Subru Uncle's Delicious S. Indian Sambar Veg Curry We All Love

READY IN: 1hr 45mins


  • 4
    teaspoons salt
  • 2 14
    tablespoons sambar garam masala powder (I use the MTR Madras Sambar Masala powder brand, that's the brand I love the best)
  • 1 12
    tablespoons asafoetida powder (known as "hing" in Hindi)
  • 1
    cup yellow lentils, cleaned, washed, soaked in plenty of water and drained (toor dal)
  • 1 12
    cups peeled washed and diced yams (known as "sooran" in Hindi)
  • 1
    small potato, peeled, washed and diced
  • 5 -6
    garlic cloves, peeled, washed and slit lengthwise (slit each clove of garlic into 3 parts lengthwise)
  • 1
    small carrot, peeled, washed and diced
  • 12
    cup flat indian beans, washed, ends trimmed and chopped into 1 inch size pieces (commonly called "guavar" in Hindi)
  • 2
    large vegetable drumsticks, washed, peeled, ends trimmed and chopped into 2 inch sized pieces
  • 3
    cups water
  • 2
    teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 2
    medium green chilies, washed and slit lengthwise
  • 20
    fresh curry leaves, washed and torn between the palms of your hands
  • 1
    teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1
    teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 5 -6
    tablespoons oil
  • 1
    large tomatoes, washed, peeled and chopped
  • 10 -12
    okra, washed and chopped into 1 inch size pieces (commonly called ladyfingers or "bhindi" in Hindi)
  • 5
  • 12
  • 1
    teaspoon methi seeds


  • Prepare the tamarind pulp by first soaking a few pieces of tamarind in 1-1/2 cups of hot water.
  • Squeeze the tamarind pieces as well as you can and allow the tamarind pulp (juice) to mix into the hot water.
  • Once you have squeezed out half a cup, transfer this to a pot.
  • Note that the consistency of the tamarind pulp should be such that you have more tamarind pulp and less water.
  • Add the chopped ladyfinger to the pot.
  • Allow to boil for 5 minutes.
  • This is a neat trick Subru uncle's taught me.
  • By doing this, the sticky fluid that comes out of the ladyfinger will not come out.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside.
  • Now, take a large pot in which you will be preparing the sambar.
  • Heat the pot on medium-high flame.
  • Once its hot, pour 3 cups of water in it.
  • Add the drained toor dal (yellow lentils) and mix well.
  • Add garlic and mix well.
  • Allow it to boil well (for about 15 minutes).
  • Lower flame and add all the chopped and diced vegetables to the boiling lentils (toor dal).
  • Mix in turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, salt and Sambar masala powder.
  • Fold in the chopped tomatoes.
  • Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook until the tomatoes are softened and the veggies are tender.
  • In the meantime, prepare the seasoning.
  • For this, heat oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium-high flame.
  • Once it's hot, add mustard seeds, methi seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Allow to crackle and splutter.
  • Once this stops, add curry leaves, green chillies and whole red chillies to the pan.
  • Mix well and stir-fry for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Remove the pan from heat.
  • Add this seasoning to the sambar.
  • Mix well, cook on simmer for 5 minutes and serve this wonderful curry immediately (hot) with cooked long-grain Basmati white rice and low-fat plain yogurt, if required.