sambar, lentils and vegetables, mashed lentils with vegetables dip
Sambar is the South Indian cuisine, served with most of the breakfast dishes and tastes good with plain rice too. The Sambar is a blend of split red gram and seasoned vegetables cooked with the spices. There is a lot of variations in making the Sambar depending upon the vegetables and quantity of spices used. Every household in South India will have a Sambar Powder handy in making this dish.


1. Split Red Gram or tur dal  - 1 cup
2. Vegetables - any seasoned vegetables (used in this recipe is brinjals, carrots and raw mango pieces) - 1 cup
3. Onions - 2 medium size
4. Tomatoes - 2 medium size
5. Red Chillies - 2 nos.
6. Curry leaves - 8 to 10 leaves
7. Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp. 
8. Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp.
9. Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp.
10. Sambar Powder - 2 tbsp.
11. Turmeric - 1/2 tsp.
12. Coriander powder - 1/4 spoon
13. Oil - 2 tbsp
14. Salt to Taste
15. Coriander leaves - handful

1. In a cooking pot take 2 and half cups of water and bring it to boil. Clean the red gram/dal and drop it in the water. Add turmeric and 1 tsp. oil and close the lid. If using pressure cooker, to cook dal, close and lock the lid now.

2. Cut the vegetables, clean and keep aside. If its brinjal pieces leave it in the water otherwise the colour gets changed. Also cut the onions and tomatoes too.

3. Now by this time the red gram/dal would have been cooked. Open the lid, once steam is out, add vegetables, tomatoes and onions to it. Also add salt, Sambar powder and coriander powder. Adjust the water if more water is required. Here the vegetables gets cooked along with the red gram/dal.

4. Once the vegetables are almost done, do the tempering. For this, take remaining oil in a separate pan and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutters, add asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, red chillies and add it to the boiling Sambar. 

5. After tempering, leave the Sambar on low flame for about 5 mins and garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy with idly, vadas, dosas and steamed rice.

* Instead of whole fenugreek seeds, you can powder them too and add in the dish.
*Jaggery can be added but optional if you want sweetness to the Sambar. 
* If only vegetables are added without raw mango pieces, add tamarind extract to the Sambar. Either one of them can be added to the Sambar for the sour taste.
*Grated fresh coconut/coconut milk can also be added for the taste but purely optional.