Tiffin sambar is one dish that complements many South Indian breakfast/tiffin items. Dishes Idli, Dosa, Vadai, Sambar Vadai, Pongal are incomplete without sambar on the side. One of the most sought out tiffin sambar, that I myself have craved many times is , Saravana Bhavan sambar. There is something in these hotel sambar that tastes quite different from the regular sambar made at home. I din’t yet know that secret but this recipe is pretty close in my opinion.
Here is my version of hotel sambar or tiffin sambar that is a keeper and comes pretty close to quenching my Hotel Sambar craving. I don’t want to claim that this is exact version of Saravana Bhavan Sambar but it comes pretty close to the taste I remember from the Sambar there. Coconut flavor should be subtle and roasted gram dal is the highlight of the dish. Also the addition of jaggary or sugar adds to the flavor of the dish.
This tiffin sambar is on my weeknight dinner menu almost every week. This is my long time fav tiffin sambar that I make and it is also kid approved. This is a close cousin of arachuvitta sambar but less spicy and tart. Tamarind is on the lighter side and tomatoes add to the tag and sweet. The consistency of the sambar should not be too think nor too runny. It has to be right in the middle so it could coat the idli/vada and also have it separately like soup ( which I always do 🙂 ) .
I use toor dal or sometimes mix of toor dal and moong dal even. Usually the veggies alre cooked along with the dal as should be more mushy as it should just melt in the mouth and should not take away from the main tiffin item. If you would like the veggies to have more bite to it, cook it separately and add it to the dal and ground masala mix later. A little Jaggery / sugar will enhance the taste.
I have had this recipe in my drafts for a while but for some reason this regular menu item never seems to wait for the camera 📷 📷 …. Y’day I somehow managed to get some clicks and tried to capture some decent splash too but not completely satisfied. This was the best among many I took…. Guess how many shots?? 🙈🙈… Let’s just say some hungry tummies were made to rumble more than usual but was satisfied with the sambar-rice goodness soon enough…
This recipe also doubles as a good soup, just add veggies of choice to make it into hearty meal. Note this recipe makes a good batch that will generously serve about 4 people.
Tiffin Sambar | Hotel Style Sambar
- 1/4 cup Split Red gram/Toor dal/ Tuvaram parupu
- 1/4 cup Split green gram dal /Moong dal/Payatam parupu
- 2 Green chilis/ Hari mirch/ Pacha Milagai
- 1 Onion cut
- 1 Tomato
- 1/2 cup Carrot/Beans
- 1-2 tbs Tamarind
- 1/2 tsp Jaggery /sugar
- Turmeric powder – couple of pinches
- Salt per taste
- 2-3 Tbs Roasted Gram
- 1/2 tsp Cumin/Jeera/Jeeragam
- 1/4 tsp Funnel/Saunf/Sombu –
- 1/4 tsp Fenugreek/Methi/Vendayam –
- 10 nos Black pepper
- 2-3 Red chillis
- 1 Tbs Coconut
- 1/2 Onion
- 1/2 Tomato
- 1 tsp musturd seeds
- 1 strand curry leaves
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 red chillis slit
- First cook the dals and turmeric in a pressure cooker or Instapot until its cooked soft.
- In a pan roast the dals, masalas, chilis and coconut until golden brown and the aroma is released.
- Then grind all this with the onion and tomato in to a smooth paste.
- Once the dal is cooked nicely and the cooker /IP is ready to open add in the veggies, green chilis and the tamarind paste and give it a quick stir.
- Let it all boil for a min and then add the ground masala mixture and the salt to the cooker.
- Give it a quick mix and leave it in the cooker for couple of whistles.
- This will allow the veggies to cook enough and the take away the raw smell of onion from the ground paste.
- Once the pressure is down open the cooker and add in the jaggery and mix well. Jaggery will melt for the heat of the sambar.
- Add the tadka of Mustard, split red chilis and curry leaves to the sambar and enjoy with hot Idlis or vadas or even with rice.
- Use toor dal or mix of toor dal, moong dal or massor dal even
- Tamarind is on the lighter side and tomatoes add to the tag and sweet.
- Instead of the regular channa dal the roasted grand dal is user for the sambar masala.
- If you would like teh veggies to have more bite to it cook it separately and add it to the dal and ground masala mix.
- Usually the veggies should be more mushy as it should just melt in the mouth and should not take away from the main tiffin item.
- A little Jaggery / sugar will enhance the taste.
- The consistency should not be too think nor too runny. it has to be right in the middle so it could stick to idli/vada and also have it separately like soup .
Tried this recipe? I’d love to know your feedback. Tag @amomscookbook on Instagram and hashtag it #amomscookbook. Connect with me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for more such recipes and food photography.