Sambar recipe Kerala style | varutharacha sambar | without sambar powder

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Sambar recipe Kerala styleSambar recipe Kerala style | varutharacha sambar | without sambar powder with step by step photos and video recipe. authentic Kerala style sambar where sambar masala is freshly prepared along with roasted coconut. served in kerala sadhya for onam and vishu, this recipe is typical nadan sambar. 

Taste, flavor and color of sambar is in the correct method of sauteing the ingredients for the sambar masala. final sambar shouldn’t be pale yellow in color neither dark brown. pale yellow shows coconut is not roasted properly and quantity of dal is a bit high. dark yellow signifies over roasted masala which actually gives a slight bitter taste.

my mom always says Just by looking at the color of Kerala sambar and smelling it, the taste can be judged.

some of the sambar recipes:

here is the quick video of making Kerala sambar recipe:

Now, lets see step by step making of the sambar recipe Kerala style:

firstly, lets cook the tur dal (tuvaram paruppu/sambar paruppu). wash the tuvar dal twice in running water, transfer it to a cooker. Add water, turmeric powder and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles until mushy. water level for dal can be determined by an inch more than the level it sinks. If your unsure, it is always safe to cook it in a vessel inside cooker so that you need not worry about the water level. Once the pressure releases vy itself, open, mash it well and keep it aside.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

next lets make the sambar masala. There are the things we need to saute and grind. asafoetida compound, Fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, red chilli, curry leaves and coconut grated. keep all the things ready.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

firstly, heat a tsp coconut oil in a pan and drop the asafoetida compound. saute till it is white on all sides. keep turning sides until all sides are white. we call it porichu edukrathu. keep it aside. we will be using it while grinding. If you do not have asafoetida compound. no worries, add asafoetida powder while tempering.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

In the same oil, add fenugreek seeds and fry for 10 seconds or so until it is slightly reddish brown. immediately put the flame to simmer to avoid burning it.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

together drop the measured coriander seeds and fry it until it turns reddish. You could see the color difference below. fry in medium flame.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

drop curry leaves, red chilli and fry for half a minute.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

Now add coconut and fry till it turns reddish. keep frying else only the bottom part turns reddish and top part remains white. It has to fry evenly reddish.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

cool completely, transfer it to blender, add the fried asafoetida compound and grind to a smooth paste. If you do not have asafoetida compound. no worries, add asafoetida powder while tempering.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

Once the sambar masala is ready. take a wide thick bottomed vessel and add sliced shallots, roughly chopped tomatoes, chopped mixed vegetables of your choice. Usually drumstick, white pumpkin, yellow pumpkin, broad beans are added. English vegetables like carrot, beans are not added in typical Kerala sambar but its upto your choice. 3-4 vegetables will do, do not add more of it. Another important note here is need not fry the onion and tomato unlike we do for other sambar recipes. all the vegetables are cooked together. infact, some typical kerala sambar do not even use shallots. 

Sambar recipe Kerala style

add turmeric powder, salt, tamarind extract and water. It is always necessary to cook the vegetables in tamarind water with salt so that tanginess and salt gets into vegetables and tastes better in sambar. add water enough for the vegetables to get cooked.

Sambar recipe Kerala style


it takes nearly 10 minutes on high for the vegetables to get cooked. once it gets cooked. add the cooked and mashed dal. ground sambar masala. mix well adjust salt if needed and let it boil for 10 minutes in medium flame while stirring in between.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

for tempering: heat coconut oil, crackle mustard seeds, red chilli, curry leaves and fry till crisp.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

add the tempering to the sambar and mix well. close immediately so that the flavors are captured in.

Sambar recipe Kerala style

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Sambar recipe Kerala style

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • 1.25 cups tur dal
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

for sambar masala

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 small piece hing/asafoetida compound
  • 1.25 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 3.5 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 6-7 dry red chillies
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut

for making sambar

  • 10-15 no shallots sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 3 cups mixed vegetables
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup tamarind extract
  • salt to taste


  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 spring curry leaves


  • pressure cook tur dal with enough water and turmeric powder to 4-5 whistles. open, mash it and keep it ready until use. 
  • heat coconut oil in a pan, fry the asafoetida compound until white and keep it aside. 
  • in same pan drop the fenugreek seeds and fry till reddish. immediately add coriander seeds and fry till reddish. together add red chillies and curry leaves. fry for half a minute. 
  • lastly, drop grated coconut and fry in simmer until evenly reddish in color. 
  • cool and transfer to a blender along with the fried asafoetida compound and grind to a smooth paste with little water. keep it aside until use. 
  • in a pan, add shallots sliced, tomatoes chopped, chopped vegetables of your choice along with salt, tamarind extract, turmeric powder, water and mix well. 
  • cook until the vegetables are done. now, add the cooked dal, prepared sambar masala, water, adjust salt if required. mix well and let it boil for 5-10 minutes until raw smell of masala goes off. 
  • tempering: heat oil, crackle mustard seeds and add red chilli, curry leaves. fry till crisp and add the tempering to sambar. 
  • mix well and close immediately for 5 minutes. serve hot with rice and ghee. 
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