Kamala's Corner

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 rating: N/A
Recipe by S Kamala 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.

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