Sambar is a South Indian Stew made of lentils, spices and optionally vegetables and is eaten with plain rice. It uses a spice mix called as Sambar powder. One thing I absolutely love to death is my mom’s Sambar. Even if she makes 5 courses, I will end up eating sambar for all the courses and skip everything else. That much is my craze for it. Like many others, I bought packets of home made Sambar and Rasam powder from home when I moved to the US – not because I cannot make it, but because my mom just like million others thought that I would be left helpless all of a sudden in an alien place ( I dint mean the country, meant the Kitchen ;-) ) not knowing what to do! hahaha.

Statistics say that there are about 1.5 million insects for every one human being. Likewise I would say, there are zillions of versions for Sambar Powder. I have seen so many varieties of the same which goes on to prove Sambar powder is one of the most versatile and loved recipe by so many Indians. So I thought lemme add my bit too among the many and as always its my mom’s recipe. You might have some complicated versions to ‘mm..not so complicated- doable’ version to simple ones. Mine is the utmost simplest and basic’est’ version possible. So if you run out of Sambar powder and dont have the patience or time to make elaborate ones – then this is your answer :)

  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Yields: Makes around 4-5 cups
  • 1 cup Bengal Gram (channa dal,Kadalaparuppu)
  • 1 cup Coriander seeds (daniya)
  • 2 tbsp Fenugreek seeds ( methi seeds,vendayam)
  • 1/2-1 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 cup dried red chillies ( for mild version. Add more to make it spicy)

Dry roast the bengal gram along with Coriander seeds and red chillies.Make sure they dont burn.


Once the aroma starts, add the asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. Roast until reddish golden in color. Make sure to not let fenugreek seeds burn since it would make the powder bitter


.Cool a bit and in a completely dry processor grind it into a powder.


Store it in an air tight container. This stays fresh and comes for months depending upon your message. This whole process end-to end takes up maximum about 20min. So what are you waiting for? Just prepare fresh Sambar right now and enjoy :)

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By Chhavi on Apr 27, 2014

So so simple to make....I also use it while making arhar deal, tomato rice etc. 


By savi on Apr 7, 2014


By Gowri on Mar 23, 2014

:roll: interesting and esy version of sambar podi

By Nida on Feb 10, 2014

:-P I am so happy to find your site today!! So looking forward to reading all your articles and stocking up on basic S. Indian cooking ingredients. Thank you so much you have made my day!!! Although its suppose to snow, I will be trekking out to find a good Indian Store. =)

By Naurael on Aug 17, 2013

My! So easy to make and it smells so good... I'm off to make your South Indian Sambar Recipe, now that I actually also have Sambar powder. :) I'll let you know how it turned out! Love, Naurael

By Swedhana on May 21, 2013

Hi DK, My mom's version includes equal proportion of Bengal gram and Tuvar Dal. She also includes little bit of mustard , cumin and pepper too with the ingredients, however asafoetida is a strict no no in the mix. It needs to be added only while making the Sambar for its aroma. Recently while grinding my monthly supply of Sambar podi, I left all the ingredients mixed and left it in the oven (at its lowest setting) for about hour and half before grinding. The aroma was just amazing reminding of the Maavu mill back in India :)

By bharathi on Dec 10, 2012

Hi guys, I think adding 1 cup urad dal to this mixture and dry roasting along with other ingredients will give us very good flovour and aroma

By mariana on Dec 9, 2012

I just came back from the store with all the ingredients for Sambar Powder. I read the recipe again and noticed that you didn't use the fenugreek seeds.Why is that?

By Sonu on Oct 14, 2012

Um can u also explain how to use this powder in a sambar recipe that u make? Thx!!! :-)

Pls refer my Sambar Recipe for the usage --DK

By Akiaa on Feb 28, 2011

Hi,I have been following your blog since few weeks!You got hell lot of good recipes which i would be trying..have started trying few already..:) About cup measurement for sambar powder,did you mean US cup?

Thanks for the good word. Makes the effort worth it :) Yes, I meant the US cup :)

By tazaika on Mar 20, 2010

hi great recipe for quick sambar.vl try it out soon

By Divya Kudua on Nov 8, 2008

Never tried making it myself..amma makes sure I am loaded with it during my visit to home..;-)

By Vanamala on Nov 7, 2008

Nice color of powder & good one

By DK on Nov 7, 2008

Hey Girls,

Thanks a bunch for your comments. It sure makes it sweet.

Cilantro - I keep it little coarser for no obvious reasons. you can grind them into fine powder too :) I just make sure that the powder is not coarse enough for me start tasting while eating my sambar rice. Thats about it :) And yes this is v simple and needs hardly any work

By Mansi on Nov 7, 2008

My sister-in-law sends me sambhar powder every year, and its just amazing! but your recipe is really so simple, I'm tempted to give it a shot! it does look great:)

By kamala on Nov 7, 2008

I always make at my home..I like the aroma of home made..Grt powder all time

By viji on Nov 7, 2008

dk receive friendship award from my blog yaar

By Madhu on Nov 7, 2008

Can't live without it, My mom makes this for me,I never make this at home.

By Medhaa on Nov 7, 2008

your version has such few ingredients, the one I got from my friends mom has a long list of ingredients which I already made and will last for another 6 months.

By Cilantro on Nov 7, 2008

There has been many sambhar powder recipes in the blog world recently...your recipe is simple and good to know you like sambhar a lot. Ammas grinds them to a fine powder. Your version looks a little coarse....or is the pic deceiving me????

By Kalai on Nov 7, 2008

Fresh sambar powder is just the best, isn't it? I just love the aroma that follows you around as you're roasting the spices! It truly is intoxicating! :)

By Bhawana on Nov 7, 2008

Nice posting again DK. All good masala collection :). well now I have got reference to look for. I didnt know abt such masala powder's. I used ready made. good one.

By Curry Leaf on Nov 7, 2008

Well, I have seen a complicated recipe and hence did not try it.But this is simple.I usually buy it on depend on mom.have to try this

By G.Pavani on Nov 7, 2008

Thanks for giving home made sambar pwd.anything which we make in home gives more tasty...

By Srivalli on Nov 7, 2008

well your series rocks never gets bored of sambar!..atleast me!!!

By Divya Vikram on Nov 7, 2008

You were correct..I never made sambar podi at home..My mom is the manufacturer!

By Nags on Nov 7, 2008

my mom-in-law has been supplying sambar powder for me but recently i started making my own. felt so accomplished when i made the first batch :D