How to Make Authentic Sambar Sadam: A Step-by-Step Recipe Guide

Sambar Sadam is a popular South Indian one-pot meal. It typically consists of rice, lentils such as arhar dal or chana dal, vegetables, and spices. To prepare an authentic Sambar Sadam, using the right ingredients and following the proper cooking methods is crucial. This recipe guide will provide detailed steps for preparing an authentic version of this nutritious and delicious meal. Let’s get started!


To make authentic Sambar Sadam, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1/2 cup of arhar dal
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 chopped drumstick pieces
  • 1 small chopped brinjal (eggplant)
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup of chopped beans
  • 1/4 cup of chopped capsicum
  • 1 tbsp of tamarind extract
  • 2-3 tbsp of sambar powder
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)


To make Sambar Sadam, start by preparing the ingredients in advance. Begin with washing the rice and arhar dal until they run clear and soaking them for half an hour.

Next, chop all of your vegetables beforehand. For tamarind pulp preparation, soak it in hot water for ten minutes before squeezing any seeds or fibres.

In a pan over medium heat, dry roast coriander seeds (2-3 tbsp), cumin seeds (1-2 tsp), fennel seeds (1 tsp), fenugreek seed (1/2 tsp), and dried red chilies until fragrant then grind into a fine powder as your sambar powder.

To cook everything together in one pot efficiently, use a pressure cooker if available. Add soaked rice & dal along with chopped onions (1 piece), tomatoes (1 piece), turmeric powder (half teaspoon), red chilli powder (half a teaspoon). Pour four cups of water and let it whistle about five times at a moderate temperature till cooked.

Making the Sambar

Now it’s time to make the sambar for the Sambar Sadam. Follow these steps:

  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, and 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds. Let them splutter.
  • Take 1 chopped onion and add it to the pan. Fry the onion until it turns translucent in the pan.
  • Add all the chopped vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add 1 tbsp of sambar powder and mix well.
  • Add the tamarind extract and 1-2 cups of water. Mix well.
  • Add the cooked arhar dal and mix well. Allow it to simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add salt to taste and mix well.

Note: You can adjust the consistency of the sambar by adding more or less water. The ideal consistency is somewhere between thick and thin.

Combining the Rice and Sambar

Now that the rice and sambar are both ready, it’s time to combine them to make the Sambar Sadam:

  • Open the pressure cooker and mash the cooked rice and dal with a spoon or a potato masher.
  • Add the prepared sambar to the mashed rice and mix well.
  • Add more water if required to adjust the consistency of the Sambar Sadam.
  • Simmer it on low heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Note: Sambar Sadam tastes best when served hot with a dollop of ghee (clarified butter) on top. You can also serve it with papad, pickle, and yogurt for a complete meal.


Sambar Sadam is a dish from South India traditionally made with rice, arhar dal, vegetables, and spices. It is a wholesome and delicious meal that many love. With this helpful recipe guide, you’ll learn all the steps necessary to create this beloved dish in your kitchen. By using the right ingredients and cooking techniques, you can easily replicate the rich flavours and satisfying textures of Sambar Sadam. So why not give it a try today and savour its wholesome goodness?

Cheryl Henson

Cheryl Henson is a passionate blogger and digital marketing professional who loves writing, reading, and sharing blogs on various topics.

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