Sambar Powder

Sambar Powder is one of the most used day to day ingredients in many South Indian kitchens. We generally grind it in bulk quantities and store it. Spices are sun dried and ground in a commercial grinding mill. If you don’t get a chance for sun drying the ingredients, you can dry roast it in a conventional oven at minimum temperature or dry roast the ingredients in a wide pan. You can make it in small quantity if you are blending the sambar powder at home.

The recipe may vary in proportion in each house but the basic ingredients remains almost the same. This is my mom’s recipe. Since my sister lives in the U.S. she takes 3 to 4 packets and stores it in the freezer for upto 2 years. So for those who live abroad, it will be very useful. Sambar powder is not only used for making sambar but you can also add it in stir fried and shallow fried vegetables such as potato, okra, brinjal, etc.


  • Dried chilies – 250 gms
  • Coriander seeds  - 500 gm
  • Curcumin (whole turmeric fingers or manjal)) – 150 gm
  • Toor dal – 400 gm
  • Chana dal – 50 gm
  • Black peppercorns – 100 gm
  • Cumin seeds – 100 gm
  • Fenugreek –  1 tbsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:

    1. Clean and pick the dirt from each ingredients.
    2. Dry the ingredients separately for a day under hot sun or dry roast them separately in a hot pan for a few minutes and remove just before it starts changing color.
    3. Allow it to cool and remove the stem from dried chilies.
    4. Mixed  all ingredients and grind it to a fine powder in a commercial grinding mill or in your blender.
    5. You can use it for making both sambar and rasam. Also in vegetable fries like potato, okra, etc.
    6. Store it in an air tight container.


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