Sambar Powder Recipe – Flavorful & aromatic sambar masala powder. Sambar is one of the most delicious South Indian foods often served as a side with rice and vegetable stir fry. There are different kinds made like Idli Sambar, Udupi sambar etc. This masala powder is the main ingredient that adds aroma and taste to the dish.
About Sambar Powder
There are plenty of sambar powder recipes across South India prepared with varying ingredients. Most of these are made with coriander seeds, cumin and lentils as the base. Ingredients like coconut, cinnamon and even stone flower are used in some regions.
For years I had been bringing sambar masala from my mum’s home. For the past one year I have been making my own since I don’t travel frequently.
Making this spice powder at home is easy and can be prepared just under 15 minutes. It is very flavorful and hygienic to make it at home.
This keeps good for about 6 months in the fridge. At room temperature it will keep good for 3 months.
This recipe yields about 1 cup of sambar masala powder. This is good enough to prepare 24 to 30 servings of vegetable sambar. We do not use pepper in this powder. If you prefer you can use it.
This spice powder can also be used to make rasam just add some pepper powder towards the end of making rasam.
How to Make Sambar Powder (Stepwise photos)
Roast Lentils and Spices
1. Heat a pan. If making sambar powder in large quantity then dry roast each ingredient separately as the cooking time is different. Since this recipe is to make little sambar powder I have roasted them together but in batches.
Pour 1 ½ tablespoon chana dal, 1 ½ tablespoon urad dal, 1 tablespoon toor dal and 8 to 12 dried red chilies. You can also use more red chilies than mentioned in the recipe. But with the amount I mentioned it was too hot for my kids. So if you have kids do adjust. Dry roast them on a low flame until the dal is golden in color & begin to turn aromatic.
2. Add ¼ cup coriander seeds and ¾ teaspoon methi seeds. Roast until coriander seeds turn crunchy and the methi seeds are deep roasted & aromatic.
3. When you smell the roasted methi seeds, add 2 sprigs curry leaves and roast until they turn crisp. By now the methi seeds will turn slightly darker in color.
4. Add 2 teaspoon cumin seeds and roast till crunchy. You will smell the cumin good very soon. Turn off the stove. If you prefer to use pepper corn, you can add 1 teaspoon black pepper corn along with cumin. We use pepper only for rasam powder.
5. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric and 1/8 teaspoon hing to this. Turmeric is used here as a preservative to keep the sambar masala good. Transfer all these to a wide plate and cool completely.
Grind Sambar Powder
6. Add them to a mixer/grinder jar. You can also get these milled in a flour mill if you are making in large quantity.
7. Make a fine powder.
Store sambar powder in a air tight glass jar for freshness. You can also use steel jar.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 ½ tablespoons bengal gram (chana dal or senaga pappu)
- 1 ½ tablespoon black gram (skinned urad dal or minapappu)
- 1 tablespoon toor dal (pigeon peas split or kandi pappu)
- 8 to 12 red chilies (adjust to taste)
- ¼ cup coriander seeds (or daniya) 4 tbsps of 22 to 25 grams
- ¾ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds or menthulu)
- 2 sprigs curry leaves (kadi patta or kervepaku) (optional)
- 2 teaspoon cumin (or jeera)
- 1 teaspoon pepper corn (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida (hing) (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (haldi powder)
- Clean lentils, coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
- Heat a pan and regulate the flame to low.
- The entire roasting should happen on a low flame which brings out the aroma from each ingredient.
- Dry roast chana dal, urad dal, toor dal and red chilies until golden. If you are making this in large quantity then roast each ingredient separately until deep golden.
- Add coriander seeds and methi seeds.
- Roast till the coriander turns crunchy and lightly roasted. By then methi seeds also turn slightly dark & aromatic.
- When you begin to smell the methi seeds nice, add curry leaves and roast until they turn crisp.
- Then add cumin and pepper (optional). Roast until it turns crunchy. Turn off the stove.
- At the end of this step, you should have deep roasted dal, methi, coriander seeds, crisp red chilies & curry leaves.
- Add turmeric and hing. Transfer to a wide plate and cool completely.
How to make Sambar Powder
- Add these to a blender/grinder jar.
- Make a fine powder. Cool completely and store in a airtight glass or steel jar.
- Use sambar powder as needed. It keeps good at room temperature for 3 months.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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