Onion Sambar Recipe - Sambhar with an extra inclusion of sambhar onions as a normal variation

This is a Sanjeev Kapoor exclusive recipe.

Main Ingredients : Split pigeon pea (toor dal/arhar dal)(तुवर दाल/अरहर दाल), Turmeric powder(हल्दी का पावडर)

Cuisine : TamilNadu

Course : Dals and Kadhis

Onion Sambar

It is a fact that Dals and Kadhis are comfort foods and they are a good source of calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B and iron. Dals, especially are a major source of dietary fibre and proteins. Kadhis are a blend of yogurt and herbs which assist in efficient digestion. Every region has its locally grown herbs and spices as the key ingredients, thus a variety of kadhis are relished across the length and breadth of Indian subcontinent.

For more recipes related to Onion Sambar checkout Daily Dal , Dal Dhokli , Keoti Dal , Dal Dhokli . You can also find more Dals and Kadhis recipes like Moong Phali Ki Kadhi, Maa Chole Di Dal, Vaal Curry, Jain Dhansaak. Or try out these recipes from TamilNadu Cuisine like Urulai Kizhangu Roast, Chaya Kadohi, Mango Pesarel, Chettinadu Kozhi Kozhambu.

Onion Sambar Recipe - How to make Onion Sambar


Prep Time : 26-30 minutes

Cook time : 26-30 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Medium


  • Split pigeon pea (toor dal/arhar dal) 1/2 cup

  • Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon

  • Oil 4 tablespoons

  • Tamarind lemon size

  • Green chillies 4

  • Sambhar onions 7-8

  • Fresh coriander leaves 1/4 bunch

  • Curry leaves 10-12

  • Mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon

  • Whole dry red chillies 4

  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) optional 1/2 teaspoon

  • Asafoetida 1/4 teaspoon

  • Sambhar powder 1 1/2 teaspoon

  • Salt to taste

  • Rice flour 1 teaspoon


Step 1

Wash and pressure-cook dal in two and a half cups of water with turmeric powder and one teaspoon of oil. Mash the cooked dal lightly with a wooden spoon. Soak tamarind in one cup of warm water. Remove the pulp, strain and keep aside. Wash, remove stems and slit green chillies.

Step 2

Peel and wash sambar onions. Clean, wash and chop coriander leaves. Wash and pat dry curry leaves. Heat remaining oil in a thick-bottomed pan, add mustard seeds, stir-fry till they start to crackle. Add whole red chillies, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida.

Step 3

Add slit green chillies, curry leaves and sambar onions and cook on medium heat stirring continuously for four to five minutes. Stir in tamarind pulp, sambar powder, salt and one cup of water. Reduce heat and simmer for six to eight minutes or till onions are tender.

Step 4

Add boiled dal and simmer for two to three minutes. Blend rice flour in a quarter cup of water and add to sambar. Stir well and cook further for two to three minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

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