sambar for idly or dosa {south indian curry}

Idly and Dosas are a common and wholesome south indian breakfast. Usually they are served with coconut chutney and yes also the sambar. The sambar is usually thinner than the one that is eaten with rice. It is poured on top of idly in most restaurants South of India. Today we will make this utterly delicious sambar that can accompany both idly and dosa. Once you make this , surely will forget craving for the hotel sambar. Try it !

Serves 4-5

3 tablespoons toor dal
12 red dry chillies (non spicy)
1 /2 teaspoon organic turmeric powder
1.5 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
5 peppercorns
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
1 teaspoon channa dal
4-5 fenugreek seeds
2 tablespoons fresh coconut
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon hing/asafoetida
few curry leaves
1 big onion , halved and thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
coriander leaves for garnish
1 dry red chilli (for tempering)
1 teaspoon jaggery
1 tablespoon tamarind paste (depending on how sour the tamarind pulp is)

Hotel Style Sambar for idly and dosas


  • In a small bowl add toor dal. Wash it well and add 2 cups water and turmeric.
  • Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles until soft.
  • In a pan , add 1 tablespoon oil and add red chillies.
  • Fry on medium flame until the chillies plump up and become crisp.
  • Remove it onto a plate.
  • In the same pan add a teaspoon of oil.
  • Add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, urad dal , channa dal , peppercorns, cinnamon and fry in medium flame until colour changes.
  • Allow to cool completely.
  • To a mixer jar , add chillies, masala and coconut.
  • Grind to a smooth paste using water as required.
  • In a thick bottom pot, add little oil .
  • When it’s hot , add mustard seeds , hing , curry leaves and dry chilli.
  • Add in onions and fry until the onions turn soft.
  • Add a little oil to speed up the process.
  • Now time to add tomatoes and fry for 3-4 mins.
  • The tomatoes should turn mushy .
  • Add the toor dal along with water , masala paste.
  • Add more water to thin it down and all the sambar to boil for 4-5 mins on medium flame.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it piping hot with idly or dosa !

Don’t forget to hashtag me on instagram #heapofspice , if you try this recipe !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s