Tiffin Sambar / Easy Breakfast Sambar

What is the trick behind making a good breakfast sambar? The earlier you learn the better for you.
Tiffin sambar- traditional South Indian cuisine
Here is everything you will need for a good finger licking sambar from the scratch (entire list below)

Good may be subjective but everything you see on this blog is tested disapproved corrected finally approved and published. I have a dedicated set of readers who love to read how it happens so this is for you.
    I remember as a newly wed we went to visit my high school Home-science teacher. The  relationship with my tr was much beyond school, our families knew each other very well. Over a cup of tea my teacher casually asked the man,” So hows her cooking ?” He being his usual self reluctantly nodded okay but sambar undakkaan ariyilla (meaning she does not know to make sambar). Bling..all the good impression she had on me went away.. Teacher gave me a curious look and I felt crushed… wished I went down that chair and escaped.  .. .I gave him a good grin and he instantly got the message even if he didn’t know me well. 🙂
Had he raved about his mom’s sambar one phone call would have solved the issue but no she too for some reason was in the same boat so that made me feel kind of better 🙂 I kept asking then who is having this measuring yard stick of best.. there comes the answer – U know the hotel kind !! I was like whatttt :))
After that I have asked everyone I know who cooks well- how to make a good sambar? The answer always began with why u still donoo …which literally translates into -we pushed u into the crocodile’s pond long back u still did not learn to swimmmm! ..the following instructions were quite similar to what I did and the result was always the same flat sambar. I too had given up on my trials.

Story fast forward –

That’s when blogging came by and I chanced upon the recipe here. I should say everything about sambar changed ever since. The kid licked the plate, husband himself blurted out without even asking :)) this sambar is good what did u add in this? I don’t think he was expecting any answer at all but point blankly I said LOVE on hearing that he did manage to pull his lips from ear to ear and walked off nodding his head.

Moral of the story – glad that human face still can do some emoticons :)) and finding the right recipe may take few  many years but it will surely come by.
Tiffin sambar / breakfast sambar
Bottom to top:Vegetable Uttappam, ,Idli , Red coconut chutney, Tiffin sambar, Kesari (sweet), Tea.

Moong dal- 1/2 cup (split and without skin)
Tomatoes- 3
Carrots 2
Small onion- 5-6
Chili powder -1/2 to 1 tsp
Turmeric powder -1/3 tsp
sambar powder – (recipe given at the bottom, make fresh every time for best results)
Salt to taste

To temper:
Sesame oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds -1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
curry leaves- few
Whole red chili – 1
green chili -1 slit

Other ingredients;
sugar – 1/2 tsp(optional)
coriander leaves  –  few chopped
ghee- 1 tsp (optional)

Soak moong dal for 30 minutes drain water.
Dry roast the sambar powder ingredients given below and powder it in a coffee grinder.
In a pressure cooker add the soaked dal, carrot cut into small 4-5pieces , whole small onion , green chili and tomatoes chili powder , turmeric powder, homemade sambar powder and salt add enough water to cover veggies.Cook till well done.(That means dal should be mushy and dissolved well and veggies should be cooked not mashed)
When the pressure goes (add sugar if u like ). Give everything a nice mix.
If most of the water has dried up add a cup or so  and bring it to a rolling boil. switch off flame. (As the sambar sits it will thicken so add water accordingly)

Heat sesame oil in a pan, add mustard when it crackles add  urad dal allow it to become golden then whole red chilies, fenugreek, asafoetida and curry leaves then add, slit green chili give it a minute then pour this tempering onto the prepared tiffin sambar. Finally add ghee and chopped coriander leaves.
Serve Tiffin sambar along with Idli, dosa, vada, uttappam, pongal etc.

Sambar powder recipe: (single use)
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Whole red chili -1
Black pepper – 1 tsp
Cumin-1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Bengal gram dal -1/2 tsp
Toor dal- 1/2 tsp
Mustard – 1/2 to 1 tsp

Dry roast the ingredients until the dals change to golden and all the spices emit a nice aroma. Remove from stove and allow it to cool then powder it in a coffee grinder.Do not skip mustard seeds that is the secret ingredient here.
Note : As the sambar sits it will thicken slightly.

Hope you like it.

7 Replies to “Tiffin Sambar / Easy Breakfast Sambar”

  1. Remya Elizabeth Anish

    I understand that “feel” of hearing – “still donno sambar….?” I was also in the same boat during that “newly wed”time. I even didn't know about names of certain vegetables which our households uses daily. This recipe is so simple recipe that I'll try in the morning to send her school….!!

  2. Priya Ranjit

    such delightful photos, gorgeous clicks for humbe tiffen sambar. Loved reading your story Meena 🙂 sambar has to be perfect else we cannot be good cooks (according to husbands) but in my case he is a little too much expects perfection to every recipe for that matter. I always tell him if I had to measure you by your own standards 😛 then the results are going to make your feel sorry. But yes its the other half who make us get to a level we did not even know that we could reach. They somehow push us to deliver our best. The result being they get all the pride and we get the joy to see them happy 🙂 🙂 and yes those idlies wow wow wow so perfect to the T

  3. Sakshi Sharma

    Hi! I am a north Indian and have had sambar only in restaurants. Since getting married last year, I have been trying to make some good sambar. I followed a couple of recipes off of youtube but I was never impressed. Incidentally, I started my food blog also last year and so wanted to have a good sambar recipe even more eagerly. This recipe, though, seems pretty impressive. I will surely give it a try. Thank you!

  4. Rafeeda AR

    Believe me, I hate sambaars with store bought powders. I don't like the smell nor the taste of it. Reading from the reactions of your family, I feel I must make this one too soon… especially love the idea of the making the powder fresh each time, add a different dimension to the sambar… 🙂

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