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4.67 from 3 votes

Hotel Sambar

I always wonder the taste of Hotel Sambar (Restaurant style sambar), it is surely a bit different from our usual sambar which we prepare in home. Try the recipe here which is usually being followed in the Hotel (Restaurants)
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Kuzhambu, Lunch
Cuisine: Indian, Tamil Nadu
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 130kcal
Author: Sowmya Venkatachalam


  • 1 Lemon Size Tamarind
  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal (Pigeon pea) 1 cup = 250 ml
  • 1.5 tsp Salt Adjust to your taste
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Chopped into cubes
  • 2 tsp Jaggery Grated
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder

For Grinding

  • 1 tbsp Split Bengal Gram (Channa Dal / Kadalaparuppu)
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 8 Red Chili
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

For Seasoning

  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 fistful Curry Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Asafetida / Hing)
  • 1 tsp Cooking Oil


  • Soak the tamarind in water for 10 minutes and extract the tamarind juice and keep it aside
  • Cook the thurdal with a pinch of Turmeric 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.



  1. I have used only pumpkin. But we can also use mixed vegetables. Shallots tastes so good.
  2. Adjust the spice according to your needs
  3. For the unique taste of Hotel Sambar, we don't add the coconut. But if you want to enhance the taste of sambar, you can add 1/4 cup of coconut along with the grinding ingridents and grind it and add to the sambar
  4. Serve Hot with Ghee. Ghee further enhances the taste.  


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.5g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 0.7g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 527mg | Fiber: 7.5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1150IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3.1mg