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Tiffin Sambar | Hotel Style Sambar

Tiffin sambar is one dish that complements many South Indian breakfast/tiffin items like dosa, idli. It is made by mix of veggies and lentils.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: ramyaanagu


  • 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

To grind:

  • 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
  • Garlic

For Tempering

  • 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 .