Go Back
+ servings
a close up shot of an open glass jar of sambar powder
Print

Sambar Powder Recipe (Homemade Sambar Masala)

easy to follow, step by step recipe to make authentic south indian style sambar powder (sambar masala) at home
Course Condiments
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 5 cups
Calories 194kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

For dry roast

  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoon chana dal (split bengal gram /chickpeas)
  • ½ cup toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon urad dal (split & skinned black gram / matpe beans)
  • ½ tablespoon black mustard seeds (rai)
  • ½ tablespoon fenugreek seeds (methi)

For roasting with oil

  • 2 tablespoon oil divided
  • 2 cup dry red chillies *measure in volume not number (see notes)
  • 2 cup byadagi chillies *measure in volume not number (see notes)
  • cup coriander seeds (dhania)
  • 2 tablespoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • tablespoon asafoetida powder (hing)

Other ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Dry roasting ingredients

  • In a wide pan, dry roast chana dal on low flame, till it gets well roasted. When well roasted - chana dal will turn darker in color, and if you eat it, you will feel the crispness, and it will not taste raw. It usually takes 40 minutes to roast chana dal on low flame.
  • In a wide pan, dry roast toor dal on low flame, till it gets well roasted. When well roasted - toor dal will turn darker in color, and if you eat it, you will feel the crispness, and it will not taste raw. It usually takes 25 minutes to roast toor dal on low flame.
  • In a wide pan, dry roast urad dal on low flame, till it gets well roasted. When well roasted - urad dal will turn darker cream, very lightly brown in color, and if you eat it, you will feel the crispness, and it will not taste raw. It usually takes 20 minutes to roast urad dal on low flame.
  • In a wide pan, dry roast fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds together, in the same pan, on a low flame, till they get well roasted. But because fenugreek seeds are larger in size, dry roast them for 1 minute, before adding mustard seeds to the pan. When well roasted - fenugreek seeds will turn lightly red-ish, and mustard seeds will turn white-ish in color. It usually takes 5 minutes to dry roast them on low flame.

Roasting using oil

  • In a wide pan, add 1 tablespoon oil, and the dry red chillies and byadagi chillies. Roast on low flame till the chillies get roasted. Ensure to not burn the chillies. When well roasted - they will turn deeper in color. It usually takes 3-5 minutes to roast them on low flame.
  • In a wide pan, add ½ tablespoon oil, and the coriander seeds. Roast on low flame till the coriander seeds get well roasted. When well roasted - the coriander seeds will turn lightly reddish, and also leave a light aroma. It usually takes 10-15 minutes to roast them on low flame.
  • In a wide pan, add ½ tablespoon oil, and add in the turmeric powder, and asafoetida powder. Roast on low flame for 3-5 minutes, till the spices get lightly roasted. When roasted - they will deepen in color.

Grinding the roasted ingredients

  • Before grinding the ingredients, ensure they have all cooled to room temperature.
  • Then in a dry mixer, add the roasted dals first (chana dal, toor dal, uard dal), and grind them into fine powder. When done, take the powder out of the mixer, and set it aside.
  • In the same mixer, first add the roasted red chillies, and give it a quick pulse to crush the chillies into flakes. Then to the crushed chillies, add roasted fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds, and grind them into powder.
  • Do not over-grind this chilli & spice mixture, else it might turn into a paste-like mix, because of the moisture present (in the form of leftover oil from roasting chillies & coriander seeds). It's okay if it's a coarser mixture compared to the ground dals, but it should still be a dry powder. (see notes below)

Blending everything together

  • In a wide bottomed utensil (paraat), mix together the roasted dal powder, and the roasted chillies & spice powder.
  • To this mixture, add roasted asafoetida powder, turmeric powder, and salt, and mix everything together.
  • Then once again, grind this mix in the dry mixer, to ensure it's all ground into a fine powder, and everything is well blended together. Depending on the size of your mixer, you may need to do this in 2 batches.
  • Sambar powder is ready to use or store. For storing - store it in a dry and air tight glass container at room temperature.

Video

Notes

  1. Low flame is critical to get a good even roast on the ingredients, so do not try and speed up the process by increasing the flame. Better to use flatter wider pans to speed up the roasting process. It will help in getting a more even roast too. All roasting times mentioned above are using a flat wide pan on a low flame.
  2. You can also dry roast everything (especially the dals) simultaneously, on different burners, to save time. And since different ingredients have different roasting times, you can plan accordingly, and also then re-use pans, to save time as well as number of utensils required.
  3. For instance, I always start roasting dals first, 3 dals on 3 burners. Urad dal gets done the quickest, so I reuse that pan for dry roasting fenugreek & mustard seeds. And once the dry roasting is done, I use the same pans to roast chillies and coriander seeds & other spices in oil.
  4. Always measure chillies by volume and not by number. I tried doing it by number, but it did not work out, because the shape and size of chillies can vary, so it's more reliable to measure it by volume.
  5. If you have roasted chillies, it's best to use them versus roasting them just in time to make sambar powder. Because sometimes pre-roasted chillies don't have as much oil on them, and lesser moisture on the ingredients makes it easier to grind them into a powder versus paste. But you can always just quickly pat down the freshly roasted chillies with paper towel to remove excess moisture, and that should work too. I do the same with roasted coriander seeds, to pat down any excess moisture.

Please note: The nutrition values are best estimates provided as a courtesy. The exact values can vary depending on the exact ingredients or brands used. If you rely on them for your specific diet and/or health issues, please consult a registered dietician or nutritionist.

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 790mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1148IU | Vitamin C: 179mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 7mg