Sambar sadham

sambar sadham

Sambar sadham is a traditional main course recipe of South India. Sambar, meaning a lentil and vegetable stew is a staple dish in South India and is usually served with idlis/dosas and rice. The sambar is cooked along with rice (sadham) here. The freshly ground spice powder gives a great flavor to this rice recipe. It goes very well with fried potatoes , papad and raita.

Serves 3


  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup toor dal
  • 7-8 small pearl onion
  • 1/2 cup vegetables of your choice (carrots, pumpkin, drumstick, brinjal)
  • 1 tomato diced
  • a gooseberry sized tamarind
  • 1/2 tsp sambar powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 11/2 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped
  • a pinch of jaggery
  • salt as required
  • oil/ghee as needed

For the spice powder:

  • 11/2 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4-5 dried red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp methi seeds/powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut grated


Soak tamarind in hot water and extract juice about 3 cups.

Cook the rice and toor dal with 3 cups of water until soft. (I like my sambar sadham to be mushy and soft. So I cook the rice until they are somewhat mushy)

Roast the ingredients for the spice powder in little oil until the chana dal and coriander seeds start turning brown and you get a nice aroma of the spices.


Add coconut towards the end. Cool down the mixture and grind it into a powder.

sambar spice powder

In a pan, add 2 tsp oil/ghee. When hot add mustard seeds, turmeric powder, curry leaves, asafoetida and let the mustard splutter. Add the onions and saute for couple of minutes.

Then add the diced tomatoes and saute until they become soft.

Now add the chopped veggies and saute for a minute.  (I forgot to add the tomatoes in the picture below and added it in the next stage along with tamarind juice instead)


Add the tamarind juice (3 cups) to it and let it come to a boil.

When the tamarind comes to a boil, add the sambar powder, ground spice powder and salt. Let it boil for couple more minutes.


Add the cooked rice and dal, chopped coriander leaves, jaggery to this sambar and mix well. Adjust salt as necessary. (You can add more water to make it watery or let it cook in an open flame for couple of minutes if you find the rice to be too watery.) Let it cook for couple of minutes in a low flame.


Serve hot garnished with cashews sauted in ghee and finely chopped coriander

sambar sadham

This entry was posted in INDIAN MAIN DISHES, Recipes, RICE VARIETIES, SOUTH INDIAN and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Sambar sadham

  1. Malar says:

    Wow, simply drooling 🙂


  2. I love those plump Madras onions in he picture. Sambar Sadam is one of my favourites and I can eat is 24×7.


  3. Love sambar sadam and with appalam oh my goodness yum yum


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