We eat Sambar regularly at my home back in India . In my In Law’s house, it is made almost everyday.Even I make it almost every other day. My Mom makes different variations using different vegetables either combining many vegetables or making stand alone vegetable sambar.She also makes samber using only one kind of vegetable like drumstick sambar etc. My MIL makes mixed vegetable sambar ,that’s the way it is made in Kerala.
Both my Mom and Mother in Law make their own instant sambar powder or sambar masala. They are excellent cooks and their sambar is always finger licking good . During my initial days of helping my Mom in kitchen ,my Mom used to direct me to add few tablespoons of that few of that. So for me making sambar has become very easy. I can still remember my Mom’s masala dabba ,as we call, and I still know how many tablespoons I have to add. It has became like mantra.
After coming here I have seen many of my friends use store bought sambar powder and still their sambar just taste average or below average. Don’t get me wrong they are wonderful cooks 😉 In my little knowledge of culinary world sambar needs right amount spices to taste good . You should not be intimidated by spices.
This post is not for experienced cooks who can make excellent sambar, this is for busy Mom’s or girls who haven’t made good sambar yet. I will share my Mom’s and Mil’s way of making Instant Sambar Powder. All the ingredients will be in your pantry to make this sambar podi.
Ingredient for making Instant Sambar Powder/Sambar Podi:
Coriander Powder 1 or 2 Tablespoons
Chilly Powder 1 or 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin Powder 1 teaspoon
Mustard Powder 1/4 teaspoon
Asofetida 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder 1/4 teaspoon
Dry Ginger Powder 1/4 teaspoon (Optional)
Making of Instant Sambar Powder/Sambar Podi:
Combine all of them in a bowl. There you have it, Instant Sambar Powder or Podi.
Or you can remember the ratio’s and add to the pan directly while making sambar.
I will add asofetida and mustard powder first and when asofetida is fried , I will add turmeric powder and rest of the spices and roast them on low flame. If there is not enough liquid in tha pan, the powders may burn so add little water.
Or you can try my Mil’s way. She mixes all the spices with water and makes a thick paste and then adds this to pan after frying onions.
Choose which ever method is easy for you and make the best sambar using instant sambar powder or sambar podi and enjoy.
I found out when cooked dal is very watery I will like to add more coriander powder. It acts like thickening agent. May be I’m wrong but hey it works for me.
If you have any family sambar powder just like this ,please share.Check out my other mixed vegetable sambar recipe.