January 10, 2012

Sambar Idli

Idli is a favorite south Indian breakfast item which is invariably loved by all. But, this recipe is for spicy sambar into which hot & steaming idli 's are soaked and served. These idli 's will be so juicy & spicy (from the piping hot sambar) and can be best enjoyed when it is hot - every bite into it can simply take you to the other world. I would love to have sambar soaked idli over plain idli on any given day. Hands down, sambar idli's are the best and 'devamrutham' (spicy nectars from the Heaven) would have probably tasted like this :-)

Tamarind - 1 small lemon size (about 2.5 cups)
Moong dal - 1 cup (pressure cooked and mashed)
Sambar powder - 3-4 tsp (adjust to your taste)
Salt & oil - to taste
Medium sized onion (Finely chopped) - 2 nos, about 2 cups
Medium sized tomatoes (Finely chopped) - 2 no
Red chillies - 2-3 nos
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cilantro - few
Curry leaves - few

Soak tamarind in hot water and leave it aside. 10 mins later, extract about 2-3 cups of juice from tamarind and keep it ready.

Take 2 tbsp of oil in a deep pan, splutter mustard seeds, fry red chillies. To this, add onions and saute until it turns transparent. Then, add tomatoes and saute until the raw smell is gone. Now, you can add tamarind juice, sambar powder, salt and let it boil for about 10 -15 mins or until the raw smell of the tamarind juice & sambar powder is gone. Now, add mashed moong dal mixture to this and let it come to a boil. 

Remove from heat and garnish it with cilantro & curry leaves. Meanwhile, splutter mustard seeds in little oil and add it to the sambar. Hot & finger-slurping sambar is ready.

  • Adding 8 - 10 mint leaves gives a fresh flavor to the sambar. Me & my husband simply loved this mild twist in the flavor.
  • Take idlis in a cup / bowl and pour hot sambar on top of it until idli's are completely submerged. Pour a spoonful of ghee on top and enjoy it hot :-)


  1. yummy yummy breakfast.. looks simply superb :)
    Indian Cuisine

  2. Omg, super tempting sambar idli,i can survive for many days with it.

  3. looks very tempting... try with mini idlis if you have the plate.