Tamarind-Spiced Arhar Dal Sambar

Best For

Special treat


Serves 3-4

Time: 1 hour



  • 1/4 cup arhar daal, soaked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Flavored Vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 cup chopped pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans or 1 drumstick, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cups water

Tamarind pulp

  • 2 tablespoons imli (tamarind), soaked

Sambar Masala

  • 1 tablespoons arhar daal
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

Other Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 2 teaspoons rock salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander


  • Soak 1/4 cup arhar daal for 6 hours.
  • Soak 2 tbsps imli in 1/4 cup water for 1 hour.


  1. Heat a pot and add the base ingredients. Partially cover, and allow to cook for 20 minutes on medium flame. Once done, set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat another pot on medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Dry roast for a minute.
  3. Add all the remaining flavored vegetable ingredients to the pot. Cover, and allow to cook for 15 minutes until soft.
  4. Strain the soaked tamarind through a sieve. Discard the roughage and set the pulp aside to be used later.
  5. Roast all the sambar masala ingredients in a heated tawa for 3 minutes, then blend. Transfer the cooked daal and its water into the same blender, and blend with the sambar masala.
  6. Add the blended sambar masala, tamarind pulp, 1 cup water, asafoetida, and nutmeg to the flavored vegetables, and stir. Cover and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Switch off the stove and add the rock salt. Stir, and top with coriander leaves. Serve with idli or rice.


  1. Rich in Protein and Fiber: Arhar dal serves as an excellent source of plant-based protein, while the combination of vegetables and tamarind pulp adds dietary fiber, promoting digestive health.
  2. Abundant in Vitamins and Minerals: The variety of vegetables used in the sambar, such as pumpkin, carrots, and green beans, contribute essential vitamins (like vitamin A and vitamin C) and minerals (such as potassium and iron) to the dish.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Mustard seeds and curry leaves not only enhance the flavor but also provide potential anti-inflammatory benefits, supporting overall health.
  4. Digestive Aid: Asafoetida (hing) aids digestion and helps prevent gas-related discomfort, making the sambar easier on the stomach.
  5. Balanced Flavor Profile: The sambar masala, with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and fenugreek seeds, adds a rich and aromatic flavor, elevating the taste of the dish.

Nutritive Value (Approximate values per serving):

  • Calories: 150-180 kcal
  • Protein: 7-9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 25-30 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 5-7 grams
  • Fat: 2-4 grams
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, iron, and other micronutrients.

Note: The actual nutritive value may vary based on specific ingredients used and portion sizes.

This Tamarind-Spiced Arhar Dal Sambar is a nutritious and flavorful dish that combines the goodness of lentils, vegetables, and spices. It provides a well-rounded source of essential nutrients and can be served with idli or rice, making it a versatile and wholesome addition to your meal.

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