Kadambam – My Recipe Book

A collection of Vegetarian recipes

Iyengar Sambar Powder

Posted by Sneha on March 31, 2007

My mom makes the absolutely best and delicious sambars and rasams! As in most Iyengar households, I grew up eating sambar almost everyday of my life! Ask any Iyengar, or even any Tamilian for that matter, they will tell you that sambar is not a single dish, but, every sambar is different depending upon the vegetables used, the way it is made, etc, etc. For us, Vendakkai sambar, Kathrikkai sambar, murungakkai sambar, vengaya sambar, aracha kuzhambu (kuzhambu = sambar), poricha kuzhambu, podi kuzhambu, vagera, vagera, each one of them is unique and different from the other! Such being the importance given to sambar in an Iyengar household, the best sambar recipes naturally come from there. Here I proudly present my mom’s sambar powder recipe. So far, I have not come across even a single person who did not love this sambar and have not asked for the recipe! So, here goes a family secret ;-)!



1 cup dhaniya(coriander seeds)
2 cups dried red chillies
1/4 cup kadale paruppu (Channa dal)
1/4 cup Uzhutham paruppu (Urad dal)
1/4 cup venthyam (methi seeds)



1.Dry roast all the ingredients separately until they give a nice aroma. (The dals should just about start turning to a pale brown)
2.Let cool and dry grind everything together and store in an air tight container.
3.Stores well for a couple of months.

48 Responses to “Iyengar Sambar Powder”

  1. Trupti said

    Homemade Samhar powder is so much better, I agree…..! I made my own last time, and the taste was awesome!

  2. Sneha said

    so true, nothing beats homemade!

  3. jeena said

    Hi Your food blog looks great and you have some
    lovely recipes, I will be back to visit you.

    Jeena xx

    visit jeenas blog for healthy recipes
    updated daily !

  4. Aruna said

    Hi Sneha, first time seeing ur blog, love to learn some “traditional Iyengar recipes” Would u mind posting “Iyengar puliyogare” (tamarind rice) recipe ? WIll be visiting ur site from now on. Thx

  5. Anitha said

    Hi Sneha

    Could you pls explain in detail of how to make the Iyengar sambar and how many spoons of sambar podi you have to add. Thanks


  6. Sneha said

    Welcome to my blog. For about 4 people, boil about 3/4 cup tur dal, and some veggies separate. Then bring them all together, add required amount of Tamarind, sambar powder(about 1 1/2 to 2 tsps) and salt to taste. Boil. Season, garnish with curry and coriander leaves and serve. Hope this helps for now. Will make a detailed post soon!

  7. Sneha said

    Thanks for passing by my blog. Puliyodharai/puliyogare is definitely in my list…will post soon, Stay tuned!


  8. Sneha said

    Hi Jeena,
    Welcome to my blog. Thanks for your encouraging comments! Have a wonderful day!

  9. anu said

    can u send the links for rasam powder measurement and also method

  10. Sneha said

    Hi Anu,
    Dont know what links you are asking, ‘cos, I havent posted Rasam Powder in this blog so far, but, will do soon! Please give me some time 🙂
    If you are asking for any external links to the recipe, my answer would be, “Google is your best friend” 😉
    Thanks for visiting!


  11. seamaiden said

    This looks really delicious! I am looking forward to a longer post about how to make various Sambars. 🙂

  12. Sneha said

    hi Sea,
    Welcome to my blog. Will do a post on sambar, sometime soon. Stay tuned!

  13. Ranganathan said

    Please give your mother’s recipes for the following:

    aracha kuzhambu (kuzhambu = sambar), poricha kuzhambu, podi kuzhambu,

    and puLioharai.


  14. Ranganathan said

    Do you have a recipe for ‘curry powder’ ? I need something that is traditional that I can add to some of the dry vegetables I cook, in addition to the usual seasoning.

    This would be a welcome help for bachelors.

    Thanks in advance.

  15. Sneha said

    Pls. refer to my Kathrikkai Podimas(category:side dishes) for the curry powder recipe that you can use for vegetables. Thanks for visiting!

  16. Sneha said

    And Ranga,
    About the rest of the recipes you have asked for, pls. stay tuned! Thanks again!

