12 Jan


sambar powder

Sambar Powder is a basic ingredient to make Sambar, a popular south Indian gravy. Sambar is normally eaten with rice, lentil donuts (Vadas), rice cakes ( idlis) and rice crepe ( dosas).

Typical ingredients of the sambar powder include roasted lentils, coriander seeds, dried whole red chili, fenugreek seeds, coriander leaves and curry leaves. Regional variations may include versions with mustard seeds, cumin, black pepper, white pepper, cinnamon, or other spices.

This powder is prepared by pan roasting the whole spices and grinding them to a rather coarse powder with some salt optionally.

Sambar powder as a ready-made masala is available in a wide variety of brands.


makes 2 cups


  • 1/4 cup bengal gram(chana dal)
  • 10 of dry red chillies
  • 1/2 cup urad dal(split black gram)
  • 1/2 cup of coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup of whole black pepper
  • 4 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 cup of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup turmeric powder
  • handful of curry leaves
  • 2 tbls hing( asafoetida)
  • 1/2 cup tuver ki dal( red gram dal)
  • 1 tso oil



  •  In a kadai/pan dry roast each variety – cumin seeds,pepper corns,fenugreek seeds, separately until roasted and keep them separately.
  • Dry roast curry leaves nicely with a very low flame until they are crisp and no moisture is seen.
  • Dry the turmeric sticks in sun nicely and keep them ready. or use ready made turmeric powder.
  • Heat 1/2 tsp oil in the pan and add coriander seeds and fry them until they turn slight brown in color and remove them and keep aside.
  • Heat 1/2 tsp oil in the same pan and add both the varieties of red chillies and fry them until they turn red and remove them and keep aside.
  • Break the asafoetida into small pieces and keep them aside.
  • Let all the ingredients come to room temperature.
  • Mix all the ingredients and get them ground in a flour mill or grind the ingredients in a mixer in small batches to a fine powder.
  • Sieve the powder if necessary.Spread it on a wide deep bottomed vessel and dry it in shade for a day(optional).

sambar + powder


  • Store the sambar powder in an air tight container or in small pouches in refrigerator.
  • Adjust the amount of chillies to suit your taste. Do not use wet hands while handling the sambar powder, always use clean spoons.
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