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Idli Sambar | Sambar Idli

Idli sambar is a popular, comforting breakfast combo that is one of the best breakfast in South India. Idli Sambar is divinely tasty and made by cooking dal, veggies, spice powders & herbs. Sambar idli recipe explained with step by step pictures & Sambar tasting just like in hotels.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings4 people
AuthorSharmilee J


  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1/8 cup moong dal
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 15 nos small onions
  • 1 big tomato
  • 2 small carrots cubed
  • 1 no green chilli
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp tamarind
  • a generous pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves
  • water as required
  • salt to taste as needed to immerse

For tadka

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp urad dal
  • a generous pinch hing
  • a small sprig curry leaves
  • 1 heaped tsp sambar powder


Idli Sambar :

  • Take 1/2 cup toor dal along with 1/8 cup moong dal.Rinse it well.
  • Add to cooker along with 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp oil and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles or until mushy.
  • Let the pressure release by itself.
  • Open and mash it well with a laddle. Set aside.
  • To a bowl add 2 tbsp tamarind, soak in around 1/2 cup warm water. Crush it roughly and set aside for 15 mins.
  • After 15 mins crush well to extract the pulp. Tamarind extract ready.
  • Now to a pot heat 2 tsp oil - add around 10-15 small onion,1 big tomato ,1 long green chilli
  • Saute for few mins until tomatoes turn mushy.
  • Add cooked, mashed dal to it.
  • Rinse the cooker with 1 cup water and add it. Mix it well.
  • Cook covered for 10-12 mins for the veggies to get cooked. Open.
  • Check if carrot is cooked. Prick with a spoon or fork if it easily goes through then its done else cook for few more mins.
  • Strain and add tamarind extract.
  • Add 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder.
  • Mix well and let sambar boil. Meanwhile we can prepare the tadka.
  • To a tadka pan - heat oil. add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp urad dal, a generous pinch hing, few curry leaves and let it splutter. Finally add 1 heaped tsp sambar powder give a quick mix and switch off. Do not burn so switch off immediately.
  • Add this to boiling sambar.
  • Mix it well. Boil for 3-5 mins.
  • Finally garnish with 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, 1 tsp sugar and switch off. Hot tasty idli sambar ready.


  • Take a ladle full of idli batter and add it to the idly pan and steam it for 10-12mins. Sprinkle little water and carefully slide around the edges using a spoon to take the idlis. Now idlis are ready.

Sambar Idli:

  • Take 2 idlis in a plate. Pour sambar over it. Pour more till the idlis are fully covered with sambar. Drizzle ghee. Now sprinkle chopped raw onion and coriander leaves. Delicious Sambar Idli ready!



  • This sambar will get thick, so adjust the consistency by adding water according to your preference.
  • Adding veggies is purely your choice. You can use carrots, brinjal for making this sambar. You can even use drumstick.
  • Adding moong dal gives thickness to the sambar and also lends a good flavour.
  • Sambar should be neither thick nor runny, it should be in between.
  • Add veggies or a combination of veggies so that sambar is flavourful. I used carrots and shallots(small onion) for making this sambar. You can even use potatoes , brinjal or ladies finger or drumstick or raw mango.
  • Make sure your sambar or idli is hot while making sambar idli so that the idlis easily absorb the sambar.
  • Add 1/2 tsp chilli powder if your sambar powder is less spicy.
Nutrition Facts
Idli Sambar | Sambar Idli
Amount Per Serving (100 ml)
Calories 155 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 0.4g3%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Sodium 46mg2%
Potassium 148mg4%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 4349IU87%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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