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4.38 from 8 votes

Arachuvitta sambar

South Indian sambar recipe with fresh ground spices to make it smell divinely. South Indian sambar smells and tastes amazing when used fresh ground spices
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Soaking tie15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4


  • Toor dal - ½ cup
  • Tamarind - small gooseberry sized
  • Small onion - 12
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Tomato - 1
  • Curry leaves - 2 sprig
  • Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp chopped
  • Salt as you need
  • Jaggery -¼ tsp
  • Vegetable of your choice


  • Chana dal - 1 tbsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Red chillies - 5
  • Dry coriander seeds - 2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - ½ tsp
  • Mustard - ½ tsp optional


  • Ghee - 2 tsp
  • Mustard - ¾ tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - ½ tsp
  • Hing/asafoetida - ⅛ tsp
  • Jeera/ cumin seeds -1 tsp


  • Pressure cook toor dal with 2 cups water for 4 whistles in medium flame.
  • For fresh sambar powder, fry all the ingredients well in kadai with little oil. Grind little coarsely and keep aside. 
  • While grinding, you can add little coriander seeds raw without roasting to get a restaurant touch. That is half the amount roasted, half not roasted.
  • Take care not to burn any spices as it will spoil the whole sambar. Everything should be done in medium flame with constant stirring to ensure even roasting. 
  • Soak tamarind and take tamarind extract . Peel onions and slit green chillies,slice tomatoes.
  • Heat a kadai with ghee and add the tempering items in order. After mustard and jeera splutters add onion,green chillies,half of the curry leaves and saute till onion turns transparent and lastly add tomatoes, saute for a minute.
  • Add the tamarind extract ,turmeric powder to it and after it starts to boil nicely,add the vegetable,remaining curry leaves,coriander leaves,jaggery and salt.
  • Let the vegetables get cooked and then add cooked dal and bring to boil. Adjust water consistency.
  • Lastly add the ground masala powder and let it boil for 3-4 minutes or till the sambar gets thick enough