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Varutharacha Sambar

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine kerala
Servings 6 serving


  • 1 cup Pigeon pea lentil (Toor dal)
  • 1 - 1/2 teaspoons Tamarind paste
  • to taste Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Coriander leaves Chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Jaggery Grated (Optional)

To be Roasted and Ground

  • 1 cup Coconut Grated
  • 10 - 12 chillies Dried red
  • 4 tablespoons Coriander seeds
  • a sprig Curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fenugreek powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder powder

For Tempering

  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • a pinch Asafoetida
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves
  • 5 shallots Sliced


  • Heat a pan.
  • Tip in the grated coconut, chillies, coriander seeds and curry leaves.
  • Roast on low heat, stirring continuously till it turns light brown in colour.
  • Add the fenugreek powder and turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Continue roasting till it becomes dark brown.
  • Switch off heat and allow the mixture to cool completely.
  • Grind the mixture to a smooth fine paste with adequate water. Keep aside.
  • Cook the lentils with adequate water, till just done.
  • Tip in the vegetables and salt.
  • Cover and cook till the vegetables are done. (If you prefer firm lentil in your sambar, you may cook the vegetables along with the lentils in one go.)
  • Dilute the tamarind paste with water.
  • Add it to the cooked lentil mixture. Mix well.
  • Add the ground paste and mix well.
  • Once the mixture comes to a boil, you may add the jaggery(if using).
  • Allow to boil for a minute.
  • Switch off heat.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add the mustard seeds.
  • When they start to splutter, add the cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin starts to splutter, add asafoetida.
  • Tip in the sliced shallots, curry leaves and dried chillies.
  • Saute till the shallots turn slightly brown.
  • Pour over the Sambar.
  • Sprinkle coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with Rice/Dosa or Idli.