May 1, 2013

Tiffin Sambar | Side dish for Idly, Dosa, Pongal

This has been a quite weekend till now and I'm eagerly waiting for the weekend. As we are fast approaching the summer season,we are planning things in full swing. May is one month we are super busy with Kids birthdays, Ballet Recital and other school functions. We are all ready for vacation times. On the cooking front we are enjoying good food and spend time experimenting new dishes. On most days we prefer to have something light for dinner. South Indian tiffin items like Idly and Dosa are most preferred as they are easy to prepare when we have batter ready. We prepare different side dishes each day which goes along with Idly, Dosa so that we don't get bored. Tiffin Sambar is one such recipe which is always liked by everyone at home.

Tiffin Sambar is similar to our regular sambar, but the amount of toor dal and tamarind is reduced and a freshly ground powder is added to give that unique flavor. This Sambar should be slightly watery which would make it best suitable for tiffin items. Some prefer to add jaggery to this sambar but I do not do that. I like to add carrot, beans and potatoes to this Sambar. You can always add other vegetables too. Do not overcook the vegetables they should be slightly crunchy which gives that restaurant style touch. Do try and let me know how you liked it.

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 15 minutes

Serves : 4


Toor Dal/Tuvaram Paruppu - 1/4 cup
Small Onion/Pearl Onion - 10 - 15 no
Tomato - 1 no
Carrot - 2 no
Beans - 6 - 10 no
Potato - 1 no
Tamarind - small goose berry sized piece
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic flakes - 2 no
Green Chilly - 1 no
Mustard - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Coriander Leaves - for garnish
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tsp

For roasting and grinding

Red Chilly - 2 - 3 no
Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu - 1/2 tbsp
Coriander Seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds/Jeeragam - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds/Venthayam - 5 - 6 no
Oil - 1 tsp

  • Peel the pearl onions and wash them once and cut them into halves.
  • Wash and cut the vegetables, tomato, green chilly into medium size pieces.
  • Pressure cook the toor dal with the turmeric and the garlic flakes for 1 whistle.
  • Add 1 tsp oil and roast the channa dal, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chilies, adding one after other for about 2 minutes in medium flame. Allow the contents to cool down and grind it to a coarse powder.
  • Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup water and extract juice and keep aside.
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a kadai/wok, add the mustard followed by the asafoetida.
  • When mustard starts to splutter add the onions, curry leaves, green chilly and salt. Saute until onion turns translucent.
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes and saute until they turn mushy.
  • Add the chopped vegetables, mix and allow them to cook for few minutes.
  • Next add the tamarind extract along with 1 cup water and cook in closed state for about 5 minutes.
  • When the raw smell of the tamarind is gone add the cooked dal, ground powder and stir well.
  • Cook for additional 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with Dosa, Idly, Pongal etc.,
  • I add garlic flakes to the dal before cooking. You can skip that if you do not like garlic in your cooking.
  • Do not burn any of the contents while roasting as it would spoil the taste of the Sambar.
  • Add little extra water as per your required consistency if needed.



Looks yum ...nice clicks

All time fav sambar. Nice clicks

I love this Dosa recipe. Dosa are my favorite and I love to try different Dosa. This Dosa is refreshingly new.

I am going to try this. Can't wait to try it. thank you for shearing your post. Regards, Dosa

sambhar is absolute delish, tiffin bowl looks cool :-)

I Love the tiffin sambar form Raks Kitchen. Its so yummy! Your version looks awesome too.
Love the little bucket!


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