by: Maa Simply too good

Hotel Sambar | Tiffin Sambar made with a lot of spices creating the fabulous taste, popularly served in restaurants. The inevitable use of good quality and fresh spices in home cooking, will make this sambar a lot more flavourful than in restaurants. Recreating this spicy sambar recipe will lead to the dawn of realisation, by a jubliant you, that 'Hotel Sambar at a hotel' is overrated!


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serves: 4-6

Ingredients for the Hotel Sambar :

3/4 cup Thuvaram paruppu | Toovar dal | Red gram lentil

3 cups of water for pressure cooking the dal

6 cups of water to be added later

3 onions or 15 - 20 shallots

4 tomatoes

250 small gms of assorted vegetables *

Lemon ball size,seedless tamarind,

1 tsp of sambar powder

3 tsp of powdered jaggery

powdered rock salt as required

for tempering :

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp oil

3 leaves stems of curry

for grinding into a paste :

1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal

1 tsp coriander seeds | dhania

1 1/2 tsp raw rice

2 whole - 3 red chilies

1 green chilli

1 inch ginger piece

3 cloves of garlic

1 small onion or 3 - 6 shallots

2 small tomatoes

1/4 of a fresh coconut

for garnish :

3 sprigs of coriander leaves

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 393

  • Total Fat: 5.4 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 306.2 mg
  • Total Carbs: 72.4 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 17.9 g
  •     Sugars: 13.4 g
  • Protein: 16.9 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 mins and fully extract the tamarind juice. Set aside

2.  Pick and rinse the lentils in water well. Boil the lentils in 3 cups of water, in a pressure cooker for 8-9 whistles on medium to high flame. The lentils should be soft and mushy. It can roughly smashed with the back of a ladle or a hand blender. Set aside.

3.  Finely chop all the vegetables to be added to the Sambar.

4.  Next prepare the vegetable ingredients under grinding into a paste. Peel and chop roughly the onion, ginger and garlic. Roughly chop the tomatoes and green chilly too. Finely chop the coriander leaves. Grate the coconut. Set aside.

5.  Heat up 1 tsp of oil in a skillet. Fry the ingredients for grinding into a paste in the given order, till there is no raw smell of the vegetables and they are soft and done. Blend well into a fine paste in a blender or grinder.

6.  Heat oil in large vessel. Add mustard seeds and after they splutter, add the onions, curry leaves. Saute well, till the onions are translucent. Now add the finely chopped vegetables, tamarind water, sambar powder and about 3 cups of water. Cook covered on a medium flame, till the vegetables are soft and there is no raw smell of the sambar powder.

7.  Finally add the pressure cooked lentils and remaining 3 cups of water to the stew, salt and jaggery. Cook till it thickens. Check the seasoning, balance the flavours by adjusting salt,jaggery and sambar powder, if required. Let it boil well. Once it is frothy and the fantastic aroma engulfs the whole neighbourhood, be sure it is done. Serve hot.

8.  Dunk any south Indian snack item in the Tiffin Sambar and gorge on this delicious spicy goodness!

Cooks' note:
* (depending on their availability or the desire to experiment) like drumstick, radish, carrots, white pumpkin, ladies finger, french beans, potatoes, round brinjals, squash, zucchini, chayote, bottle gourd.

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