water
  • Asafetida
  • Fresh coriander
  • Tamarind extract


Roasting Coconut

  • Place a pan over medium heat, add oil and let turn hot.
  • Add fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds, saute for a few seconds. Be careful not to burn the fenugreek seeds.
  • Add garlic, saute for a few seconds.
  • Add small onions and coconut, roast till coconut turns golden brown in color.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, let coconut cool down for a bit.
  • Add to a blender along with ¼ cup water and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Cooking vegetables
  • Soak 3 inch slice fresh tamarind in 6 tbsp warm water for 3 minutes, squeeze the tamarind in water and extract the juice, strain the juice.
  • Place a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add oil, let turn hot.
  • Add mustard seeds, let it splutter.
  • Add whole dry red chilies and curry leaves, saute for a few seconds.
  • Add Toordal, saute for a minute.
  • Add drumsticks, combine well.
  • Add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Combine well.
  • Add 1½ cups water, combine well.
  • Cover the pressure cooker with its lid, place the whistle and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or till 2 whistles.
  • Let the pressure subside and open the lid.
  • Combine the cooked lentil and drumsticks.
  • Add Asafetida and combine well.
  • Add the ground roasted coconut paste, combine well.
  • Add tamarind extract, combine well.
  • Add ½ cup to ¾ cup water to thin down the gravy and cook till gravy starts to boil.
  • Taste and add more chili powder if more spice is needed and salt for taste.
  • Add chopped cilantro, combine well and cook for a minute.
  • Remove the pan from the stove, keep it covered for some time.

Serve with rice, idli,

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