South Indian Breakfast Recipe Sambar for Dosa, Idli, Wada, Upma

South Indian Breakfast Recipe

Sambar for Dosa, Idli,

Wada, Upma


To Pressure Cook the Dal

1 cup toor dal/arhar dal, pigeon peas lentil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups water, 24 oz
Tamarind Juice
1 tablespoon tamarind piece
1/3 cup hot water

For Cooking The Vegetable

2 teaspoons oil
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
2 medium carrots, diced
7-8 drumsticks, I used frozen ones that I got from the Indian store
1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 cups water, 24 oz
2 tablespoons sambar powder, homemade or store-bought, adjust to taste
2-3 teaspoons powdered jaggery
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, optional


1 tablespoon ghee, or use oil
3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds, black
1/4 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
10-15 curry leaves
chopped cilantro, to garnish


In a pressure cooker, add the rinsed dal with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 3 cups (24 oz) of water. Cook 5 whistles over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Once the pressure is naturally released, open the stove and lightly mash the cooked dal with a potato masher. Set aside. If using an instant skillet, cook under pressure for 9 minutes at high pressure with natural pressure relief.

Meanwhile, soak 1 tablespoon of tamarind in 1/3 cup of hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Then filter the liquid using a strainer. You will get 3 to 4 tablespoons of water/tamarind juice. Set it aside.

In a saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped eggplant and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add frozen carrots and thighs and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomato and cook for 1 minute.

Then add about 3 cups (24 oz) of water and stir.

Add 2 tablespoons of sambar powder (or adjust to taste). Also add the brown sugar powder and 4 tablespoons of tamarind water that you extracted earlier.

Add the cooked dal. Also add the Kashmir chili powder, if you are using it.

Mix everything together and simmer the sambar over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes.

To soak, heat 1 tablespoon of lard (or oil if you want to keep this vegan), in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Once the ghee is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them explode. Then add the hinge and curry leaves to stir for a few seconds until the leaves become crisp.

Pour the temper over the sambar over low heat.

Serve the hot sambar with idli, dosa or rice!