Idli Sambar

This sambar recipe is specifically made for idli and dosai with dhal, onion and tomato.

  • Idli

    Difficulty: Medium

    A very common Tamilian breakfast dish that is served with chutney/sambar/milagai podi

  • Dosai

    Difficulty: Medium

    The classic breakfast dish made with parboiled rice and dhal. It is served with Chutney and Sambar

Idli Sambar

Recipe by S Kamala
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: KuzhambuCuisine: Indian, TamilDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This sambar recipe is specifically made for idli and dosai with dhal, onion and tomato.


  • Thuvar dhal – ½ cup

  • Green gram dhal – ¼ cup

  • Tamarind – Big Gooseberry size

  • Sambar Powder – 2 teaspoons

  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon

  • Sambar onion – 10 to 15 Nos

  • Tomato – 1 No

  • Green Chillies – 2 Nos

  • Curry leaves – few

  • Coriander leaves – for garnishing

  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

  • Mustard – ½ teaspoon

  • Asafoetida Powder – ¼ teaspoon

  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste


  • Pressure cook both thuvar and green gram dhals together along with a pinch of turmeric powder till soft.
  • Soak tamarind in water and squeeze out the juice with half cup water.
  • Peel the skin from the sambar onion and cut it lengthwise into two or four, depending on its size.
  • Chop tomato. Slit the green chillies lengthwise.
  • In a kadai put the oil and when it is hot add mustard.
  • When it splutters, add asafoetida powder, cut onion, slit green chillies, curry leaves and fry till the onion is transparent.
  • Then add tomato and fry for a while. Add sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Add tamarind water and close with lid. Allow to boil for one or two minutes.
  • Then add the cooked dhal and stir well. Allow to boil again.
  • Remove from stove and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Tips:
  • You can also add one small potato and carrot cut into small pieces along with sambar onions.


  1. I don’t know how to make sambar powder at home.
    If you let me know.Tks.

  2. nalini vijay

    Your’s idli sambar is very tasty. How to make pongal sambar. Whether this is similar as idli sambar

  3. hi aunty

    for idly sambar compulsory want to use green gram dhal….

    • Hi Lakshmi,

      There is no compulsory to use green gram dhal. You can prepare it with thuvar dhal only. However adding green gram dhal will enhance the flavour of the sambar and give texture also.

  4. Thank u aunty……

  5. very nice recipe

  6. Sunita Nambiar

    All recepies are good thank you

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