How to Make Authentic Telugu Sambar


Sambar is a quintessential South Indian dish that has gained popularity across India and the world. It is a delicious and nutritious dish that is made with lentils and vegetables, and is usually served with rice or idli. Telugu Sambar is a variation of this classic dish that is made with the unique flavors and spices of the Telugu cuisine.

 In this article, we will guide you through the steps to make authentic Telugu Sambar at home. 


1 cup of toor dal (pigeon peas) 2 cups of water 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 small tomato, finely chopped 1 small drumstick, cut into small pieces 1 small carrot, cut into small pieces 1 small potato, cut into small pieces 1 small brinjal, cut into small pieces 2-3 green chillies, slit lengthwise 1 tsp of tamarind paste 1 tsp of jaggery (optional) 1 tsp of mustard seeds 1 tsp of cumin seeds A pinch of asafoetida 1 sprig of curry leaves 2-3 tbsp of oil Salt to taste 2 tsp of Sambar powder (a blend of spices that can be found in Indian grocery stores)


Wash the toor dal thoroughly and soak it in water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain the water and transfer the dal to a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 5-6 whistles, or until the dal is soft and mushy. In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Add the chopped onion and green chillies, and sauté until the onion turns translucent. Add the chopped tomato and sauté until it turns mushy. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Cover and cook the vegetables until they are soft and tender. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the tamarind paste and jaggery (if using). 

Add the Sambar powder and mix well. Mash the cooked toor dal and add it to the pan. Mix well and simmer for a few minutes. Check the consistency of the Sambar. If it is too thick, add some water to thin it down. Bring the Sambar to a boil and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and garnish the Sambar with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice, idli or dosa. 

Tips: You can add any vegetables of your choice to the Sambar. Some popular choices include okra, pumpkin, and radish. If you don’t have Sambar powder, you can make it at home by roasting and grinding a blend of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, and red chillies. You can adjust the amount of tamarind paste and jaggery to suit your taste preferences. Some people prefer their Sambar to be more tangy, while others prefer it to be more sweet. For a richer flavour, you can add a tablespoon of ghee (clarified butter) to the Sambar. If you are using a regular pan instead of a pressure cooker, you will need to cook the toor dal

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