Coconut Milk Sambar

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  • Toor Dal
    : 1/2 cup
  • Onion chopped
    : 1 cup
  • tomatoes
    : 4 small
  • Ginger chopped
    : 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic chopped
    : 1 tablespoon
  • Tamarind
    : 1 lime sized ball
  • Chillies
    : 3
  • Turmeric
    : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder
    : 2 teaspoon
  • powdered Fenugreek
    : 1/2 teaspoon
  • asafoetida
    : 3/4th teaspoon
  • Sambar powder
    : 2 tablespoon

For tempering:

  • Mustard
    : 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds
    : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chillies
    : 5 dried
  • Curry Leaves
    : 10-15


Yet another year, another festival time. It’s Kerala’s own festival, Onam. God’s own country is gearing up to welcome Maveli, the king who once ruled a propserous Kerala. Onam is celebrated with its traditional fervor and celebrations not only in Kerala, nut around the world. After a gap of three years, this time we are in our hometown to celebrate Eid and Onam. This time I have come up with 3 dishes for Onam. I’m starting off with Coconut Milk Sambar.

Coconut Milk Sambar was introduced to me by my Srilankan domestic help who was a foodie and a superb cook. She was the person who helped me a lot in pursuing and understanding different cuisines, especially Srilankan and Arabic, which were her trademark. We used to share and discuss about the cuisines, its orgin, traditional methods of cooking these dishes. Qualtiy and ingredients were one main thing which we discussed in detail.

Coconut Milk Sambar is made in Srilanka along with some Indian states like Tamilnadu and coastal regions like Mangalore. Many variations of Sambar can be found through out the South Indian states. Apart from the traditional one, this Sambar recipe is the one which has appealed to me the most. It’s one the tastiest Indian curry which can be served with rice. Thali or Sadya becomes pin pointed and note worthy when Sambar like these gets served.

In this Sambar all the veggies are sauteed in onion, ginger and garlic. A tad of turmeric, chilly powders along with sambar powder completes the dish. Tempering in ghee round off the dish to a perfect curry which empower a puritan sadya.

Though this dish was meant for my Onam special, I was not bale to post and then later I could not post it due to situation we are in currently. My home state, is going through a tough time due to the natural calamity which lasted for almost a week. Floods created havoc in almost thriteen districts, though 4 districts were devastated which includes my hometown. We suffered in a minor way, though our family, friends, nears, dears and fellow men went through trauma and disaster in a larger magnitude,

I take this opportunity to request you all to contribute in whatever way to help the distressed and the state, to bring back normalcy and rebuilt our region in a modern way.

Step 1

Pressure cook the dal/lentils after washing thoroughly with a pinch of turmeric and asafoetida adding 1 cup of water.

Step 2

Heat a pan. Add 2 tablespoons of ghee. When the ghee is hot, add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter, followed by fenugreek seeds, teared red chillies, slit fresh chillies and curry leaves. Let the aroma waft in the air. Then add the onions, ginger and garlic. Saute this till tender and aromatic.

Step 3
Once all the condiments are aromatic, add the powders, that is turmeric, chilli and sambar ande combine well. Cook till the powders are done. Add the sliced tomatoes and cook till pulpy stirring often.

Step 4
Add the veggies and combine everything with the masala. Cook for 3 minutes until its all heated up and coated well. Add 3 tablespoons of tamarind extract and mix up. Adjust salt and saute for 5 minutes.

Step 5

Add the second extract and mix up. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and combine. Once boiled, stick the lid on and cook till vegetables are done.

Step 6

Reduce the flame and add the first extract of the coconut. Simmer in low flame for 3-5 minutes till the coconut milk flavor is well absorbed by the curry. Add a teaspoon of ghee if your prefer at this stage and put back the lid and rest for couple of minutes and your sambar is ready to be served.

Happy Cooking!!!!!!

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