Best way to make IDLI SAMBAR

Idli Sambar is a popular South Indian dish consisting of soft, fluffy rice cakes (idli) served with a flavorful and aromatic lentil-based vegetable stew (sambar).

Idli Sambar recipe:


Idli Sambar is a popular South Indian dish consisting of soft, fluffy rice cakes (idli) served with a flavorful and aromatic lentil-based vegetable stew (sambar). This dish is not only delicious but also nutritious, making it a perfect choice for a wholesome breakfast or a light meal.

Idli sambar

Ingredients: For Idli

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1/2 cup of urad dal (split black gram)
  • Salt to Taste
  • Water for soaking

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For Sambar:

  • 1 cup of toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 2 cups of mixed vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, eggplant, drumsticks, and okra), chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of sambar powder (readily available or homemade)
  • A small piece of tamarind, soaked in warm Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • A few curry Leaves
  • Chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish

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For Idli:

  • Rinse and soak the rice and urad dal separately for 4-6 hours.
  • Drain the water and grind them into a smooth batter, adding water as needed.
  • Add salt to the batter and let it ferment overnight or for 6-8 hours.
  • Grease idli molds, pour the batter into each mold, and steam for 10-12 minutes until they are cooked and fluffy.

For Sambar:

  • Pressure cook the toor dal with water until soft and mushy.Mash it and set aside.
  • In a large pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add cumin seeds, asafoetida, and curry leaves.
  • Add chopped onions and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, and sambar powder. Cook until the tomatoes become soft.
  • Add the mixed vegetables and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Extract tamarind juice from the soaked tamarind and add it to the pan along with salt. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the mashed toor dal and simmer for a few more minutes until the sambar reaches a thick consistency.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Health Benefits:

  • Idli is a good source of carbohydrates and protein.
  • Sambar is rich in protein and fiber from lentils and vegetables.
  • The dish is low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
  • It provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Nutritional Value (Approx. Per Serving)

  • Calories: 250-300 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 50-60g
  • Protein: 10-15g
  • Fat: 2-3g
  • Fiber: 8-10g

Time of Cooking:

  • Idli: 15-20 minutes (excluding fermentation time)
  • Sambar: 30-40 minutes

Preparation Time:

  • Idli batter preparation: 10 minutes (excluding soaking time)
  • Sambar preparation: 20 minutes

Calorific Value:

  • Approximately 250-300 calories per serving.


1. Can I use store-bought idli batter?

Yes, you can, for convenience.

2. What can I substitute for tamarind?

You can use lemon juice as a tamarind substitute.

3. Is sambar powder necessary?

It adds flavor, but you can use a mix of coriander, cumin, and red chili powder as an alternative.

4. Can I customize the vegetables in sambar?

Yes, use your favorite vegetables or what’s available.

5. Can I make idli without a steamer?

You can use a microwave or idli cooker.

Enjoy your nutritious and delicious homemade Idli Sambar!

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