  17. umah said

    hi sneha,
    i am frm malaysia n tried yr sambar powder n it was really nice..can i have the recipe for areche kozhembu, vathal kozhembu n different types of rice….thank u



  18. divya said


    Your blog looks really delicious.I am new blogger do encourage me plz….

  19. shobha said

    hi sneha
    i am from karnataka and we add a very small bit of hing to the ingredients and a bit of jaggery to the sambhar. It balances the other ingredients and tastes great


  20. sendhilkumar said

    Can u pls help me in IDLI PARUPPU PODI

  21. Frederick Ludowyk said


    I think I now know how to make sambar (thanks Sneha!). But I’m not at all sure how to use sambar powder. Do I use it like curry powder? A bit of help would be greatly appreciated.

  22. Sneha said

    Let me summarise in short the method to make sambar: Boil vegetables along with salt, turmeric and tamarind paste, when cooked, add sambar powder + Cooked Dal(cook tur dal in pressure cooker with double the water as dal, with the help of a ladle/spoon, mash it to make a homogenous mix), adjust salt and tang(tamarind) to taste and let it boil on medium flame for about 10-15 mins or until everything comes together. Season with mustard + Hing(asafoetida)+curry leaves +coriander leaves. Hope this helps, and enjoy ur sambar!

  23. Sneha said

    Sorry for such a delayed response, but, ur recipe requests will be accomodated ASAP, thanks for visiting!

  24. Anu said


    great blog.. it would help to have a few pictures of these interesting dishes too!

  25. navya said

    Sneha September 22,2008 Monday 6:30pm

    Good recipie I
    liked the Iyengar sambar powder.It was really really GOOD!!!

  26. Hema said

    Good & very delicious sambar powder.

  27. priya as said

    hi its good

  28. sam said

    Hi Sneha,

    Fantastic sambar my wife is shocked.
    Now Araichi utta kuzambu please

    Thanks Sam

  29. Harshita said

    I tried this and the sambar turned out wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  30. solomon raju said

    hai this blocg is nice i like it so much i want medras sambar recipe can u post it

  31. Sudha Renganathan said

    Great job.The sambhar podi that too Iyengars looks much more easy to make than our IYER sambhar podi wherein we add a teaspoon of mustard seeds,pepper corns etc.Will surely try out your recipe.Thanks again

  32. sudha said

    nice sambar powder. plse post dosa podis recipie.sudha

  33. Priya said

    Tried this sambar powder…turned out well….definitely a keeper

  34. jeyanthi said


    Lovely receipes..keep writting many. Meanwhile I am not able to make good rasam. Can you put some blog on making rasam

  35. lakshmi said

    I like this sambar powder receipe. I am going to try it today

  36. […] in my kitchen I use the store-bought sambhar powder,but nothing beats the taste amd aroma of fresh home made sambar powder. Suganya’s Ven Pongal with Gosthu is typically served for breakfast or brunch.This is my […]


    Great website. All are waiting for the Sambhar recipe. First the basic one then the others.

  38. renuka said

    Hi sneha,
    Why you are not adding peppe and jeera to the sambar powder


    very easy to prepare and give more tast to recipe simply super


    Everyone is waiting for your detailed Sambhar recipe.

  41. vanipriya said

    really superb to taste this sambar.
    thank you for your recipe. Tell me how to do parupu urundai kuzhmbu.

  42. Mary said

    Sneha 1/4 cup venthayam in your sambar powder seems to be very high. The powder may become bitter

  43. Pricilla said

    Hey Sneha,

    Thanks a ton for the Authentic Iyengar Sambhar powder recipe

  44. Vandana said

    Hi Sneha,

    I had been looking for an authenic iyengar version of sambar powder, and sensed yours sure must be one, looking at the ingredients.. Tried it today, tasted great .. The ulundu, typically not seen in most versions of sambar poweder, definitely adds its characteristic aroma ,and the more than usual proportion of methi adds to the typical iyengar taste.. Thanks a bunch for sharing your mother’s recipe, pass on my thanks to her as well.


  45. Hi Sneha

    Am frm Singapore and happnd to see ur blog. I must say it is a goldmine of recipes.
    Thank you so much for the sambhar powder recipe. When I used it to make sambhar the beautiful aroma just filled my house and reminded me Komala’s.
    Will be grateful if you cud put up the recipe for onion sambhar.
    Rgds and take care.


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