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

"This is a family favourite in this household! If I married a South Indian boy, I'd be eating this everyday along with a bowl full of hot rasam and rice! Mmm :-) I learnt to make this today from Subru uncle(he's been cooking for us for the past 13 years!). He's worked in several hotels here in Oman before he joined us. This curry is one he used to make a lot here and in India in the hotels and serve - it ALWAYS got a gold star! I'm so glad I have FINALLY got this down pat! We enjoy this with steaming hot rice for a complete wonderful meal. We take this to a lot of potluck parties and it always gets over quickly! I love having this with Recipe #17933). My house smells wonderful while this is cooking! Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!"
photo by bonitabanana photo by bonitabanana
photo by bonitabanana
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 whole red chilies
  • 12 cup tamarind pulp or 1/2 cup tamarind juice
  • 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.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. SweetnSpicy Chef
    This was great! Very easy recipe to follow & DH & I enjoyed all the veggies (beans, potato, drumsticks, eggplant etc..). Thanks for posting!
  2. Gerlinde.Hitzenberg
    Very good. Since I didn't have the recomended veggies at home I substituted with zucchini, carrots and turnip. It was wonderfull. Thank you for posting this lovely recipe!
  3. ashkani
    Love this recipe--a staple at an South Indian family's home. We make due with carrots, potatoes, and green beans as our veggies...and no curry leaves--so bay tamarind--so, fresh lime juice and zest. We also add toasted coconut--we have alot of South Indain chefs here...:)
  4. rosewater
    Thanks for posting the recipe, I make mine the same way and love it with steaming hot rice, aloo curry, yogurt and poppadums. Drumsticks is one my favorite veggies --would love to chew on it when mom made drumstick sambar in India but we make do with the frozen drumsticks available frozen in indian stores, here in Boston.
  5. Zaccaria
    Wonderful recipe!! I love anything with coconut. I did not use the chicken this time. It came out wonderful. It should be noted that the ladiesfingers are okra. When you click for the definition, it says it is a cookie!!



Find More Recipes