to roast & powder
1 tablespoon chana dal or bengal gram
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
½ tablespoon urad dal or skinned black gram
½ teaspoon cumin or jeera
¼ teaspoon methi seeds
3 red chilies (adjust as needed)
2 tablespoon coconut grated fresh (optional)
other ingredients for idli sambar recipe
¾ cup dal or lentils (refer notes)
2 cups water to cook dal
2 tablespoon TAMARIND (use as needed)
Salt as needed
12 to 15 shallots or sambar onions
6 to 8 beans
1 medium carrot
½ cup pumpkin cubed (optional)
1 large tomato ripe
1/8 teaspoon turmeric or haldi
2 tablespoons coriander leaves or cilantro with stalks chopped finely
4½ cups water (adjust depending on quality of dal)
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 red chili broken
¾ teaspoon cumin or jeera
¾ teaspoon mustard
1 pinch methi or fenugreek seeds
1 pinch hing or asafoetida
Yield: 5-6 servings
Preparation for idli sambar
1. Rinse and pressure cook dal with 2 cups of water for 2 whistles or until soft.
2. Or alternately cook in a pot until soft. If using a Instant pot, pressure cook on high pressure for 10 mins & wait for natural pressure release.
3. Mash it and set aside. If you like the hotel style tiffin sambar, you can also add pumpkin to the dal for cooking.
4. Mash everything together and set aside.
5. Soak tamarind in little hot water, squeeze and extract the pulp. Keep this aside.
making tiffin sambar powder
1. In a pan, dry roast red chilies, chana dal and urad dal on a medium flame until lightly golden.
2. Next add coriander seeds and roast all of them until a nice smell comes.
3. When the dals turn deep golden remove to a plate.
4. Next in the same pan saute methi seeds until slightly dark then add cumin.
5. When the cumin turns aromatic remove to a plate. Cool these completely and make a fine powder.
How to make idli sambar
1. Add oil to a pot and heat up. Throw in the cumin, mustard and methi.
2. When they pop, add red chilies, curry leaves and hing.
3. When the leaves turn crisp, set aside half the tempering if you wish to add at the end.
4. Add veggies and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and saute until soft.
5. Sprinkle sambhar powder and saute for a minute without burning.
6. Pour water and cook until the vegetables are soft cooked.
7. Next pour filtered tamarind and then the mashed dal. Stir and bring the idli sambar to a boil.
8. Add the rest of the tempering and coriander leaves.
9. When it begins to bubble. Switch off. You can also make a fresh tempering but I don’t do.
10. Serve idli sambar hot with idli, dosa, uthappam, pongal & vada.