How to make Buttermilk Sambhar - Cook Smart -

This unusual sambhar is a treat for even the most discerning palate

Sanjeev Kapoor

This recipe is from FoodFood TV channel & has featured on Sanjeev Kapoor Kitchen.

Main Ingredients : Sour buttermilk, Dried red chillies (सूखी लाल मिर्च )

Cuisine : South Indian

Course : Dals and Kadhis

Buttermilk Sambhar - Cook Smart

Buttermilk Sambhar - Cook Smart Recipe Card


India’s peninsular region comprises of four states that can all together boast of around a dozen different cuisines. This is more than any other part of Asia.
There is something unique about the South Indian food that evokes extreme devotion from all who take pride in its food culture. 
South Indian cuisine has its own niche. If you are in Andhra Pradesh you will relish a coastal Andhra, Telangana and Rayalseema cuisine in addition to Mughlai in Nizami style. Karnataka? It will give you north Karnataka, Saraswat, Coorgi and Mangalorean cuisines. Take a trip to Tamil Nadu to relish its Chettinad cuisine, Madurai and Coimbatore styles of cooking. Kerala, God’s own country, has the Moplah, the Syrian Christian and the Palakkad Iyer food to boast of.
South Indian food is based on a calculated and scientific culture that has been passed down from one generation to another. There is a basic understanding of what to eat in the winters and summers, what not to when one is ill, what to eat to avoid being ill and what to eat when one has a fever. There are no owners for these rules but these safely guarded secrets and recipes are an integral part of traditional South Indian home cooking.

Prep Time : 11-15 minutes

Cook time : 16-20 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Easy

Taste : Tangy

Ingredients for Buttermilk Sambhar - Cook Smart Recipe

  • Sour buttermilk 1 cup

  • Dried red chillies 3-4

  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon

  • Coriander seeds 1 teaspoon

  • Black peppercorns 6-7

  • Poppy seeds 2 teaspoons

  • Garlic cloves 2

  • Fresh coconut scraped 1/2 cup

  • Oil 3 tablespoons

  • Mustard seeds 1 1/2 teaspoons

  • Curry leaves 20-25

  • Shallots peeled 10-12

  • Salt to taste

  • Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon

  • Boondi 1/2 cup


Step 1

Put dried red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, poppy seeds, garlic cloves and coconut into a grinder jar. Add a little water and grind into a smooth paste.

Step 2

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick pan. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 10-15 curry leaves and shallots and saute well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes

Step 3

Transfer ground paste into a bowl, add buttermilk and mix well. Add salt and turmeric powder and mix well.

Step 4

Add buttermilk mixture to the pan, mix well and simmer till it comes to a boil.

Step 5

Add boondi, mix and simmer for 2 minutes.

Step 6

Heat remaining oil in another non-stick pan. Add remaining mustard seeds and remaining curry leaves, let the seeds splutter and add this tempering to the sambhar.

Step 7

Serve hot.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.