Thursday, 20 September 2012

Keralan mixed vegetable spicy soup with lentils - nammude sambar | Kukskitchen

My dad's first line when mum starts cooking sambar is ' sambar inge ukkarungo' :) He is the biggest sambar fan in the planet. He appreciates me trying new versions of the classic like palakkadan, kozhikkodan etc etc. My son has taken to his appappan's palate and luvs sambar esp if it's with dosa. I can virtually eat it with anything at all - rice, dosa, idli, upma, idiyappam and chapati.

A variety of vegetables can be used in an avial, which includes drumsticks, yam, raw banana, ash gourd (kumbalanga), aubergine (vazhuthananga) and more recently carrots, potato and cucumber.

Ideally sambar needs to be cooked in an open pot which takes a lot of time. I go for the quick pressure cooker version when I have less time. I know daddy this version is not ur favourite. :(

Presented here is a simple lazy version of sambar featuring Ann's kerala sambar powder. For more recipes about how to prepare home-made sambar spice mix, watch this space.


Vegetables - 250 g

Tomato - 1 large cubed

Shallots - 5 - 6 whole

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Daal/ lentils - 1/2 cup, sambar parippu is ideal but any daal would do

Tamarind paste - 1 tsp if india-made or 2-3 tsp of uk-made

Sambar powder - 3 tsp

Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp if recently bought or 1 -2 tsp if old :)

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Dried red chilli - 2

Coconut oil - 1 tsp

Salt to taste


- Cook daal in about a litre of water with turmeric and salt in a pressure cooker. Turn off heat at the first whistle. Wait till pressure reduces and open the cooker.

- Add the veggies with tomatos and shallots to it, turn on heat and again switch off heat at the first whistle. Wait till pressure reduces and open the cooker.

- Heat sambar powder with asafoetida in a small pan till aroma of oils hit ur nose. Remove, mix it in a little water with tamarind and add it to the cooked veggie-lentil mix.

- Heat oil in a small pan and splutter mustard seeds and dried red chilli. Pout this on top of ur sambar.



  1. i always like quick pressure cooker version.. love drumsticks in this sambar :)

    1. Thanks PT. I know, it s much quicker isn't it :)

  2. Wow man! my mouth is watering Sherin. I love soft and hot idlis with our hot and spicy kerala sambar. That's my most favourite breakfast item accompanied with hot filter coffee. But what to do, my maid makes bad sambar, which is neither tangy nor spicy. I can feel only salt in it. I also put the same ingredients but I don't know why her sambar is so bad! I will write this recipe and give to her so that she will also make it like you(hopefully)

    1. Ask her to put more sambar powder and tamarind paste dear. thanks for the comment my dear. :) Amma still home?

    2. Yes Sherin, she will leave on monday. Put some north indian dishes too dear. My husband is threatening that he'll start eating from outside if i repeat the dishes frequently :-P

  3. Delicious looking sambar. Never made it the pressure cooker before. Great idea, it all gets done in one pot.

    1. It makes life sooo easy radha. Try it next time.

  4. Yummy Sambar.. looks very tempting, lovely clicks... Thanks for linking this to my event :) Please include event announcement link on your post (

    Expecting more recipes for my on-going event Natural Sweetness Event with White Sugar

    Sharans Samayalarai

    1. it is with the picture dear

    2. Sorry dear.. Just noticed the link below the pic.. Thanks for adding the link... plz remove my other comments regarding the link...

  5. Mouthwatering sambar! Thanks for sharing the recipe and linking it to my event.


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 I'm Sherin, aka kukku. 

An excited mum, a  responsible doctor , a friend's friend , a thankful daughter, a thankful sister and a passionate singer,  an enthusiastic cook, food writer and food photographer . That's me in a nut shell.

A doctor in my day job and a food writer and food photographer by night. I came in to cooking because of the people around me, be it the women in family who are amazing cooks or the men who luv to eat. My son is my best critic. :) Started cooking while I was at school, my first attempt being a sweetie, no surprise there for people who know me. I got interested in cooking more after marriage, as most girls do. My experiments with food blossomed after coming to the UK, where the grocery stores opened up a variety of foodie opportunities for my hungry tum.

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