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poosanikkai arachuvitta sambar
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4.67 from 9 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 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Soaking tie15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4


  • cup Toor dal
  • 1 teaspoon Tamarind gooseberry sized
  • 12 Small onions
  • 2 Green chilli
  • 1 Tomato
  • ¼ teaspoon Jaggery
  • ½ teaspoon White pumpkin or Vegetable of your choice
  • 4 Curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoon Coriander leaves chopped
  • Salt as you need


  • 1 tablespoon Chana dal - 1 tbsp
  • 1 teaspoon Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • 5 Red chillies Spice level high
  • 2 teaspoon Coriander seeds divided
  • ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek seeds


  • 2 teaspoon Ghee
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard
  • ¼ Asafoetida
  • 1 Sprig Curry leaves


Soak Tamarind & Cook dal

  • Soak tamarind in ½ cup hot water.
  • Pressure cook toor dal with 1 & ¼ cups water for 4 whistles in medium flame.
  • I usually pressure cook dal with a small bowl kept in middle with the tamarind + little water along. This makes extracting juice easy. You can choose any method.

Fresh spice powder

  • To make fresh sambar powder, heat a teaspoon of ghee or oil in a kadai / pan.
  • In order, add fenugreek seeds, chana dal, urad dal, red chilli and 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds.
  • 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. 
  • Once the dal turns golden, crisp and fragrant, transfer to a plate for cooling down.
  • After cooling down, place it in a mixer. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon coriander seeds and grind it to a powder. In between, once wipe down the sides as there might be un ground ingredients stuck to the sides of the wall.
  • Keep this powder aside.
  • Heat a kadai with ghee and add the tempering items in order.
  • After that, add onion, green chillies, curry leaves and saute till onion turns transparent. Lastly add tomatoes, saute for a minute.
  • Transfer to a pot in which you are making sambar.
  • Add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder to it and after it starts to boil nicely, add the vegetable and salt.
  • Let the vegetable get cooked. After that, add cooked dal and bring to boil. Adjust water consistency.
  • Lastly add the ground masala powder, jaggery and let it boil for 2 minutes or till the sambar gets thick.
  • Finally garnish with remaining curry leaves, coriander leaves and switch off the flame.


  • While adding fresh ground sambar powder, add it in a sprinkled way little by little by stirring as you add in other hand. If you add as such, it will form a lump. Some how I don't like mixing with water and adding.