Idli-Dosai Sambar

South Indian lentil stew made with lentil, vegetables and spices suitalbe for Idli/Dosai.

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Preparation Time : 10 mins

Cooking Time : 15-20 mins

Serves : 5-6

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Main Ingredient : Beans/Pulses
Recipe Type : Breakfast Dinner

Ingredients :


  • Toor dal - 150g or 2/3 of a 250ml teacup
  • Indian onion shallot - 12-14 or 1 small onion
  • Garlic - 1 small clove (optional)
  • Tomato - 1 small
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/8 tsp
  • Ghee - 2 tsp or Butter - 10g
  • Tamarind - ball of 2cm diameter
  • Warm water - 150ml
  • Oil - 1 tblsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red Chilli - 2
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Asafoetida powder - 2 pinch
  • Coriander leaves - few sprigs
  • Water - as required
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar or jaggery powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sambar powder - 2 tsp (optional) or roast and grind the ingredients below

Ingredients to be roasted and ground:

  • Grated coconut - 2 tsp
  • Dry red chilli - 3-4
  • Coriander seeds - 3 tsp
  • Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  • Rice - 1 tsp

Method :
  1. Rinse the dal and drain it.
  2. Wash and soak the tamarind in warm water for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Chop the onion and tomato. Wash the curry leaves.
  4. Roast and grind the ingredients listed. For easier option, use the Sambar powder instead.
  5. ** Heat a pressure cooker pan on the stove.
  6. ** Add dal, 300ml of water, garlic and turmeric powder.
  7. ** Cover and pressure cook until very soft or upto 3 whistles. Do not open the pressure cooker when there is any pressure left.
  8. Mash the cooked Dal.
  9. Squeeze out the tamarind pulp, strain and keep this tamarind juice aside.
  10. Heat a saucepan; Add half the oil; Add onion, tomato and chilli powder. Fry for about 2-3 minutes.
  11. Add tamarind juice and sugar; Cover and let it boil for about 6-7 minutes. Switch off the heat.
  12. Pour this mixture to the pan of dal.
  13. Add butter/ghee. Add more water and salt if needed. Stir well.
  14. Heat remaining oil on a small frying pan; Add mustard seeds, asafoetida powder, curry leaves and broken red chillies.
  15. When the mustard seeds started to pop, add ground ingredients or sambar powder; fry for about 1/2 a minute. Switch off the heat.
  16. Add the above seasoning to the pan of dal.
  17. Add chopped coriander leaves.
  18. Cover and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  19. Idli/Dosai Sambar is ready to be eaten.
** - If the pressure cooker is not available, replace the step 7 starting with the symbol ** with the following steps and continue to step 8 above.

  1. Heat a 3-4 ltr saucepan on a high heat.
  2. Add dal, about 800ml of water, garlic and turmeric powder.
  3. Once the water starts boiling, simmer the heat, cover and cook for about 35-40 minutes or until the dal is cooked well and soft. Leave the lid ajar to stop the water overflowing.
  4. While the dal was getting cooked, open the lid, stir few times and make sure there is enough water left for the dal to be cooked. If there is not enough water left for the dal to be cooked, add more warm water.

Notes : Goes well with Idli/Dosai. For Rice Sambar, Please click here.

Other Names : Dosai Sambar


If you use different ingredients than the ones used in this recipe or use alternate method, please click Here to post your variation.


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