Sambhar – Thick Lentil Soup with Mixed Vegetables

Sambhar - South Indian Lentil Stew

Dr.Gurusamy of Gluttony is no Sin got me on his Capsicum Sambhar. Its a typical South Indian thick lentil soup and is a delight to have steaming hot sambhar on a cold winter day. Thank you, Doc, for sharing your recipe. I have added carrots, tomatoes, baby onions and a dash of jaggery in addition to the ingredients provided in Doc’s recipe. Tastes good.

The lentil used is split red gram (called kandi pappu in telugu, tur dal in hindi) and the vegetables used are carrot, baby onions, tomato and capsicum.

1 cup tur dal (split red gram, kandi pappu) – washed and boiled till soft or pressure cooked
1 chopped large tomato
5-6 baby onions (peeled)
1 big capsicum( chopped into 2″ pieces)
1 carrot (chopped into 2″ pieces)
3-4 slit green chillis
2 tsp sambhar pwd
1 tsp curry masala pwd (2 tbsp corainder seeds, 1 tbsp channa dal, 6-8 whole dry red chillis, 1 tbsp poppy seeds and 2 tbsps grated coconut – dry roast and grind to a coarse pwd) – store the left over curry masala pwd in the fridge
2 tbsp tamarind paste (or big lemon sized tamarind pulp soaked in warm water to remove the extract)
1 tsp grated jaggery or sugar (optional and not mentioned in Doc’s recipe)

For tempering/popu/talimpu/tadka:

1/2 tsp mustard seeds (aavalu, ria)
10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds, menthulu)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (inguva, hing)
1 whole dry red chilli (de-seed and tear into pieces)

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or cooking dish.Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
Now add the fenugreek seeds,curry leaves,dry red chilli and asafoetida and fry for 10-15 seconds or till fenugreek seeds brown.Dont burn it.
Now add all the veggies (baby onions,capsicums,carrots and tomatoes) and green chillis and stir fry for 3 minutes.

Now add the pressure cooked tur dal along with 2 cups of water and mix well till it blends with the veggies. Bring it to boil and let it cook for 7-8 minutes.
Now add the tamarind paste along with one cup of water and mix well.Cook till rawness of tamarind disappears.

Add salt, sambhar pwd and curry masala pwd and mix well. Let it cook for 10-12 minutes.
I like to add some jaggery or sugar. But its according to individual taste and optional.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and sambhar is ready.

Sambhar can be had as a steaming hot thick soup. Generally served with idlis/dosas/vadas and rice. Tonight we are having sambhar with idlis (steamed rice cakes).

Thank you Doc for sharing your recipe..:)

Sambhar – Thick Lentil Soup with Mixed Vegetables

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  tur dal
  •   tamarind
  •   vegetables
  •   capsicum


Sambar, an easy South Indian thick lentil soup that is a delight to the senses. Can you imagine relishing steaming hot sambhar on a cold winter day?
  • Stephanie

    Oooh…Sailu! That sounds fantastic.

    Ever since we first saw Indira’s blog, Matt and I have talked about getting a pressure cooker. If I’m going to make the dishes on your site, as well as her’s, I’d better hurry up and buy one!

  • Doc

    Phew, finally I made it to your blog. It is 6 am on a busy Monday morning and look at me sitting tight on your blog and commenting ;))))

    Thanks for the mention, Sails. Nice to know that you added some jaggery and made yourself yummilicious sambhar;)))

    Sails…I have to tell you something…Just check the links under Indian Food Bloggers on your site….you have linked your site:))))) Wowzy ;))))) j/k

    Ok then bye for now, laters!
    Chou (or is it Ciao;))))

  • sailu

    Oh yes better get one soon…:):)

  • sailu

    Your welcome,Doc!

  • Simmi

    thankz for recepie. seems very tasty.

  • srinatya

    i am natya from moscow(Russia).
    i really liked ur reciepes. Today i have tried sambar. it’s really good.
    thank u for the blog. keep posting more and more reciepes.

  • Divya

    Hi Sailu,

    Though sambar is a very basic south indian dish, I somehow never got it right..but i tried ur recipie yesterday and it came out very well..I was reminded of the sambar mom makes :)i have even tried the Vankaya was just too good.. I live in US and i usually call my mom to ask the recipies. Because of the time difference, i used to postpone making some dishes..Buy now i know where exactly to look for authentic andhra dishes ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure going to spread the word about your site..

    Thank u so much..

  • Lakshmi

    Thanks for the receipe.
    It was simpleand tasted delicious

  • Madhavi Nomula

    Your recipes are really good. The pictures are great as well. They inspire me to cook. I keep coming back to your site all the time.


  • Shankar

    Thanks for your recipe .really its very easy to make and very tasty as my mom cook

  • Neelima

    Which sambhar powder do you use?

  • FQ

    Sailu, i have never made andhra cuisine earlier. This was my 1st experiment, one of the “best” ones. My family simply loved the dish. Came out simply tasty and lip smacking. The bowl was cleaned in one meal ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you!