05 September 2011

Varutharacha Sambar / Sambar with Roasted Coconut and Spices - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 14

Sambar is the famous south Indian vegetable lentil dish simmered with tamarind water and a ballard of spices. Sambars contain a variety of vegetables like drumstick, yam, carrot, okra, white pumpkin, brinjal, bittergourd,tomato and the list goes on...

It is an integral part of any sadhya. No matter which part of  Kerala you go to, this is one dish that is common on the sadhya menu. Sambar is served with rice for sadhyas.

For quick sambars, we usually use the sambar mix but for festivals and special occasions the roasted coconut version is the most favoured. This is quite different from the usual sambars where ground roasted coconut is not added. The aroma of the spices in a sambar just makes us hungry during sadhyas.

Toor Dal/ Sambar Parippu - 1/4 Cup
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp
Green Chilly - 2 slit lenghtwise
Yam - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1

Drumstick - 1 cut lenghtwise
Carrot - 1 small
Lady's finger/ Okra/ Venda - 4-5 cut into 2' pieces
Tomato - 2 medium
Brinjal - 1 medium
Vellerikka (cucumber)/ Winter melon - 1/2 cup
Tamarind - size of a lime
Shallots/ Cheriya ulli - 4
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek powder/Uluva - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida/Kaayam powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp

For seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Red chilly - 2
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Cook the dal in a pressure cooker along with onion,turmeric, green chilly and yam.
When cooked add drumstick, carrot and vellerikka along with salt.
Soak tamarind in 3/4 cup warm water.
Add the other vegetables (brinjal, okra,tomato).
When the vegetables are almost cooked add tamarind water.
In a pan fry fenugreek and powder it.
Use the same pan to fry the coconut, shallots and 1 sprig curry leaves. When it starts to turn brown add coriander powder, chilly powder, asafoetida, fenugreek powder and turmeric powder.
Remove from fire when the raw smell of the powders go.
Make it into a fine paste.
When the vegetables are cooked add this paste. Check salt.
Bring it to a boil. Remove from stove.
In a pan heat coconut oil to prepare seasoning.
Add mustard seeds. When it splutters add the urad dal, red chilly and curry leaves one after the other.
Pour the seasoning over the sambar.

Add tamarind water only after the vegetables are almost cooked.
Increase the toor dal quantity to 1/2 cup if you like the sambar thick.

If you would like to see other Onam Sadhya recipes please click on the links below :
13.  Sambaram


  1. Sambar looks to be extremely delicious and inviting. Lovely preparation.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. Lovely explaination to the traditional sambhar.. Looks delicious!!!

  3. One of our family favs looks yummy.

  4. Like all your onam specials. delicious looking sambar there.

  5. The sambar looks very yummy and delectable Rinku. The shots do complete justice to the recipe as well :)

  6. Superb clicks of varutharacha sambar,this is my favorite!

  7. perfectly made and beautifully clicked. yummy sambhar

  8. love this sambar a lot...
    looks perfect dear.
    nice clicks :)

  9. YUMMMM!!!! Delicious sambhar!!!! Nice clicks...
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  10. perfect sambar.. I have passed a seven links game.. Pl accept it.

  11. Woww give me a bowl of rice, i'll finish that whole bowl,simply irresistible..

  12. I can smell it from here ~ it looks so very flavorful n nice!

  13. I can smell it from here ~ it looks so flavorful n nice!

  14. Looks delicious. I love it with rice and idlis.

  15. Sambar looks so delicious.I can finish a plate full of rice with just this sambar.

  16. Sambar is mouthwatering yum! I really have hunger pangs looking at your beautiful pictures :) awesome post Rinku :)

  17. Very colorful! Looking at it made me hungry for some spicy sambhar

  18. Just thinking about the aroma coming out from all those spices. Sambaar looks drool worthy.

  19. i am a great fan of this sambhar, thanx for sharing the authentic recipe..

  20. Sambar looks colourful and yummy...

  21. love ths receipe rinku...ee receipe share cheithathinu ente umma...ente onam spl ethuvum anu...

  22. This looks amazing! I love the flavors and aroma!

  23. Wonderful collection of Onam Recipes here.. love the varutharacha Sambar.. Its a skill to make this :) looks too good..

    Jabeen's Corner

  24. Sambar looks absolutely delicious...nice pics makes it all the more tempting.

  25. Sambaar seems interesting.. i can feel the flavour of spices u added..will make it for sometime..

  26. Wish you a very happy Onam Rinku :D Have fun.. Love the look of the sambar. have to try it soon. Bookmarked :D

  27. Thanks dear friends for all those wonderful comments.
    @ Gopika Thanks dear. Happy Onam to you too!!!

  28. wow..the sambar looks so perfect and tempting...great with some hot rice...yumm!!

  29. Where do you get these clay pots from?


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