Onion Sambar

A sambar made with pearl onions (sambar onions), tomato, dhal and tamarind. This sambar goes well with hot rice. Try these other sambar recipes also.

  • Idli Sambar

    Difficulty: Easy

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

  • Araithuvitta Sambar

    Difficulty: Easy

    This sambar is specially made by grinding certain ingredients and then mixing with sambar powder. It is served with rice.

  • Keerai Sambar

    Difficulty: Easy

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

  • Udupi Tiffin Sambar

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: Medium

    This Udupi-style Tiffin Sambar, crafted with freshly ground spices, resembles the Sambar served in Udupi hotels alongside Idli, Dosai, and Vadai.

Onion Sambar

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


Prep time


Cooking time



A sambar made with pearl onions (sambar onions), tomato, dhal and tamarind. This sambar goes well with hot rice.


  • Sambar onion – 15 to 20 Nos

  • Tomato – 1 No (medium size)

  • Green Chilli – 2

  • Thuvar dhal – 1 cup

  • Tamarind – small lemon size

  • Sambar Powder – 1 tablespoon

  • Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon

  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste

  • For seasoning:
  • 2 tablespoon oil

  • Half teaspoon mustard

  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

  • Few curry leaves

  • Fresh coriander leaves – few


  • Wash thuvar dhal and add two cups of water along with a pinch of turmeric powder and pressure cook till soft.
  • Soak tamarind in water and squeeze out the juice. It should be of 2 cups.
  • Peel the onion and keep it whole. Cut tomato into medium size pieces Slit the green chillies lengthwise.
  • In a frying pan add the oil (preferably gingelly oil) and when it is hot add mustard.
  • When the mustard pops up add asafoetida and whole onions, green chillies, curry leaves and fry till the onion looks glossy.
  • Add tomatoes pieces and fry for just one minute.
  • Then add tamarind juice along with sambar powder, turmeric and salt. Cook on medium flame till it boils well.
  • Then add the cooked dhal mashed. Stir and cook till all blends well and thick.
  • Remove it and garnish wish fresh coriander leaves.


  1. I love your recipes. Am trying your sambar powder and onion sambar today. All those sambar pictures make my mouth water. They remind me of my pati’s cooking

  2. Thank you Usha. Your feedback encourage me to post most recipes.

  3. Mami…….super sambar…made it today…..thanks alot mami…..have a nice day

  4. Thank Prabha you for your feedback.

  5. hello aunty thanks for the recipe. it was nice and very useful for me. i am from chennai right now in germany doing my masters. its been 3 months and i have started to cook and i have very limited ingredients coz i am not able to buy many things here in germany. but still your sambhar was simple and effective and i relished my food. please post many simple to cook south Indian food recipes. thanks a lot again.

    • Hi Alvin,

      Thank you for your feed back. I am happy to note that my recipe is useful to you. You can prepare lot of dishes with minimum ingredients. I have already posted day-to-day simple recipes. I will continue to post more.

  6. Very South Indian ,authentic and covering all regions.

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