Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Sambar for Idli - Vegan MoFo Post 19

A bonus post. I guess this is my way of holding on to Vegan MoFo and prolonging the last day. :oP

My first recipe for Vegan MoFo 2011 was for Idlis. I thought it would be apt to end the month with a recipe for Sambar which is commonly served with Idlis.

There are a few different authentic South Indian recipes for homemade Sambar and I enjoy the taste of most of them. The one I'm about to share with you is a quick and simple one.


2 C Mixed Vegetables - Carrots, Beans, Potatoes, Chow Chow (Chayote), Peas, Radish etc...
1 Large Diced Onion or 15-20 Peeled Sambar Onions (Shallots) - this is optional
2-3 Diced Tomatoes
1/2 C Toor Dal
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
2-3 tsp Sambar Powder (this spice mix tastes best when home made but it is also commercially available in the masalas section of Indian grocery stores)
1-2 tsp Tamarind Paste
1 tsp Jaggery
For the seasoning: Coconut Oil, Mustard Seeds, Curry Leaves, Dry Red Chillies (broken into halves), Hing (Asafotedia)

Wash and dice the vegetables. Wash the toor dal thoroughly. Bring 3-4 C of water with the turmeric to boil in a pressure cooker. Add the toor dal, vegetables and a small pinch of salt and pressure cook for 5-10 minutes (depending on your pressure cooker). Let it cool completely before opening the lid.

Meanwhile heat 1-2 tsp of the coconut oil in a deep pan. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds. Add the remaining seasoning ingredients. Add the onions/shallots and stir fry until they are tender. Add the sambar powder, tamarind paste, jaggery and salt and mix well. Add the tomatoes and turn off the heat. Cover and keep aside.

Once the vegetables and dal have cooled, add the tomato mixture and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the flame and simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust.

Serve hot ladled over Idlis or cooked rice.

Enjoy! :)


  1. Could you please post the recipe for homemade sambar powder? I also read your recipe for cashew yogurt. Could you post the recipe for making soy milk. I think you mentioned in one of your comments that you make soy milk at home. Newly turned vegans, my partner and I are very excited about your blog! Can't wait to try the recipes!

    1. Hi Mrinalini, glad to hear you and your hubby have turned vegan. :) The process to make soy mylk is the same as peanut mylk. Here's a link to the step by step recipe: http://blog.veganosaurus.com/2013/04/peanutgroundnut-mylk-curdsyogurt-howdo.html

      Just replace the peanuts with dry soybeans while soaking and you're set. There's only one difference, after soaking the soy beans, remove the skin of the beans to considerably reduce the beany smell.

      Good luck. :)

  2. Thank you. I will try it. On a different note, my partner's a she.

    1. Ooops I apologise for assuming "partner" = "hubby", Mrinalini. I usually don't do that when I'm talking to someone in person but for some reason I didn't read properly this time.

  3. No problem! Hey, can you share the recipe for sambar masala powder?