How to make Onion Sambar -

Sambhar with an extra inclusion of sambhar onions as a normal variation.Simple and easy to make sambar made with small onions aka pearl onion or shallots. Serve with steamed rice, idli, dosa. Onion Sambar is a very popular South Indian sambar. It goes well with rice and most South Indian tiffins.

Sanjeev Kapoor

This is a Sanjeev Kapoor exclusive recipe.

Main Ingredients : Split pigeon pea, Sambar onions

Cuisine : Tamil Nadu

Course : Dals and Kadhis

For more recipes related to Onion Sambar checkout Keoti Dal, Dal Dhokli, Dal Dhokli, Sabz Bahar Arhar Dal . You can also find more Dals and Kadhis recipes like Mooli Ki Kadhi Dal Pakhtooni Sprouted Moong Kadhi Udupi Sambhar

Onion Sambar

Onion Sambar Recipe Card


The highly developed and sensitive palates of the Tamilians are well chronicled in the Sangam classics. They believe that food should ideally cater to all the six tastes - bitter, pungent, sweet, salty, sour and astringent.
Tamil Nadu has a wide variety of delicious food both for the vegetarians as well as the non-vegetarians, though most of it is made of grains, lentils, rice and vegetables. Spices are added to give a distinctive taste. Rice has been the staple diet of the Tamilians, an inculcated habit, due to the large-scale cultivation of the crop in the state.
Chettinad cuisine, a speciality in Tamil Nadu, is famous for its hot and spicy non-vegetarian food.   A part of the Mudaliar community is non-vegetarians and its cuisine is delightfully spicy without being too hot. Wet masalas are generally used, the main ingredients being fresh coconut paste and ground ginger-garlic.

Prep Time : 26-30 minutes

Cook time : 26-30 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Moderate

Taste : Spicy

Ingredients for Onion Sambar Recipe

  • Split pigeon pea ½ cup

  • Sambar onions 20-25

  • Oil 2 tablespoons

  • Tamarind lemon size

  • Green chillies slit 4

  • Sambhar onions 7-8

  • Fresh coriander leaves ¼ bunch

  • Curry leaves 10-12

  • Mustard seeds ½ teaspoon

  • Whole dry red chillies 4

  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) optional ½ teaspoon

  • Asafoetida ¼ teaspoon

  • Sambhar powder 1½ teaspoons

  • 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 1 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.

website of the year 2013
website of the year 2014
website of the year 2016
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.