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sambar vadai recipe
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Sambar vadai recipe

Sambar vadai is urad dal vadai, soaked in mild and flavourful sambar. I recently only developed taste for sambar vada, especially the one from Murugan idli shop.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soak time2 hrs
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 people


Ingredients for sambar

  • ½ cup Toor dal
  • ½ cup Small onion
  • 1 Tomato
  • 2 Green chilli
  • 1 teaspoon Tamarind tightly packed
  • 3 teaspoon Sambar powder heaped
  • 1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida powder
  • 2 tablespoon Coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon Jaggery or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ghee
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard
  • Salt As needed

For vadai

  • ½ cup Urad dal – ½ cup
  • 1 teaspoon Black pepper powdered coarsely, do not use fine powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • Salt as needed
  • teaspoon Asafoetida


Make vadai

  • For making vada, soak urad dal for 2 to 3 hours. For best results, I keep inside fridge after 2 hours for an hour minimum before grinding. This gives fluffy batter.
  • Drain water completely and grind to a smooth paste by adding little ice cold water or ice cubes at a time.
  • Once smooth transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Mix salt and asafoetida.
  • Heat oil, grease your hands with water and make a small ball out of vadai batter.
  • Move the ball to fingers and make a hole in the center with your thumb.
  • Drop in hot oil by inverting your hands over oil and gently moving your fingers.
  • Cook in medium flame both sides until golden and crisp. Maintain oil temperature by regulating the heat, otherwise it will drink oil.
  • Drain in paper towel.
  • Soak the vada in hot water. Add little salt in the water. Let it get soaked.

Prepare sambar

  • For sambar, pressure cook toor dal with 1 & ½ cups of water for 4 whistles in medium flame. If your dal is hard to cook, recommend to soak ½ hour prior cooking.
  • Soak tamarind in hot water meanwhile for minimum 15 minutes. Extract tamarind juice with 1cup water.
  • Once dal is done, mash it well. Add turmeric, red chilli, finely chopped tomato, peeled small onion, slit green chillies, curry leaves, tamarind extract.
  • Pressure cook for a whistle.
  • In a kadai, splutter mustard and lower the flame or better switch off. Add sambar powder in the heat itself and quickly give it a stir.
  • Add the pressure cooked dal mixture to it immediately. Mix well and adjust water consistency.
  • You may have to add 1 & ½ cups water to 2 cups approximately.
  • Bring to boil and add coriander leaves, asafoetida powder, jaggery or sugar and top with ghee. Switch off the flame.
  • Now gently squeeze the excess water in the soaked vada, without changing its shape and arrange in the serving bowl.
  • Add hot sambar over it. Garnish with finely chopped onions before serving.



  • The sambar amount given here may give more than needed for sambar vadai.
  • Number of vadais depend on urad dal quality, if you grind in grinder or mixer.
  • Salt and tamarind should be less in this sambar so that the sambar is drinkable.
  • Adding ghee is optional.
  • Take care not to burn the sambar powder. Otherwise the whole taste will be spoiled.
  • Since we fry the sambar powder in oil, it won’t be that much spicy, so if you want to add spice increase red chilli powder and green chilli.
  • The urad dal can be slightly on coarse side. This will give you firm vadai.
  • The sambar gets thickened as it cools, so make sure the consistency is according to that.