Vengaya Sambar (Sambar With Onions) - Plattershare - Recipes, food stories and food lovers

Vengaya Sambar (Sambar With Onions)

Recipe by Amrita Iyer
4 from 2 votes
Served As Lunch
This is an extremely delicious Sambar which is wonderful with plain rice,Idlis or Dosas.It is made with Mini Onions or Shallots or what we call Madras Onions.I did not get Madras Onions so made them with normal Onions sliced in quarters!The grated coconut and curry leaves give an aroma tantalizing to the senses.Lets make this Sambar now.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Cuisine South Indian
Recipe Category Vegetarian
Servings 5


  • Approx 25 Mini Onions/Madras Onions – peeled and cleaned/4 – 5 bog Onions quartered and pieces separated
  • 4 tsp refined Oil
  • 1/3 cup Tuvar Dal/Toor Dal/Arhar Dal
  • A lime sized ball of Tamarind soaked in hot water
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder - Haldi
  • 2 tbsp Sambar Masala - store bought/homemade
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • For the Coconut Paste:
  • 1/2 cup grated Coconut/Desiccated Coconut - soaked in 2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds - Sabut Dhania
  • 7-8 Fenugreek Seeds - Methi Dana
  • For the tempering:
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds - Rai
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds - Methi Dana
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 3-4 curry leaves


  • Heat 2 tsp Refined Oil and fry the Onions till translucent.Boil the Tuvar Dal till it is cooked and mashed.
  • For the Coconut Paste: Heat the remaining 2 tsp Oil and fry the dried red chilies,chana dal,coriander and fenugreek seeds on low heat till fragrant and rosy.Keep aside to cool. Now after cooling grind this along with the coconut to a fine paste.
  • For the Sambar: Extract approx 3 cups Tamarind juice.Add salt,turmeric powder and 1 tbsp Sambar powder,curry leaves and the fried onions.Boil on medium heat till the Onions are tender.
  • Add the Coconut paste to the mix and stir well.Add the mashed Tuvar Dal and mix again.Boil for 5-6 minutes.
  • Heat the ghee and add the Mustard Seeds,dried red chilies and fenugreek seeds.When Mustard Seeds pop add the Asafoetida and curry leaves.Pour the tempering on the Sambar and mix very well to amalgamate.
  • Take off heat and keep covered for all flavors to infuse.Serve hot with Rice with an accompaniment like Potato Podimas or with Idli or Dosa.
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Amrita Iyer
Amrita Iyer

I am a passionate foodie who loves to cook, serve and love to see people relishing my creations. Since the time I was small I used to wonder about the 'how' of things in the kitchen.

Then when I finally ventured as an unprofessional kitchen helper for my late grand-mother (a par excellent cook in her own generation) I was fascinated by the amount of stuff you could do to a simple milk and rice to form a most yummy pudding.

Here I am sharing my recipes with a will to learn from some and educate others as well!

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