Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sambar | Kerala style Sambar (Without Coconut) | Varutharacha Sambar | Arachuvitta Sambar

There was a time when I never used to get Sambar right. That was during my spinster times. I used to feel so bad then and complain to my mom, 'I am not able to make even a simple sambar'. Now you might think how can such a basic recipe like Sambar go wrong? Sometimes the most simple & commonly made dish would not turn out good until you find out the small trick & nuances of it that makes your shtyle stand out from others' right?? And to make matters worse, after marriage, Deeps became a fan of my mom's Sambar. He too fell prey for her Idly, coconut chutney & sambar combo special of my mom ;)

But that's not the end of the story.. I found out that even Deeps made awesome Sambar. I was like 'Ohh my, I am doomed now'. Finally one day with the determination of mastering it, I called up my mom and got the recipe. I was asking her, 'Ma tell me, how much tamarind.. What do you mean a lemon sized?? Small one or big one? How many spoons of coriander seeds' Finally she got fed up.. She was like 'Chitra, add little of everything. Taste it and add more if required'. I was skeptical and scared the first time and was with crossed fingers when Deeps came from office & tasted it. But he was very impressed. He was like, 'This tastes the best. Better than my mom & yours' That's the best compliment that you can ever get for cooking, right?? I was thrilled.

But I forgot how much of everything I had added. Lol.. Then I understood why my mom said lil of this and a lemon sized of that !! After that I slowly got the hang of the quantity. And most of the times I cooked this special sambar of mom's like a professional. So when Hasna suggested me to link up 'Butter Beans Masala' of my mom's for her lovely 'Mummy Ka Magic' event, I thought this is the most apt one for the event, as this recipe would always be the numero Uno of my mom's best veggie dishes :D. Her shtyle as it's simple and with NO coconut and a hit among our guests !!

Recipe Source: Ma

I Took: 

Preparation Time:40 minutes

Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes

Serves: 4-5 

I Used:

Tur Dal - ½ cup
Onion - 1 medium sized - sliced
Tomato - 1 no - cut into 8
1 no - large
3-4 nos
Ladies Finger
4-5 nos (small ones)
a small lemon sized
Garlic - 2 cloves
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Asafoetida - ½ tsp
Curry Leaves - 2-3 sprigs
Coriander Leaves - 2-3 sprigs
Salt - As Needed

To Roast & Grind:
Oil - 2 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 3 tbsp
Red Chilly - 5 nos
Urd Dal - 3 tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds - ½ tsp
Asafoetida - 1 tsp

To Splutter:
Oil -2 tsp
Mustard  - 1 tsp
Red Chilly - 2 nos

The Way:

    1. Heat oil in a pan. Roast coriander seeds, red chilly & urd dal until it turns light golden brown in color. This would take 2-3 minutes

    2. Now add fenugreek seeds & asafoetida and roast for about a minute and not more. Else the fenugreek seeds can add a bitter taste if it's roasted for a longer time
    3. Allow this to cool & add water (3-4 tbsp) & grind it smoothly to a thick paste

    4. Soak tamarind in water for 15-20 minutes and extract the juice/pulp out of it and keep aside
    5. Rinse tur dal in water for 3-4 times and then soak them in water (around 2 cups) for 20-30 minutes

    6. Then pressure cook it with salt & garlic. Mash the pressure cooked dal well, so that there are no visible wholes of dal

    7. Heat a pan/kadai. Add the cut drumsticks (cut to 2 or 2.5 inch pieces). Add water (around 1 to 1.5 cups) and turmeric and salt
    8. Cook on medium flame until the drumsticks are half cooked. You can cover the pan and cook for faster cooking. This would take around 6-8 minutes

    9. Once the drumsticks are half cooked, add the onions (sliced), tomatoes (cut into 8 pieces), brinjal (cut into 8 or 12 depending on the size of the brinjal) , ladies finger (cut into 2 inch pieces) and other vegetables) and cook until the vegetables are half cooked

    10. Now add the ground paste (also adjust salt) and cook again until the vegetables are done
    11. Add the tamarind pulp & asafoetida (if needed. A strong aroma of asafoetida is a must for a good sambar :)) & allow it to come to a boil

    12. Then add the boiled & mashed dal. Cook for 3-4 minutes until all the ingredients come together 

    13. Add curry leaves and allow it to boil for another minute. Then switch off the flame
    14. In a tadka pan/kadai, heat oil. Splutter mustard and broken red chillies. Take care not to burn them

    15. Add the tadka to the sambar. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

    Serve hot with steamed rice or idly or dosa!


    • You can add more vegetables of your choice like pumpkin, potato, white gourd, radish, carrot & plantain stem
    • Adjust the quantity of ground masala as you increase the vegetables
    • Another variety is to omit all vegetables & onion and use only shallots (include tomato) called 'Ulli Sambar'. You can follow the same method for that also



    1. looks so tempting n very inviting.. i love sambar esp with masala dosa...

    2. this looks so good chitz... yeah, moms are so used to a little this and a little that... but then despite that, their sambar will taste the same everytime and ours different everytime!!! hehe... looks really yum, would love to try ur version... :)

    3. sambhar look so mouthwatering....yummy tummy

    4. Can guess how flavourful this sambhar will be, fingerlicking food definitely.

    5. Ohh dear, your sambar looks authentic even without coconut, yes the ishtyle is superb :-)
      Perefect for lunch with rice, sambar and papad. Love them any day.
      You are not gonna believe this, I made sambar too today and the only difference is I added shakti sambar powder, lazy me.
      Appreciate your patience in making sambar podi at home, good yeah.

