How to make Sambar Powder

I have been clipping recipes from magazines and newspapers since God knows when. A friend says I’m an ‘obsessive recipe collector’. I’d say, I’m consistent in my collection of recipes. 🙂 Are some of you like me? Enjoy collecting recipes?

I enjoy flipping through my recipe files reading through like I would a magazine, trying to imagine the taste of a particular dish. Its another story that most of these filed recipes have never seen the light of the day, at least, in my kitchen. These days, I tend to rely more on bookmarked recipes from fellow bloggers that inspire me to try out in my kitchen.

Sambar Powder

One such bookmarked recipe that I tried is sambar podi from Shri. Hemant Trivedi’s cookery website. Hemant ji (do not mistake him for the fashion designer who shares the same name) is a culinary expert on Indian cuisine, especially cuisines of South India and Gujarat. Do visit his website for some authentic, down-to-earth recipes that actually work. I have been following his stunning sambar podi recipe with great success and am happy to share it with you, dear readers.

I prepare enough podi to last 2 weeks and usually prepare sambar once a week. I do not stock on large quantities of podi since sambar prepared with freshly ground sambar podi is far superior compared to sambar prepared with store bought or months old home made podi. The aroma of roasted and coarsely powdered sambar podi fills the home luring its inmates to a comfort-promising meal.

Original recipe ~ Hemant ji’s Sambar Podi

How to make Sambar Powder/Podi

Sambar Podi Ingredients

Sambar Podi Recipe

Preparation: 15-20 mts

Yields: 5 – 5 1/2 tbsps

Cuisine: South Indian



2 1/2 tbsps coriander seeds/dhania/dhaniyalu

1 1/4 tbsps red gram dal/tur dal/kandi pappu

3/4 tbsp bengal gram dal/channa dal/senaga pappu

3/4 tbsp split black gram dal/urad dal/minappapu

4-5 dried red chillies/lal mirchi/endu mirapakayalu

1 tsp pepper corns/kali mirch/miriyalu

1/4 tsp mustard seeds/ria/avalu

1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds/methi/menthulu

1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera/jeelakara

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd/haldi/pasupu

1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing/inguva

5-7 fresh curry leaves/kadi patta/karivepaaku

1 Heat a heavy bottomed vessel and roast the dals on low to medium heat for 4-5 mts till the dals release their flavor and turn golden. Remove and keep aside. Add methi seeds and roast for 3-4 mts till they turn red. Remove and keep aside. Add coriander seeds and roast for 4-5 mts till they turn dark brown and release their flavor. Remove and keep aside. Add the mustard seeds and roast till they start to pop. Remove and keep aside. Add cumin seeds and pepper corns and roast for 2-3 mts. Remove and keep aside. Finally roast the dry red chillis and curry leaves for a mt and remove. Cool all the ingredients completely.
2 Place the podi ingredients along with turmeric pwd and asafoetida in a blender and grind to make a coarse powder as shown in the picture above.
3 Store in an air tight container.


The proportion for podi given above is enough to last 2-3 weeks.

Earlier ‘How to’ articles:
How to make butter and ghee – photo tutorial
How to make rava dosa – photo tutorial
How to make ginger garlic paste
How to blanch tomatoes & onions

How to make Sambar Powder

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  tur dal
  •   red chillis


I have been clipping recipes from magazines and newspapers since god knows when. A friend says I'm an 'obsessive recipe collector'. I'd say, I'm consistent in my collection of recipes. :) Are some of you like me? Enjoy collecting recipes?
  • Cilantro

    I have a large collection of recipes with me. My mother collects them and writes it down when she tries them..the olden ways of blogging I guess, all my cousins have her hand written recipe book.
    Sambar podi looks good, although there are not many recipes on Hemanth Ji’s site, each one is a gem. I have tried many of his recipes too.

  • Gauri

    The first time i made sambhar powder, it didn’t come out so well.. i will try this sometime.. 🙂

    how have you been and how was the Diwali?


    Do try this recipe, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Doing good, Gauri. Diwali was low-key affair this year. Hope you had a wonderful Diwali this year. 🙂

  • Rog Peppe

    I have just checked out Hemant Trivedi’s website, and it indeed looks promising, thanks! As I had 3 beetroots from my neighbour’s garden sitting begging to be used, I’ve just made his beetroot curry (, and although it’s still not quite done (the beetroot is doing the final rest as we speak), it tastes wonderful already.

    What quantity do you think he implies when he says “2 ladles of oil”? I thought maybe 3 tbsp, but only because I thought that might be an appropriate amount. What do you think?

    BTW, thanks again for your great blog!

    I guess, he implied a lot of oil. 🙂 You could make do with 2 tbsps of oil for 3 beetroots. That recipe is a keeper and is loved by all at home.

