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Sambar for Breakfast

Sambar for breakfast is commonly called as Idly sambar. Usually this style of sambar is great for Idli or Dosai and hardly anyone uses this sambar to mix with rice during lunch or dinner. The taste of Sambar to mix with rice is entirely different.

There many health benefits of Sambar and one that is famous is the combo of Sambar with Idli is considered healthiest breakfast in India.

Idli and Sambar combo is famous throughout India. In restaurants, another addition that is recommended with this combo is, Medhu Vadai.

There are plenty of Idli Sambar recipes and it varies depending on the vegetables we use and the cooking method.

Here we will show case a standard Idli Sambar recipe which any one can quickly master.

to grind
for seasoning
for Sambar

Wash toor dhal, add 2 cups of water and turmeric powder.
Pressure cook until 3 whistle. When the steam goes off, take the cooked dhal and mash them.
Photo of Toor dhal cooked and mashed - ready to use in Sambar


Soak tamarind in 1 cup of water and extract the juice filtering the skin.
Keep aside.


Heat a pan, add fenugreek, cumin and corriander seeds and fry without oil for 2 min, now add coconut stir for a min and turn off the heat. Let it cool and grind them to powder.


Heat 4 cups of water in a deep pan, when it comes to boil add whole onion, tomato, vegetable, sambar powder, cooked dhal (from Step 1) and salt. Cover it up and let it cook for 5 min in medium flame, then add tamarind juice (from Step 2), when it boils cover up and cook for 10 min. Now add the grounded powder (from Ingredients "to-grind") and cook for 5 min and turn off the flame.


Heat oil in a seperate pan, add mustard seeds when it done popped switch off the flame, add asafoetida powder, curry leaves, coriander leaves and ghee. Pour it on top of the cooked sambar. Stir well and serve.

Example of a moong-dal sambar or pachaipayiru sambar.
Popular main dish for Idli Sambar or Sambar for Breakfast:
Idli, Dosai

Other popular form of Idli Sambar in a dish is:
Medhu vadai soaked in Sambar.

Other names/spelling variations of Sambar:
Chennai sambar, Madras sambar, sambhar.

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