Sambhar – Kerala Style

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Preparation time: 30 minutes | Difficulty Level: Easy

    • Toor Dal – 3/4 cup
    • Potato (cubed) – 1
    • Carrot (cubed) – 1
    • Drumstick – 1
    • Raw Banana (cubed) – 1
    • Yam (cubed) – 1 cup
    • Ladies Finger (sliced) – 2
    • Tomato (cubed) – 1
    • Onion (cubed) – 1
    • Green Chilly (slit) – 2
    • Tamarind – Size of a gooseberry
    • Curry Leaves – 1 stem
    • Sambhar Powder – 4 tablespoon (I used Brahmins sambhar powder)
    • Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1 teaspoon
    • Turmeric – A pinch
    • Salt – As Needed
    • Oil – As needed

For Seasoning

    • Coconut Oil – As needed
    • Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon
    • Shallots – 3-4
    • Curry Leaves – 1 stem
    • Dried Red Chillies – 4

How To

  • Soak tamarind in half cup hot water. We will use this later.
  • Among all the ingredients, yam takes more time for cooking, so we can start by pressure cooking yam, adding enough water and salt. After 2 whistles, open cooker and add washed toor dal. Let it cook for another whistle. Don’t completely go by the number of whistles I have given here, it depends on the vegetables, the vessel used for cooking, amount of ingredients and lot more.
  • When the pressure escapes, open cooker and add cubed potatoes, tomatoes, onion, carrots, drumsticks, raw bananas, green chillies, and curry leaves. In fact we add all vegetables except ladies finger. Add 2 tablespoons of sambhar powder, kashmiri chilly powder, and salt. Add water, stir well and pressure cook for another whistle. If you have put raw bananas in water, you have to drain the water away before adding it.
  • Mean time, in another pan, stir fry chopped ladies finger and keep this aside. Don’t wash the pan. We need this again.
  • Once all the vegetables are pressure cooked, open cooker and keep it ready.
  • Now its time to get seasoning done. Use the same pan we used for frying ladies finger. Add Coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add chopped shallots, curry leaves and dried red chillies. Once done keep this aside. Let the remaining oil be in the pan itself.
  • When oil in the seasoning pan is still hot, switch off the flame and add remaining 2 tablespoons of sambhar powder. Stir for a few seconds and add it to pressure cooker with cooked vegetables. Make sure you switch off the flame before frying sambhar powder, and ensure that it doesn’t get burnt. Burnt sambhar powder adds bitterness to sambhar.
  • Add tamarind paste. Adjust consistency and add salt if needed. Let this boil once. You have to taste now and do the final fine tuning. We cannot give exact measurements for tamarind paste and salt. We have to get it right by tasting.
  • Once it it boiled, switch off the flame and add fried ladies finger and seasoning.
  • Serve hot.


  • Immerse cubed raw banana in water adding a pinch of salt and turmeric till we use it for cooking.
  • If needed, you can cook toor dal and yam separately, if it is difficult to understand the time taken for cooking both. Dal should be cooked and mashed properly but not yam and other vegetables. While cooking it separately, you can add cooked dal to pressure cooker while adding all other vegetables.
  • You can add tamarind paste available in market instead of extracting it.

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