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How to make Idli Sambar?

how to make idli sambar

If you know how to make idli sambar, you can prepare it as a side dish for idli, thatte idlimedu vada (urud vada), dosa and pongal. The sambar powder is  a key ingredient of sambar. The other items you need to make this liquid dish include tomatoes, onions and toor dal. This recipe gives info on how to make idli sambar in steps and with photos.

Here is the info on how to prepare sambar powder for idli.

Sambar makes the food like idli and vada softer. So, these will be easy to eat. Further, sambar enhances the taste of the food.

Garnish the sambar with coriander leaves to increase the health value of the food.

Before you eat / serve idli or vada, ensure the sambar is hot, because only such sambar would add to the taste of the food.

Servings: Four to Five


Toor dal 1/4 cup
2. Oil 2 teaspoons
3. Mustard seeds 1/4 teaspoon
4. Hing 1 pinch
5. Curry leaves 1 sprig
6. Onion 1
7. Tomato 1

Medicinal Values of Tomatoes
health benefits of tomatoesHealth Benefits of Tomatoes, in the blog post, gives more info on the health qualities of this super vegetable.
8. Tamarind paste 1/4 teaspoon
9. Jaggery small piece. Read jaggery benefits in the blog.
10. Turmeric 2 pinches
11. Sugar 1 pinch
12. Ghee 1/2 teaspoon
12. Salt to taste
13. Chopped fresh coriander leaves

For grinding masala:

Sambar powder 3-4 teaspoons
Oil 1/4 teaspoon
Onion pieces 1/2 tablespoon

How to Prepare the Masala for Idli Sambar?

1. Heat the oil till it is hot.
2. Add the chopped onions.

Fry till the onion turns to golden brown.
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3. Grind the sambar powder and onion into a paste, using water.

The masala paste is ready.
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How to Prepare Idli Sambar?

1. Wash toor dal.

Add 1-and-1/2 cup of water to a pressure cooker, containing the toor dal.

how to make idli sambar s1
2. Add turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon of oil  

Pressure cook till the dal becomes soft.
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how to make idli sambar s2b
3. Cut the onion and tomato.

4. Heat oil in a utensil till the oil becomes hot. how to make idli sambar s4
5. Add mustard.
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6. Add curry leaves and hing when mustard start to splutter.

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7. Add onion pieces.

Fry till the pieces become light brown in color.
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8. Add cooked dal, ground masala, 2-and-1/2 to 3 cups of water and jaggery. Mix.

Bring to boil.

Cook till the onions become tender.
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9. While the onion is cooking, heat ghee in a utensil.

Add tomato pieces. Fry till these become hot.

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10. Add tomato to the cooked onion-toor dal mixture.

Add salt. If you find the mixture to be too thick, add more water. Mix.

Boil for one more minute.
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11. Add coriander leaves. Mix.

Switch off the stove.

Sambar is ready.
how to make idli sambar final

Here is another sambar recipe for idli.

TIPS How to make Idli Sambar?
1. Make thick sambar for pongal.
2. If the sambar powder is spicy, while grinding the masala:

- Reduce the quantity of sambar powder
- Add a few teaspoons of fresh coconut
3. Use sambar onions, rather than the regular type, as these make the sambar tastier.
4. The tomato can be added while frying the onion (Step 7). However, the tomato chunks might not be available in sambar as these get dissolved while boiling.
5. A point you have to note on how to prepare idli sambar is that you can make the sambar entirely with ghee. In such a case, the sambar will be much tastier.

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