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Sambar Powder

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Sambar Powder

Prepare Sambar Powder in 5 Minutes

  • Veg
  • 5
  • Medium



There cannot be a South Indian restaurant without sambar on its menu. In any corner of South India, at any given time, unlimited sambar is available in restaurants, big and small!

Sambar mainly comprises lentils. However, it is the condiment that breathes life into sambar. So to speak, it is the sambar powder that gives sambar its revered status.

You can find zillion brands selling commercial sambar powder. But nothing comes to close to fresh, homemade masala.


Health Benefits:

Sambar powder is a concoction of digestive and medicinal spices and protein-rich lentils. It is a very mild condiment used to spice sambar, curries, and stews that make up South Indian cuisine.

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  1. Dry roast ingredients separately over low flame in the following order:
    1. Coriander seeds: for about 2 minutes or till they change color changes release an aroma.
    2. Cumin seeds: for 1 – 2 minutes until the aroma is released
    3. Red chilies: until pungent
    4. Fenugreek seeds: for 30 seconds or until they change color
  2. Add gingelly oil over low flame and sauté asafetida pieces for 30 seconds or until they become crisp. Set aside.
  3. Roast Bengal gram and urad dal (in the oil that clings to the pan) until they turn mildly brown and give out an aroma.
  4. Dry roast mustard seeds until they pop.
  5. Dry roast curry leaves until crisp.
  6. Allow ingredients to cool completely.
  7. Transfer ingredients to a mixer jar, add turmeric powder, and grind to a fine powder.
  8. Store sambar powder in a dry, air-tight glass jar.

Fun Facts:

  • In the original Rathna Café in Triplicane, Chennai, sambar is served in huge mugs!
  • Other South Indian states have their distinct version of sambars. The distinction is predominantly based on the type of chilli used and addition of jaggery, coconut etc.
  • Turmeric has curcumin, a compound which has cancer-fighting abilities.
  • Kuzhambu powder and sambar powder are one and the same! The difference between kuzhambu and sambar lies in the method of preparation!
  • You can use sambar powder to season bhajis, curries, and gravies.
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