Vegetarian cooking and baking

Vegetarian cooking and baking

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Arachuvitta sambar

Yesterday I met an Indian lady at the gym and as we were casually chatting, I told her I had a food blog. She was really excited and she immediately said she would like to try my sambar recipe. I told her that there was no sambar recipe in my blog yet. She looked at me stunned and said "you said you were a south Indian right?" I said "yes". Then she asked me "you said you have a food blog with close to 50 recipes?"..and I replied, "ya that's correct"..."and no Sambar recipe???" she quickly added. I gave her a cold stare not knowing what to say. We then exchanged numbers and departed on our own ways. When I came home, I started thinking again, the lady's words kept teasing me again and again .."and no Sambar recipe???"(the way it does in bollywood movies).Well that lady had a point.Yes and that's the reason I'm here today with this beautiful Sambar with shallots (small onions) and made with freshly ground sambar paste and not sambar powder.

You got it right! I am not going to use sambar powder for this sambar. "Arachuvitta" means to be ground freshly and used in Tamil. So we will be making the paste and using it immediately in the sambar!

For the paste:
  • 1 tablespoon-Chana dal (Bengal gram)
  • 2 tablespoons- Dhania (coriander seeds)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh coconut
  • 4-5 red chillies
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon methi seeds(fenugreek seeds)
For the sambar:
  • 1/2 cup cooked toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 15-18 shallots ( small onions- peeled and halved)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • a pinch asafetida
  • Tamarind about the size of a small lemon/ 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated jaggery
  • coriander for garnising

Dry roast the ingredients for the sambar paste. Cool and grind into a smooth paste adding little water and keep aside.
In a wok/ kadai add mustard and methi seeds. When they start spluttering, add the shallots and saute till transparent.
Drop in the curry leaves and add the tamarind mixture. You can use ready made paste or make it at home by soaking tamarind about the size of a lemon in warm water.
Add turmeric powder, asafetida and salt and let the mixture come to a nice boil (about 15 minutes). The mixture would have turned nice, thick and brownish now and the smell of raw tamarind would have  disappeared.
Now add the ground sambar paste followed by the cooked toor dal and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Add grated jaggery and garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve with plain white rice or idlis or dosas.
I promise to post a sambar recipe with the complete making of sambar powder soon!


  1. Mouth watering. Now at least half a kilo of steamed Nellore or Ponni rice required.


  2. hey you have a nice blog shaping here. thanks for stopping by my space.

  3. that is a nice and mouthwatering typical south indian sambar receipe

  4. I tried this recipe and i loved it. Great work Kavitha :)
    Keep going.. All the Best! I am going to try all your recipes one by one :)

  5. hi Kavitha....Is this Sambhar different from the regular Tamil Nadu sambhar?? OR??