Easy Sambar Recipe for Idlis

Thursday, June 04, 2020

An easy Sambar recipe for Idlis using MTR Spicy Sambar Powder (Not Sponsored)

I usually do not use store bought Sambar powders because I am mostly unhappy with the flavours. Once, I happened to buy a couple of Packets of MTR Spicy Sambar Powder  (The one that comes in a yellow pack) & tried making a simple Onion & capsicum Sambar to be had with Idlis.

It turned out amazing for a store bought Powder & this has been a staple since then. 

Sambar For Idlis 

Those of you unfamiliar with Sambars, let me explain a little bit, The Sambar that is made for Idlis is very different from the Sambars that are meant to be eaten with Rice.

Sambar for Idlis are not vegetable heavy. We add only Onions, tomatoes & Capsicum & is also thin & soupy as compared to Sambars meant to be eaten with rice.
Lets head to the recipe 


Serves 4-5

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal 
  • 1/8 cup Moong Dal (Optional)
  • 2-3 teaspoon MTR Spicy Sambar Powder 
  • 1 large Onion 
  • 2 large Tomatoes 
  • 1 Capsicum
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • A small lump of Jaggery
  • Salt as per taste 
To Temper

  • 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • A big pinch of Hing
  • 3-4 Broken Dry Red Chilies
  • A sprig of Curry Leaves

Wash Toor Dal & Moong Dal well & Pressure cook along with diced tomatoes & turmeric with 2 cups of water

In a big heavy bottomed soup pot, Heat cooking oil, splutter mustard seeds, add Asafoetida, Curry Leaves & Dry Red Chilies. Sauté for 10 seconds

Add sliced onions & sauté for 3-4 minutes until the onions are slightly cooked. Add chopped capsicum & sauté for another 5 minutes until the capsicum are 3/4th done

Add the cooked dal & tomatoes. Add MTR Spicy Sambar Powder, Salt & mix well.

You may need to add about 2.5 - 3 cups of water to bring it to a sambar like consistency.

Add jaggery   Let if come to a rolling boil. Do a taste check & adjust the spice, salt or sweetness if necessary.

Once, it comes to a rolling boil, turn down the heat & let it simmer for 5 minutes. 

While the sambar is boiling, make sure to stir it up every couple of minutes to avoid the bottom from getting burnt.

Turn off the heat & serve with Hot Idlis !!


As I had mentioned before, I have made use of MTR Spicy Sambar Powder here & it is quite spicy as compared to the regular MTR Sambar powder which makes it perfect for this kind of sambar where the sambar has to be soupy yet strong on flavor. 

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