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Restaurant style Sambar

Saravana Bhavan Sambar

Saravana Bhavan sambar -- copy cat recipe of the popular South Indian restaurant sambar. The addition of ground masala with coriander and fenugreek seeds -- it adds a lot of flavor along with the sambar powder. Also the addition of fried gram dal or putnalu makes the sambar so creamy and delicious.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: tamil
Servings: 4 serving


  • ¼ cup Toor dal
  • 1 tbsp Moong dal
  • 1 1 cups Onion shallots Medium - medium, cut into chunks or use
  • 1 Tomato Large , chopped
  • 2 ~ 3 tbsp Tamarind pulp
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 red chili Dry
  • a pinch Asafoetida
  • 8 ~ 10 Curry leaves
  • to taste Salt
  • 2 tbsps Cilantro , finely chopped

For the Masala Paste:

  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 chilies Dry red
  • 2 tsps dal Fried grams / Putnalu
  • 1 Tomato Medium , chopped


Make the Masala Paste:

  • Heat 1tsp oil in a pan, add coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilies and putnalu; fry till fragrant, about 3~5 minutes. Let the mixture cool, then grind to a paste along with tomato. Keep aside.

Make Sambar:

  • Cook toor dal and moong dal until soft and mudhy.
  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a sauce pan, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, dry red chilies and curry leaves. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the onions (or shallots) and cook till turn translucent, about 3~4 minutes.
  • Add chopped tomato and cook till it gets mushy.
  • Next add tamarind pulp and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add turmeric, sambar powder, salt and bring the mixture to a boil again.
  • Now add the cooked dals and the ground masala paste, add water to get to desired consistency. Simmer for 4~5 minutes on low flame. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with idli or dosa or even rice.


Restaurant style Sambar
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 53.
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