Herein are the simple 5-Steps of making the perfect South Indian style authentic Sambar to go with- Idli, Medu Vada, Dosa, Masala Dosa, and Mysore Masala Dosa.

Chana Dal – 1 Tablespoon // Urad Dal – 1 Tablespoon // Kashmiri Dry Red Chillies – 7 Pieces (For Colour) // Spicy Dry Red Chillies – 5 Pieces // Black Peppercorn – 1 Teaspoon // Mustard Seeds – 1 Teaspoon // Cumin Seeds – 1 Teaspoon // Fenugreek Seeds – 1 Teaspoon // Coriander Seeds – 2 Tablespoons // Turmeric Powder – 1/4 Teaspoon // Asafoetida Powder – 1/4 Teaspoon // Ginger – 1 Inch // Curry-leaves – 12 Numbers // Garlic – 3 Numbers // Onion Shallots 4-5 Numbers -or- Onion Slices – 1 Medium Sized // Freshly Grated Coconut – 1/4 Cup // Coconut -or- Refined Oil – 2 Tablespoons // Water – 3 to 4 Tablespoons.


STEP 1 – Set the flame at regular tempering temperature, take a pan and place it on heat; STEP 2 – Pour 2 tbsp coconut/refined oil, and once the oil reaches to tempering temperature; STEP 3 – Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and let those seeds crackle. Followed by this add 1 tsp Cumin seeds and allow these seeds also to crackle. Now, add 1/4 tsp asafoetida and give it a stir. Then add 1 tbsp chana dal and 1 tbsp urad dal. After this, add 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds, and add 2 tbsp coriander seeds, 12 curry leaves, add all dried red Kashmiri and spicy chillies, 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut, add 3 garlic cloves, add that 1 inch ginger, and then add 1 medium sliced onion. STEP 4 – Sauté entire mixture till the coconut in it turns light brown in colour. STEP 5 – Remove pan from heat, cool it down then pour this mix in a mixer grinder—add about 3-4 tbsp water, and grind it till it turns into a smooth and fine paste.

Sambar paste is ready.

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In a bowl take 3/4th cup toor dal and soak it for 1 hour. Then pressure cook this soaked toor dal for 3 whistles – or – boil it outside in a large vessel. Now, set the flame on regular tempering temperature – take a pan and place it on heat. Once the pan is preheated pour 1 tbsp coconut/refined oil – once the oil reaches to tempering temperature, add 1/2 (half) tsp mustard seeds and let them crackle, then add 1/2 (half) tsp cumin seeds, few curry leaves, 1 tsp Chana dal, 1 tsp urad dal, pinch of asafoetida, 2 to 3 dried red chillies (either Kashmiri or Button) then add 2 medium diced onions, 2 medium diced tomatoes, now switch the flame to high flame, stir and cook all these for 2 to 3 minutes, now add approx. 1 ltr of water and then add preferred vegetables of your choice (cut them in cubical shape), add salt and tamarind paste, and stir it and let it boil, now add the pressure cooked/boiled toor dal, and the SAMBAR PASTE, now let the vegetables and sambar cook till it comes to the consistency required.

Serve hot sambar with piping hot idlis, any type of dosas or medu vadas.