  • Durga

    I tried this Sambar podi today, it is tooooooooo good

  • Jayashree

    I’m happy to find people with the same idiosyncrasy – collecting recipes!
    I’ve been religiously noting down recipes from TV shows with great optimism of trying them out one day. Now a days, as you said, I too am more inspired by the fellow bloggers recipes. I like your blog & visit regularly. I’m new to the blogging world. Please do stop by my blog sometime.

  • Pallavi

    Hi sailu,

    Am new to ur site. Ur Blog is wonderful. I have already tried out ur aloo-cauliflower dry subzi and is a hit in my home. Today only i was wondering how to prepare sambar podi and bingo! U have posted the same. I believe its telepathy. Anyways, ur Blog is rocking, super and cool. Keep up the good work. Bye – pallavi

  • Pallavi

    Hi sailu,

    Today I have prepared sambar with ur sambar podi. Its excellent. And one question, when do we add this powder? After we finish the sambar or while its still boiling? Please clear my doubt. Thank u for the wonderful podi that u have posted today. Expecting ur reply soon. Cheers.

    You need to add the podi after the vegetables are almost cooked and the rawness of tamarind disappears. Add it towards the end of the cooking process and boil for another 7-8 mts and add the tadka/seasoning. Turn off heat and place lid. I will blog sambar recipe tomorrow.

  • VikasK

    it is good to go back to basics at times. i will try the podi over the weekend.

    one very basic question:
    how much is a tsp and tbsp? i have never really understood this diff.

    usually i add what seems comfortable, but don’t want to mess up with proportions in a podi. it may end up making a huge difference to the taste.

    • quasardrake

      I know this is a very old comment, but in case you or anyone else needs this information I will answer.

      First it should be understood, that these are measures of Volume, NOT weight. In the United States, a gallon is specifically defined as 128 fluid ounces. Other volumetric measures are defined in relation to this. A gallon contains four quarts, or sixteen cups. A cup, therefore, is eight ounces. In conversion to the metric volume, an ounce is 29.6 ml, which is rounded up to thirty milliliters. A Teaspoon (tsp) is 5 ml (5 cubic centimeters or milliliters). Three teaspoons equal a tablespoon. A Tablespoon (tbsp) is 15 ml, or three times as much as a teaspoon. A tablespoon, thus, is also 1/2 (one half) of an ounce(by volume).

      A “measuring” cup, in the US, is supposed to hold eight ounces, but is often listed as 250 ml, instead of 240. Many measuring cups I have seen here in the United States are marked as 250 ml. This discrepancy is due (I believe) to rounding up to a more familiar metric measurement of one quarter liter. Measures called gallons, quarts, pints and cups have different volumes in the US than they used to in the old Imperial system in Great Britain. Britain, however no longer uses Imperial measurements. In cookbooks I have seen in the last fifteen or twenty years, when teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, ounce, etc., etc., volume measurements are being used, they are referring to US custom measurements for these colloquially named volumes. When the US customary fluid ounce was converted to a metric measurement it was redefined as 30 ml in order to make smaller measures easier to convert. Yes, it’s complicated.

      Generally speaking, in cutlery sets, the smallest standard spoon is called a teaspoon, and the next size up is called a tablespoon. However, these days, cutlery is not always standardized to hold the correct measurements. So never use ordinary table cutlery spoons to measure; use marked sets of measuring spoons instead. Just FYI, one quarter cup (US units) is 2 ounces, or four tablespoons. You can find 2 ounce measuring glasses that are marked down to 5 ml increments, which makes measuring these small amounts much easier.

      I hope this is helpful to someone. If you want the short version, 1 teaspoon (tsp) = 5 ml; 1 tablespoon (tbsp) = 15 ml.

  • pallavi

    hi sailu,

    I have made sambar today using ur powder and it has turned out great. But am having only one doubt. Should we add the powder while the sambar is boiling or when the recipe is fully done? Please reply. Thank u and one more thing. Ur Blog is of great help to novices like me. Especially ur kids section is superb. I have cooked many excellent breakfast recipes for my 2 year old daughter and am continuing it. My family is a huge fan of ur cooking. Keep up the culinary food fest. Cheers- pallavi

    You need to add the podi after the vegetables are almost cooked and the rawness of tamarind disappears. Add it towards the end of the cooking process and boil for another 7-8 mts and add the tadka/seasoning. Turn off heat and place lid. I will blog sambar recipe tomorrow. ~ Sailaja

  • kovida

    Hi Sailu,

    Its been a long time since i prepared sambar. These days I am preparing just pappuchaaru ‘coz i get a different taste everytime with powder bought from shop (Iyengar sambar powder). Can I prepare ur recipe powder in bulk and store?
    Thanks in Advance.


    Yes, Kovida, you can prepare in bulk and freeze.

  • R.Punitha

    Hi Sailu,
    i also make sambar podi like yours Sailu ,
    and i add very little puffed rice to it
    to avoid water consistency in sambar.
    Is it right or wrong Sailu?
    Take care , Bye….

