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May 9, 2014
June 26, 2016

varutharacha sambar recipe with step by step photos – varutharacha sambar is a tasty sambar recipe made with roasted coconut and spices.  It is very flavorful kerala sambar recipe.

sambar is a lentil and vegetable based curry which can be served as a side dish with rice,idli, dosa.


basic info

preparation time: 20 mins
cooking time: 20 mins
recipe type: side dish, main, sambar
cuisine: kerala, indian
serves: 3 – 4


  • toor dal – 1/2 cup
  • turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • mixed vegetables – 1 and 1/2 cups (I used ash gourd, carrot, drumstick)
  • tomato – 1 medium, chopped
  • shallots or cheriya ulli –
  • green chili – 2 – 3, slit
  • tamarind – gooseberry sized
  • coriander leaves – few
  • salt – to taste

for grinding

  • oil – 1 teaspoon
  • coconut – 1 cup
  • fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • chana dal – 1 teaspoon
  • coriander powder – 3 teaspoons
  • shallots – 2
  • red chili powder – 1 – 1 1/2teaspoon
  • asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

for tempering

  • oil – 1 tablespoon
  • mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • dry red chili – 2
  • curry leaves – few

1.Pressure cook toor dal with 1 and 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, for 3 – 4 whistles or until dal gets cooked well.  Wait till the pressure subsides.  Open the pressure cooker, mash the dal well with the back of a ladle and keep it aside.

2.  Meanwhile, chop all the vegetables and keep it aside.

3.  Wash and add tamarind to a cup of hot water.  Let it soak for 10 – 15 minutes.  Extract the pulp and keep it aside.

4.  Heat one teaspoon of oil in a pan.  When the oil is hot enough, add fenugreek seeds and saute till it starts changing color.  Add chana dal, and saute till it becomes golden brown color.  Add coconut, shallot, and saute well on medium flame till it turns golden brown color.  Take care that it does not get burnt.

5.  Add red chili powder, coriander powder, asafoetida powder, saute well till the raw smell of masala goes off.  Take care that it does not get burnt.  Turn off the flame and allow it to cool.  Once cool, transfer the roasted ingredients into a mixer jar and grind it to a smooth paste. ‘Keep it aside.

6.  Add the chopped vegetables, tomato, to the cooked and mashed dal, add salt and another 2 cups of water.  Mix well and cook till the veggies get cooked till 3/4th.

7.  Add tamarind extract, mix well and let it boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes off completely.

8.  Add ground coconut paste, mix well. Add water if necessary to get the desired consistency.  Cook for 5 – 6 minutes.  Turn off the flame.

9.  Heat oil in a pan.  Splutter mustard seeds.  Add dry red chili, curry leaves and saute for a second.  Add the tempering to the sambar, mix well.  Add chopped coriander leaves.  Cover and keep it aside for 10 – 15 minutes so that the flavor get infused in the sambar.

10.  Serve varutharacha sambar with hot rice and mezhukkupuratti or vegetable stir fry.

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