Keerai Sambar

Keerai sambar is a South Indian dish made with lentils, mixed greens (keerai), and a flavorful tamarind-based broth. It is typically served with rice or as a side dish for dosa or idli. The greens used in keerai sambar can vary, but popular choices include spinach, amaranth leaves, or fenugreek leaves. The dish is seasoned with a blend of spices such as mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chilies. Keerai sambar is nutritious, delicious, and a great way to incorporate leafy greens into your diet.

Keerai Sambar

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


Prep time


Cooking time



Learn how to make a delicious spinach sambar with thoor dhal and tamarind, perfect to serve over steamed rice. A flavorful South Indian dish!


  • Keerai (Any green) – chopped finely one cup

  • 1/2 cup Thuvar dhal

  • Tamarind – big gooseberry size

  • 1 tablespoon Sambar powder

  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder

  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste

  • For seasoning:
  • oil – 1 tablespoon

  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • A pinch of asafoetida

  • Sambar onion – 4 or 5 cut length wise

  • Tomato -1 (Chopped finely)

  • Green Chilli – 1


  • Begin by thoroughly washing the thuvar dhal. Place it in a pressure cooker with two cups of water and a pinch of turmeric powder. Cook until the dhal is soft and fully cooked.
  • Soak the tamarind in water, then squeeze out the juice, adding enough water to make two cups of tamarind water.
  • Heat oil in a kadai over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Quickly add fenugreek seeds, frying them for just a moment before introducing the chopped onion, slit green chillies, and asafetida. Sauté the mixture for a short while.
  • Next, add the chopped tomato to the kadai, cooking until it becomes well mashed.
  • Stir in the sambar powder, additional turmeric powder, and salt, along with a little water to facilitate mixing.
  • Incorporate the cooked dhal into the kadai and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • As it begins to boil, pour in the tamarind water, stirring thoroughly.
  • Allow the mixture to boil for 3 to 5 seconds before adding the chopped greens. Mix well.
  • Cover the kadai with a lid and continue to boil for a few more minutes on medium heat.
  • Once done, remove from heat and serve hot alongside steamed rice for a comforting meal.

Recipe Video


  1. Slurp! Love greens sambhar! 🙂

  2. Divya Vikram

    I am glad i found your blog Kamala. You have so many authentic tamil recipes!

  3. Asha and Divya Vikram

    Thank you for visiting my site and your views.

  4. I had extra greens in the fridge, and wanted a welcome change from palak paneer and aloo palak. Thanks!

  5. Hi Jennifer,

    Welcome once again. This sambar will be nice to have with hot rice. If you want to use this as a side dish for rotis, then you can reduce tamarind and add more tomatos.

  6. Hi Kamala,
    Thank you very much for this wonderful recipe. I made this tonight for dinner and we absolutely loved it. And yes…you have a wonderful collection of recipes here. Great job!!

  7. Hi Sangeeta

    Thank you for visiting my site. Nice to hear that you liked this sambar.

  8. thanks a ton!!!!

  9. Hi HaRy,

    Welcome to my site and thank you for your comments.

  10. Aishwarya Rao

    Just tried out your recipe. You made it so easy for me to make some awesome keerai sambhar in a matter of minutes. Thanks for the share. I will come back for more.

  11. Hi Aishwarya Rao,

    Thank you for visiting my site and your comments. Nice to hear that you tried this sambar.

  12. I have tried most of your receipes and its really awesome. Your website is my "Cooking Bible". Keep doing this great work and would be great if you can add some more receipes like veg.briyani etc. Your receipes are rocking here in Wellington, NZ 🙂

  13. Hi Saranya,

    Thank you for your encouraging comments. I will post more recipes soon.

  14. This is the first time i am tried your recipe and trust me it came so awesome, Just same as what my mom use to make. Toooo Goodd. And pretty simple too. Finished in less than 30 min for the first time.

    Thank you so much have book marked the site to my Best recipe.


  15. Thank you Vinod. Nice to hear that you tried this sambar and liked it.

  16. Dhakshayani

    Hai Kamala,
    Tried this recipe and came out well. I am so surprised that my kids loved it. Thank you so much and appreciate your great work

  17. Mdm Kamala..juz one word…BRILLIANT! I have saved your site in my favourites..and I am going to try out the receipes. So many varieties… I use to crack my head thinking what to cook…..your kuzhambu receipes are so good…thank you madam…thank you very much

  18. Hi Kamala
    Tried this receipe and found it very sour. The tamarind quantity was too much. I think the lemon size tamarind you have mentioned is a bit too much for 1/2 cup tuvar dhal. Marble size tamarind should suffice. I followed exact measurements.

    • Hi Carol,

      The sour taste may be due to the quality of tamarind. The lemon size (what we get in India is little bigger than gooseberry size) is a small lemon size and not tightly rolled. If you find it sour, then reduce the quantity of tamarind.

  19. Hiii,
    I tried out keerai sambar and it came well…. My hubby likes it……..very tasty……….thank you …

  20. Mrs Sai Santha

    i have tried your vegetarian recipe, its really turns good .
    I am from Malaysia.

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