Sambar powder is an aromatic blend of roasted dals and spices. Sambar powder is used to prepare delicious vegetable sambar which is an essential part of south-Indian cuisine. Sambar is a vegetable & dal stew usually served as a side dish for rice, idli, dosa etc.
Sambar powder recipe is very simple and can be prepared at home easily. All the spices and dals have to be roasted well before grinding it to powder. They can either be dry roasted or can use little oil too. Freshly prepared sambar powder is very flavorful and adds taste and aroma to the vegetable sambar
There are many variations to the sambar powder recipe. Each south-Indian home have their own version of preparing it. Though the basic ingredients remain same, few use green grams, fried grams, gasagase (khus-khus), cinnamon etc. to the sambar powder.
Make sure you use all fresh spices and dals to prepare the sambar powder. There can be stones and other debris in coriander seeds, dals, cumin, methi seeds, and pepper, so clean them all before using. Dry roast each of the ingredients separately on a low flame for even roasting. If you add all together, the spices can burn as their heating point is different. You can sun dry all the spices for few days too instead of dry roasting them.
Homemade Sambar powder is fresh, aromatic and free from chemical preservatives. This can be prepared in bulk and stored for months together. Store the homemade sambar powder in an airtight container. It stays fresh for 3-4 months at room temperature. It can also be refrigerated for longer shelf life.
If you are looking for similar recipes, do check: Kerala Sambar powder, rasam powder, garam masala powder, biryani powder.
¼ cup coriander /dhaniya seeds
10-12 byadgi red chillies
4-5 spicy dried red chillies
1 tbsp channa dal/bengal gram
1 tbsp urad dal/split black gram
1 tsp fenugreek/methi seeds
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
½ tsp pepper corns (opt)
1 spring or 8-10 curry leaves
½ tsp asafoetida/hing
½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
- Clean coriander seeds, jeera, methi, dals and pepper corns. There might be small stones and other debris, so clean them. Also remove the crown from the red chillies and keep all the ingredients ready.
- Heat a pan and add coriander seeds to it. Dry roast on a low flame until nice aroma comes out from the coriander seeds and it turns light brown. Transfer it to a plate to cool.
- To the pan, add red chillies and roast them till it puffs up and you get a smoky aroma from them. Do not over roast and burn it. Remove the roasted red chillies from the pan and transfer it to the plate along with coriander seeds.
- Add jeera and methi seeds. Keep stirring for few minutes till jeera and methi seeds change its color and smell aromatic. Remove roasted jeera and methi to the plate.
- Add to the pan, channa dal and roast it in intervals till golden. Transfer it to the plate.
- Now add urad dal and roast it till you get a nice aroma and the dal changes its color to golden. Remove and keep it in the same plate.
- Dry roast pepper corns (opt) for few minutes by stirring continuously till nice aroma. Remove peppers and keep in the same plate.
- Add curry leaves and roast them as well till crisp. Remove to the plate. Now add hing and switch off the flame. Stir it quickly so that it slightly changes its color and gives you a nice aroma. Keep aside.
- Now, let all the roasted ingredients cool completely at room temperature.
- In a mixer jar, add all the roasted spices along with turmeric powder. Grind it to fine powder. You can grind them in two batches depending upon the size of your mixer jar.
- Now, transfer the ground sambar powder to a plate and mix well with a clean spoon. Let the sambar powder cool completely
- Once the sambar powder is cooled, transfer it to an airtight glass or steel container. Stays fresh for up to 3-4 months.
- Use Homemade Sambar powder for making delicious Sambar.
- Byadgi chillies can be replaced with Kashmiri chillies too.
- Adjust the chilli and pepper quantity more or less to suit your taste.
- Dals and spices can be sun dried too instead of dry roasting them.
- You can prepare the sambar powder in bulk and store it. If preparing in bulk, dry roast or sun-dry the spices and can be ground it in mill too.
- Keep the flame always on low for even roasting. Else the spices will burn and the sambar tastes bitter.
- Do not add all the ingredients together for roasting as each of them have a different heating point.
- Store the ground sambar powder in an airtight container and use a clean and dry spoon.
- Sambar powder stays good for 3-4 months at room temperature. If refrigerated it can be used for more than 6 months.
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