Tiffin Sambar



If you are a reader of my blog, you will know about my fixation with making sambar from scratch. I absolutely loathe store bought sambar powders. Each powder tastes different and somehow most of it don’t appeal to my taste. I hope I can discover a good enough home made sambar powder recipe that will help me fix up sambar as easily as can be done with store bought. Hehe… You can find two absolutely flavorful sambar recipes on the blog, Malabar style Varutharacha Sambar and Arachuvitta Vengaaya Sambar. Here is one more adding to the list…


I saw this recipe on one of my blogger bestie Meena’s blog. I kept wondering why it is called “tiffin sambar”. I then discovered that it is called so since this sambar is specifically served with tiffin items, like idlis, dosas, ven pongal, etc. The sambar is slightly more watered down when compared to the sambars served with rice, but actually speaking, we had it with rice and totally loved it. First of all, it is a really easy recipe. The only time is making the powder, but that is not much. The remaining recipe comes together in no time. And the final result? Absolutely flavorful! I have used only carrots here but if given a chance, I would have sneaked in a large potato as well! 😉 Do feel free to add a few more veggies, but then, do you see any vegetables in sambars served in hotels? I normally don’t except for a piece of pumpkin, maybe! 😀 I have chosen to temper the sambar in ghee since I love the flavor of ghee, but usually normal cooking oil is used, so basically it is a vegan dish too!


Do try this simple sambar next time you decide to make some tiffin! Off to the recipe… 🙂





5 from 1 vote

Tiffin Sambar

Course Curry
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda


  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 4 shallots peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Kashmiri dried chilli
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp bengal gram lentils chana dal
  • 1/2 tsp toor dal
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • A sprig curry leaves
  • 2 round dried chillies
  • 1 slit green chilli


  • Dry roast all the ingredients under "for sambar powder" till aromatic. Allow to cool slightly and then powder coarsely. Reserve it aside.
  • Soak the moong dal for 15 minutes. Drain.
  • Add the dal along with all ingredients and the prepared sambar powder. Pour one cup of water and give a good mix.
  • Pressure cook for three whistles and switch off. Allow the pressure to go. The dal would be mushy and the vegetables would be cooked.
  • Add more water and bring to a boil as required. Add a pinch of sugar if the sambar is too tangy.
  • Heat ghee in a small pan. Fry the ingredients for tempering till done. Add in to the sambar and keep on closed lid till time to serve.


Linking this post to MLLA #111 being hosted by Sowmya, an event founded by Susan and managed by Lisa


Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    Great flavoring spices, I too minimizes the usage of store bought ready made spice powders. Homemade always healthy and inexpensive.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Suja…

  2. It is so nice to make sambar powder at home rather than buying. This looks so delicious

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Remya…

  3. Sounds delicious Rafee!!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks Gloria…

  4. flavorful sambar !

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks Julie…

  5. Sambhar ki JaI! Thanks for linking this flavourful Sambhar Sweetie..

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Tuma…

  6. Is it a sauce or soup? Looks quite delicious!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      It is a stew to be served with rice… thanks a lot Angie…

  7. I have tried making homemade powder few times but too lazy to make it for day to day purpose, moreover I am big fan of MTR sambar powder but only god knows what goes inside all those powders !

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Hehe… for those cooking every day, making a big batch is the best way forward… at least not for me since sambar is once in a month… hehe… Thank you so much Vinee…

  8. I have two sambar kothiyans at home so we make it very often…and whats not to like in it for a mommy who can sneak in veggies for the kids 😛 the tiffin sambar looks so yum..

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Anupa… 🙂

  9. yumm… I love sambar and idli.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Nammi…

  10. Thank you again for participating Sweets. Mentioned you in the event round up

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