How to Make Sambar Powder at Home




Anybody visiting an Indian Restaurant anywhere in the world mostly prefers to have Masala Dosa or Idli / Vadai with Sambar. Sambar is a stew cooked in South India with lentils, vegetables, tamarind paste and a special blend of spice powder known as Sambar Powder. In most of the Super Markets you may find ready-made pockets of Sambar Powder stacked for sale.

In South India we make the Sambar Powder at home in large quantities and store it for more than a year in air-tight containers. This recipe will guide you on how to make Sambar powder at home with easily available ingredients. This is one of my Grand Mother's recipe which I inherited from my Mother.

Step 1: Ingredients

The following ingredients are required to make the Sambar Powder

  • 50 grams of dried red chilies
  • 150 grams dried Coriander seeds
  • 50 grams of Fenugreek seeds
  • 50 grams of Cumin seeds
  • 100 grams of Split Yellow lentil ? Toor dal
  • 50 grams of Split Bengal Gram

Step 2: Dry Roast the Ingredients

Most of the time we dry the ingredients in sun-light to remove the moisture from them. Alternately, you can dry roast them in a frying pan over medium heat.

Dry roast all ingredients other than red chilies separately to golden brown and stack them together in a large platter to cool

Step 3: Roast the Red Chilies

Add few drops of cooking oil to the pan and roast the red chilies. No need to remove the stems from the chilies. Add the roasted chilies to other ingredients in the platter and allow everything to cool down to room temperature.

Step 4: Grind the Ingredients

Once the roasted ingredients cooled down, transfer them to a mixer / grinder and make a fine powder

Step 5: Sieve

  • Place a large piece of clean news paper on a table or on the floor
  • Transfer the grind powder from the mixer / grinder jar to a sieve with very fine mesh
  • Sieve the powder over the news paper and re-grind the remains with the mixer / grinder
  • Repeat this process till a little amount of coarse powder, which can not be ground in the mixer / grinder, is left on the sieve.
  • Do not discard the coarse remains. You can use it in your cooking for other items.

Step 6: Spread to Cool and Store

Spread the sieved Sambar powder over the news paper and allow it to cool. Do not store it when it is hot.

Once the Sambar powder cools down to room temperature, transfer the contents to an air-tight stainless steel container with a lid. This Sambar Powder can be stored for more than a year and will not get spoiled.

Use a spoon or two of this powder to make Sambar and enjoy it with Rice, Dosa, Idli and Vadai

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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Very helpful post on Sambar Powder. However I feel we can also add little bit of hing to the powder to enhance the flavor & smell? Any thoughts on this?

    Oh, I like it! Was wondering how to make it. Maybe wouldn't use newspapers but something that doesn't have ink it. Thanks!