Sambhar is quite an essential in a South Indian home. I love South Indian food. Though I don’t really know how to make most of the dishes. This is a shortcut method to making Sambhar, it’s tangy and spicy and the perfect accompaniment to hot dosas or idlis!

You need toor (arhar) dal, sambhar powder, tamarind paste, whole red chilies and mustard seeds.




Cook the toor dal in some water with a pinch of turmeric and salt. This should take about 3 whistles if you’re using a pressure cooker.





Add the sambhar powder and the tamarind paste to the sambhar and mix thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a simmer and turn the heat off. You could add some more water at this point if you prefer a thinner sambhar; or, you could cook it down for a few minutes if you prefer a thicker sambhar! You then heat up some oil and throw in some mustard seeds and red chilies. Once the mustard seeds have finished spluttering pour the tadka into your sambhar.




Serve the sambhar piping hot with dosas or idlis.





  • 1 cup Toor Dal
  • 3 cup Water
  • 1 pinch Turmeric
  • 1tbsp Tamarind Paste
  • 1tbsp Sambhar Powder
  • 2 dried Red Chilies
  • 1tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1tbsp Oil
Cook the dal with the water, turmeric and salt till it is soft.
Mix the cooked dal, tamarind paste and sambhar powder together and simmer for a minute.
Heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds and red chili.
Pour the oil mixture (tadka) over the dal and stir.
You could boil the dal again but its not necessary.
Serve hot with dosas and chutney.