Kadamba Sambar – Mixed Vegetable Sambar

Mixed vegetable sambar or Kadamba Sambar is a South Indian dish which can be served with rice and papad or stir fries (poriyal). Kadambam means “mixed”. Since it has mixed vegetables in this dish it is known as “Kadamba Sambar”. I have used freshly ground spices in this dish which is more flavorful and delicious.

We prepare this Kadamba Sambar on the day of  Arudhra Dharisanam along with Kali. On this day we add 13 or 21 vegetables for the sambar but avoid the onions.


  • Carrot – 1
  • Broad beans – 4
  • Beans – 4
  • Potato – 1
  • Small radish – 1
  • Shallots – 5 (peel and cut into big pieces)
  • Cubed pumpkin – 1/2 cup
  • Toor Dal – 1/2 cup
  • Moong dal – 1 tsp
  • Tamarind –  one gooseberry size (soak in water)
  • Oil – 1/2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dried chilies – 2
  • Fenugreek seeds -1 tsp
  • Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch

For Grinding:

  • Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Dried  chilies – 3 (adjust to taste)
  • Urad dal – a pinch
  • Fenugreek seeds – a pinch
  • Shredded coconut – 1 1/2 tbs
  • Shallots (small onion) – 5
  • Oil – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation:

Wash toor dal and moong dal. Pressure cook with 1 1/2 cup of water for 5 whistles or until fully cooked and mashed. Turn off the stove.

Heat a pan with a teaspoon of oil, add coriander seeds, channa dal, dried chilies,fenugreek seeds, urad dal and fry it until lentils becomes golden brown colour.  Set it aside and add the shredded coconut to the pan and fry it until there is no moisture. Let it cool.

Wash and cut the vegetables into 2 inches pieces. Heat a pan, add oil with mustard seeds and dried chilies. Allow mustard to splutter then add fenugreek seeds.

When it starts spluttering add the vegetables and saute it for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and allow it to cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables are half cooked.

Now extract tamarind juice and add it to the vegetables along with sambar powder and salt. Allow to boil until the raw smell of tamarind and sambar powder is gone.

Grind the fried ingredients along with the shallots (small onions) to a paste adding a little water.

Remove the pressure cooker lid and mash the dal (lentils). Add the ground paste to toor dal and mix well. Add this to the boiling sambar and conitinue to boil for 5 more minutes.

Finally add the asafoetida powder and turn off the stove. Add curry leaves and coriander leaves. Sambar is ready to serve.

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes
Servings : 6 to 7
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