  • viji

    Sailu, I hop in to your site every now and then and followed several recipes of yours. Good recipes in detail. Inspired by you and many others started a blog of my own. would appreciate if you visited mine and i value your comments! An authentic sambar powder recipe!

  • Anonymous

    Sailu – On the same note, please post rasam powder recipe too. No more store bought stuff.

  • Priti

    Dear Sailu

    I have been waiting since ages for you to blog about Sambar and Tamarind rice recipes since my husband loves these two. Apart from that we have a Venkateshwara Statue newly installed at the India centre in our city of Cardiff, UK and every saturday we go to do Puja and take naivedyam. I want to master Pulihora recipe before taking it since it turns out so bad every time I attempt it.

  • Avisha

    The Sambhar powder recipe… wonderful, I loved it. I always make from package mix powder but now onwards will use your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • sailaja

    wow… what a coincidence… i’m also sailaja, my puttillu is on beach road, vizag (i kind of grew up along the beach – my house overlooking the beach). i used to collect tons of recipes from various magazines like women’s era (i wonder if it is still in circulation), femina even before i started cooking (well, they r eating dust at my mother’s home) and recipe books and also used to write down recipes from tv shows, some of my mom’s, relatives etc into a diary (around 15 years!) which is still with me (i consider it as my gita for cooking). And nowadays i’m following food blogs for ideas for my everyday cooking!

  • Hemant Trivedi

    Hello Sailu Madam,

    I am thrilled to note that my sambar powder recipe is your favorite and you have given me credit on your blog. Thanks.

    Do visit my blog for latest recipes. Some of them are totally innovative.


    Hemant Trivedi

  • Sunitha

    Your receipes are so nice. I love almost all of them. I want to print this recipe to share with my friend but print function is not working. Could you please fix it. Thanks a lot for sharing your recipes.

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  • Namitha

    Hi Sailu,

    I have no words to express my sincere appreciation towards you.

    You are really amazing. Sincerely Hats off to you.

    This is my first comment, every time I feel I will write to you. But, since I check your website from office I am always reluctant to comment. But today I cldnt control myself in expressing my feelings to you.

    You are really Superb!!!!!!!

    Would be grateful if you can share how to make Garam Masala Powder.

    I am from Mangalore originally but working in Mumbai.
    Keep up the great work.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes.

    Best Wishes Namitha

  • aarthi

    Hi Sailu,
    My husband can live with sambhar alone 6 day a week. I tried your recipe and it is a success. It is now a staple along with the other podis i make at home.

    I would very much appreciate if you could also post garam masala recipe.

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  • Bhargavi

    Hello Sailu garu,
    Thanks for the Sambar powder recipe. I have been searching for this for a while. I tried ur recipe and it was a hit! I got good reviews from friends and family. Can you please post recipe for Garam masala(Andhra style) too.

    Thanks once again!
    Keep going!

  • manjula

    in your recipe are u sure the cumin seeds and other seeds are just 1/4 tsp. not 1/4 tbl spoon.s please clarify ASAP/


    • Sailu

      Yes, I am sure of the measurements. Its tsp and not tbsp.

  • Manjula

    Thanks so much for the prompt reply. Let me re-phrase my email. The last email was written really in desperate time.

    I’m a big fan of your recipes. So fortunate to have you in my cookbook/site list. There are so many recipes which I’ve tried and got lots and lots of comments. I myself do lots of experiments in the kitchen. When u get time please visit my blog too..

    Also when u make cake can u tell me American Cooking range temp. details. I’m very poor at converting measurements from Indian to US.

    On the last note THANKS SO MUCH for posting such mouth watering and easy to follow recipes.

    Happy cooking & Eating from me to you

    • Sailu

      There is nothing like American or Indian settings in terms of temperature. Its either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Approx conversions —- 300 F = 150 C, 325 F = 165 C, 350 F = 177 C, 375 F = 190 C, 400 F = 200 C

      You can google for temperature conversions.
      Hope this helps.

  • Shahla

    I too tried this recipe today. It’s really good!

  • revati

    hi sailu,
    i just love this recipie!!
    very easy too!!

  • Angel Jesslin

    thank u so much for the recipe…!!!

  • vandana

    its really good .it would be really nice if you added some dry coconut powder or fresh coconut.this will make it more delicious….

  • Drmariana

    have given to all my friends this recipe but one mother in law cause an uproar in family saying her daughter in law is becoming easy not cooking the old fashioned way Malaysian Indian way.
    I tried explaining the sambar powder is very much an Indian recipe and now I am not allowed to visit the family.

  • Ranjeet verma


  • Venkatesh

    Wow I just made it and it was amazing

  • Shafika Akram

    Dear Sailu,
    Thank you very much for sharing this magic powder recipe. I tried your quantity of ingredients and prepared Sambar. It came out really delicious taste.

  • Archana Mallya

    Thank you! Nice sambar powder.