I always wonder the taste of hotel Sambar, it is surely a bit different from our usual sambar which we prepare in home. I have tried many permutations and combinations and finally arrived at the below recipe for the Sambar which I believe being followed in the Chennai hotels.


Servings4
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time30mins 

Hotel Sambar
Hotel Sambar

Ingredients for making Sambar:
Tamarind1 Lemon Size
Corainder Leaves1 teaspoon finely chopped
Thur Dal1/2 Cup
Saltto taste
Pumpkin1 cup(Finely Chopped)
Grated Jaggery2 teaspoon(Finely Chopped)

Ingredients for Grinding (for Sambar):
Channa dal(Gram dal)1 tablespoon
Coriander Seeds1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds1/2 teaspoon 
Red chilli8
Fenugeek seeds1/4 teaspoon

Ingredients for Seasoning (for Sambar):
Mustard Seeds1 teaspoon
Curry LeavesFew
Hing1/2 teaspoon 
Oil1 teaspoon

Method
  • Soak the tamarind in water for 10 minutes and extract the tamarind juice and keep it aside
  • Cook the thurdal and finely chopped pumpkin in a pressure cooker. Pumpkin is a key ingredient here which will give a light sweet taste to sambar and also the thickness. 
  • Heat a pan, add the grinding ingredients and dry fry them till the dals turn golden brown













  • Take all the fried ingredients in a mixer

  • Grind all the ingredients to a fine powder and take this in a bowl. This is the Sambar Powder that we are going to add with the Sambar after few steps.
  • Heat a pan, add oil and when the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds starts to sputter, add chopped curry leaves and hing.













  • Add the tamarind extract and salt and allow the mixture to boil till the raw smell of the tamarind goes off.














  • Now add little water with the Sambar Powder (which we prepared few steps before) and mix well. We can also add water while grinding and make it a paste. The main reason for adding water is that, when the sambar powder is added to tamarind extract it should not form lumps. So, if we make the sambar powder as a paste then it mixes well with the tamarind extract. When the raw smell of the tamarind extract goes off, add the sambar powder paste and immediately stir with a ladle to mix well

  •  Now take the cooked dal and pumpkin and smash it nicely with the help of back of a ladle. This should be like a paste. It is very important to make sure that the dal is cooked properly and it should get smashed when we press it with the ladle.
  •  Add the smashed dal and pumpkin to the sambar and stir well. Keep the flame in medium low and wait for the sambar to start boiling.  When the sambar starts to boil, add grated jaggery and remove from flame and garnish with coriander leaves

  • Now the mouth-watering Hotel Sambar is ready with vada, idli, dosa or plain white rice with little ghee.
Hotel Sambar
Hotel Sambar


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  1. mami.. whether we can use moong dal instead of thur dal for making hotel sambhar? pls. reply. thanks.

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  2. No Renjini, We should use only Thur dal to get the right taste and consistency.

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  3. very useful and tasty recipe thank you:)

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  4. Thank you for such tasty recipe:)

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  5. Mami, can we add other veggies like carrots drumsticks, radish, onions? will it change the taste?

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    Replies
    1. Sure Radha, we can very well use other vegetables too.

      Delete
  6. Hi mami

    I love your site and all the recipes you have here are almost the same as my mother's. You are like a sister to me because of the age as well. I myself am a very good cook and like you I do not miss any festival and celebrations.
    Please do not mind my correction. You use the word smashed/smash instead of mashed/mash.

    Smashed means breaking/shattering someone/something violently.

    Mashed is crushing or breaking of food.
    Please no offence

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Thanks for letting me know. I will correct it in all recipes.

      Delete
  7. mami onion poda vendaama?? also tell me what colour pumpkin should be used (white or yellow?)

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    Replies
    1. Hi, I used yellow pumpkin, For pumpkin, you dont need to add onions. We can use baby onions alone or we can combine other vegetables with onions too.

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  8. Very tasty sambar i will try it thank you

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  9. Hi Auntie, Tried myself in the last weekend along with Idly.. Came up very nicely.. thank you

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  10. mami how much water should we add to tamarind for extract ?

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  11. Amazing website... Love it amma!! Especially for people like me who keep wondering how my mom gets that taste and not me even after following her recipe step by step :) Kudos to your son and DIL who took this initiative:) Really appreciate it!

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  12. Why are we adding jaggery to the sambar maami? i thought it was more of a kannadiga style of cooking...

    Thanks
    Renganathan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Renganthan, Adding Jaggery is always optional. Adding jaggery will give additional taste to sambar as it lifts up the flavour of tamarind we have added. Also if in case we have more spice or tangy, adding jaggery always helps to adjust the taste.

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  13. Hi maami
    Love ur site..n ur recipes. .im too passionate abt cooking n me too expert in south Indian, north indian., chinese, ,,...ur presentation s r really superb n very easy to follow. !!! Tq..n expecting more n more from u.!!!!

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  14. I tried your Hotel Sambar. I substituted pearl onions (Chinna Vengaayam), 1/3 zucchini, and 1 small carrot - for the pumpkin. Although my microwave reheated Ven Pongal fell short of its original incarnation, the combination came close to hog heaven (Saravan Bhavan?) Thank you for keeping the diaspora cuisine up to snuff! We appreciate your sharing your know-how!

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  15. Hi amma,

    loved all ur recipes,wanted to know the recipe for idli sambhar the hotel syle.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi mami, i want to know how to make vegitable sambar for lunch. Can you please tell the recipe of that

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Latha, please refer these links for vegetable sambar. http://www.subbuskitchen.com/2009/01/sambar.html#.U8obWPldXuI
      http://www.subbuskitchen.com/2009/01/sambar-araithuvita-sambar.html#.U8obRPldXuI

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