      1. Thanks Pavithra !! Anything for taste dear :)

    6. Delicious and flavorful sambhar..

    7. I make it at home or out in restuarant , i have more sambhar than main dish. dosa or meduvada becomes side dish for me when i have sambhar with me. love it.

    8. Wow, yummy delicious Sambar... Fresh ground masala always makes the difference...
      Beautiful clicks...

    9. I have had my share of not getting the sambar right. Actually after much attempt, I can say that my sambar is acceptable as per the feedback of my other half. I am not a big fan of sambar but my other half need the dosage of sambar over rice.

      After looking through the list of ingredients, I now can polish the taste of the sambar I made. Great flavors for a perfect pairing with rice and one I am stunned over with.

      1. Thanks Nava :) Do try & let me know how u liked it !!

    10. Sambar looks superb! Perfectly made!! :)

    11. Lovely!!! thanks for sharing your mom's recipe :)
      great clicks...

    12. Tasty and tangy looking sambar. Wonderful clicks as well.

    13. tempting and flavorful sambar....

    14. love this kerala style sambar.looks delicious

    15. Sambar looks fabulous, love to have it dear.

    16. Sambar is my very fav Chitz, wonderful prep, Yummy with papad ..slurp

    17. Authentic and flavorful sambar,love it

    18. It sure is an amazing feeling to be praised for your cooking..loved the simple sambar

    19. super yummy looking sambar and loved reading ur story behind it, it is these unforgettable memories that makes our life so very interesting....

    20. Samber is something that took me too so looooong to get right :) Your's look perfect Chitra - Oh, and what a great compliment from Deeps :)

    21. omg am drooling here pls send one hot bowl:)

    22. Lovely Clicks... Nice recipe to Dear. My Fav Sambhar.

    23. Chitz ha haa I can totally understand how desp on might get when the husband too could make better sambhar.

    24. flavorful version,inviting clicks dear:)

    25. you're right Chirta...sometimes, the simplest of things don't turn out right...I too took a long time to master the Sambar like how my mother made...The tamarind and the right blend of spices is what makes the best sambar...Love your version

    26. When I compare my cooking with my amma's it never is 'there' :-), your sambar looks delicious and perfect consistency too.

    27. Wow varutharacha sambar. Even am not a big fan of sambhar.. My husband likes sambhar.. and I learned it from mil. Mine is a simpler version. Yours sounds good. will try soon. :)

      1. Do let me know how u liked it Dhanish :)

    28. Perfect sambar.. Your clicks are awsome Chitz :-)

    29. Delicious sambar..thanks for visiting and following my space..glad to follow you.

    30. Una ricetta deliziosa e molto invitante!!! Un abbraccio e buon fine settimana

    31. That's my favorite Chitz...Very nostalgic too.

    32. Completely lip smacking clicks :) count me in im ur new follower :) also do visit my space would be glad if u follow me back or add me to G+
      Happy blogging!!

    33. Ha ha..i have the same story to tell..even after cooking all the complicated things and spl curries my sambar was not perfect for a long time,slowly mastering it,it all depend on my mood ..sometimes it comes out really grt,sometimes not..For me sambar is quite tricky to grt right :) This looks like a perfect sambar..mums recipes always rocks :)

      1. Hehe.. Yes Vineetha :) Looks like sambar has many stories to give to all !!

    34. very tempting n who says no to sambar?love this...

    35. very falvorful and inviting Sambar..excellent preparation, love ur verison too.

    36. So tempting one...i have never tried the ground masala sambar will try this out

    37. Too good! I love making sambar with freshly ground spices!

    38. Wow! Delicious sambar.Presentation superb.

    39. Gud one dear...
      Do peek into my space @ ur leisure..

    40. I love that pic with the sambar over the rice..makes me wanna just eat it right away. We don't make varuaracha sambar (that would be theeyal for us Kottayam-ites ;-) ), nor do we put coconut...but this version sounds yummy!

      1. Ohh. That shud be plain sambar then, right?? Even that is tasty :) Love sambar in any form !!

    41. gonna make sambar today for sure. havent had it in 2 much for the max. time limit for the sambar freak in me. badly addicted to it. ur luks really nice,. And Chitz... do drop by my new blog - pick quicks when u get the time...glad if u wud be a follower there as well.

    42. looks delicious, Chitz, your mom sounds exactly like my mom, never gives out exact measurement and I am always at guessing game!

      1. And I think that's what teaches us to improve our cooking, right??

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    44. That's yummm. Comfort meal it is for South Indians, anytime 'sambar'...count me in. :)

    45. Hope you are having an awesome vacation time in India!!
      I just wanna tell you that, I tried this sambar yesterday with the exact specification and it turned out too well and everybody at home(Im on a vacation too :)) appreciated it!!
      Thanks a bunch, Chitz!!

      1. Am very pleased to hear that Pavithra, will definitely convey this to mom :) That will make her very happy :)

    46. Thanks everyone for you lovely & valuable comments :)

    47. I tried this sambar,. it came out well. thanks dear :) I have posted in my blog too

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