Hotel Sambar (Saravana Bhavan style)

I am always on the lookout for new sambar recipes and Ive tried like umpteen kinds of sambars. We as a family have a weakness for hotel sambars, and Ive tried many hotel recipes too with good results.  But all of em have been time taking and a lil bit tedious. So when I saw this Saravana Bhavan style Sambar posted here, I had to try it and wow, It is good and also easy to prepare. So for the time being, my search for hotel style sambar ends here. Ive tried Sharmis tiffin style sambar too, thats also gooooooood but a lil more time taking... so this sambar gets my vote!!!!!

Take a gooseberry sized tamarind and soak in water and keep aside.
Clean coriander leaves, chop and keep aside.

Toor Dal: 3/4 cup

Pressure cook this with 2 cups water and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder for 5 whistles on high.
When the pressure is completely released, mash the dal with a spoon.

To saute:
Oil: 1 tbsp
Potato: 1 chopped
Cucumber: 1/4 cup chopped
Carrot or beans; 1/4 cup chopped
Tomato: 1 chopped

Heat oil and saute the potato and carrot beans first. Then add the tomato and cucumber and take off fire.

Add this to the cooked dal and pour one more cup water and let the vegetables get cooked.

Meanwhile take:
Tomato: 1
Coconut grated: 2 tbsp
Dry Roasted chenna dal: 1 tbsp
Sambar Powder: 1 tbsp (heaped)
Grind this into a smooth paste.

When the veggies are cooked, add this paste to it and let it boil.
Now add the tamarind water to it and let it boil again, add required salt at this stage.
Adjust water, if it is too thick, add more water and let it come to a boil.
Take off fire.

Now to temper:

Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds: 1/4 tsp
Urud dal: 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves; 1 sprig
Small onion: 8 whole (best to use this, but u can substitute with onion chopped-1)
Green Chilly: 2 slit
Hing/Asafoetida: 1 tsp

Heat oil, splutter mustard, fenugreek, urud dal, curryleaves.
Add the onions, green chillies and asafoetida.
Take off fire and pour over the sambar.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve warm with Idlys, Dosas or with plain rice.


  1. delicious combination looks fabulous

  2. The dry roasted channa dal, fenugreek, urad dal, onions & green chillies tadka seems to be the major difference sojo; looks delicious!

  3. Soj, i'll be attempting this today. thanks for dutifully posting all these wonderful recipes!