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Tirunelveli Style Sambar – Tamilnadu Recipe

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Adjust Servings:
2 handfull Toor dal
5- 7 cloves of garlic
1 large Tomato
1 large onion
1 large green chilli
8 - 10 Shallots
1 whole Drumstick
1 whole carrot
1 whole Brinjal
1/4 tspn Mustard seeds
1/4 tspn Jeera
1/4 tspn Urad dal (de husked black gram)
1 pinch Fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup Tamarind extract
2 tspn Sambar powder
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn kashmiri chilli powder
as per taste salt
tiny bit of Jaggery
few curry leaves
few coriander leaves
Enough water
3 tbsp oil

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Tirunelveli Style Sambar – Tamilnadu Recipe


    Sambar is a lentil based vegetable stew cooked with indian spices and tamarind extract.

    • 30 mins
    • Serves 4
    • Medium




    Tirunelveli is a town in Tamilnadu. Southern part of India and its traditional cuisine is rich in its varied and unique flavours

    Hello everyone,

    Today i am going to share you the most famous dish taken with idli and loved by our entire nation. this is a traditional and authentic sambar recipe.

    It is a south Indian dish that can be taken with lot of dish. Say, idli, dosa, medhu vada, aapam, paniyaram, uttapam, rice, bread and Pongal. there are different styles of sambar which varies in different states of south india.

    Tamilnadu itself has different flavors of sambar although the procedure are same. But the flavours are totally different. chettinadu sambar, madurai sambar etc.

    Tiruneveli sambar is totally unique and is very simple too. Udipi sambar is famous in Karnataka. Kerala sambar has its own flavours and Andhra pradesh is famous for sambar made of bottle guard.


    • There are two types of preparing this sambar, in a pressure cooker method. which saves time.
    • Another method is open vessel cooking. Usually people from villages use open fire earthen stove. i.e, in a heavy earthen pot they cook this. that also tastes amazing since its being prepared in traditional way.


    Step 1

    Take two handful Of toor dal.  add 5-6 garlic pods in it. also add asoefetadia, salt, vegetables and turmeric powder in it and pressure cook it upto 70%. meaning three whistles on high flame.  Vegetable required:  Drumstick, Carrot, Brinjal, tomato, onion, shallots, Green chilli .  Release the pressure from cooker.

    Step 2

    Mix in tamarind water. (note: check the taste first because we have already used tomato. so adjust tamarind water according to your taste). Add sambar + kashmiri chilli powder diluted in water before directly adding it to the cooker to avoid forming lumps. Adjust salt and add handful of chopped coriander leaves. Add one tbsp fresh grated coconut, mix it well.

    Step 3

    Bring a thorough boil and turn off immediately. Dont let the dal turn mushy because we want that dal taste in our mouth. Do not over boil else you will lose sambar flavour and dal will tend to catch a smoky taste. It must not take more than 5-7 minutes after u have added the sambar masala. Just bring it to one good boil. I usually add a tiny bit of jaggery to balance the sour taste. Trust me, That mild sweetness is just amazing.

    Step 4

    For tempering: we need oil , mustard seeds,  Fenugreek seeds , Black gram (without skin), Black curry leaves. few Chopped onion – Fry until golden brown. Add to the sambar.  This sambar tastes best with rice since we have used a mixture of different vegetables.

    Other type of sambar is just exactly same where u can replace it with any one vegetable of your choice. like say, Pumpkin sambar goes best with idli/dosa. shallots sambar goes well with aapam/Pongal. Carrot sambar goes well with medhuvada etc.

    Sambar is believed to be relished by our Indian Kings in the early 17th century. No doubt, still today it is served as a popular menu in different star hotel/ restaurants.  That too in many different countries of the world honoring our south Indian delicacy.


    I preferably use “Aachi sambar powder” which is a popular spice brand in India. They manufacture all kinds of spices and ready made masala and all of them are tasty. Whenever i have time i prepare a batch of homemade sambar powder that tastes as similar to this. but some days when i dont have time, i prefer using this masala. although there are different brands producing sambar masala, this tastes best.

    i am explaining this point to you, so that you can also achieve a same sambar as mine.

    This article is not sponsored by any brand product. its a review based on personal opinion.



    Other Receipe:

    Appam Recipe:

    Appam Recipe (Tamilnadu style) – No cooked rice, No poha, No coconut, No yeast.

    (Visited 756 times, 1 visits today)

    Monisha C.

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