Sambar – Dal Soup with vegetables

Sambar, a soup made from legumes, is one of the most popular dishes in South India. There are numerous recipes and it is served daily in different variations.
A restorative soup with plenty of vegetable protein for cold evenings.

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 50–60 g each of yellow Mung beans, Chana dal and Toor dal
  • 200–300 g zucchini
  • 200–300 g carrots
  • 200–300 g eggplants
  • 200–300 g radish
  • 200–300 g tomatoes
  • 100 g okras, if available
  • 1 slightly tart apple
  • ¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. black mustard seed
  • 2 pinches of dried, crushed curry leaves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1–2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • fresh coriander leaves


  1. Take equal quantities of Mung Dal, Chana Dal and Toor Dal, wash well and soak in a bowl of water for about 30–45 min. Soaking reduces their Vata-increasing quality and thus prevents flatulence. Then pour away the soaking water and rinse the Dal mixture well again.
  2. Put the Dal in a saucepan and add fresh water, about 8 times the amount of Dal. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and bring to the boil.
  3. Now prepare the vegetables: cut zucchini, carrots, eggplant, radish and tomatoes into small cubes and the okra (if available) into 1 cm slices. Blanch the tomatoes, remove the skin. You can also add a tart apple, diced small.
    Other vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower or red, green and yellow bell peppers can also be used for this recipe.
  4. When the Dal is almost soft, add the vegetables and more hot water if necessary. Simmer on low heat for another 10–15 min. The soup should be slightly creamy.
  5. In the meantime, heat Ghee in a frying pan. Then add the spices: first the mustard seeds, until they start popping, then the other spices. Add the fried spice mix to the soup, stir well and simmer for a few minutes more.
  6. Remove the soup from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Stir fresh coriander and lemon juice into the soup and the Sambar is ready to serve.

Papadams (thin wafers of fried dough, pictured below, right) are a perfect side dish to Sambar or Dal soup.

Bon appetit!

Download the recipe as a PDF file

Rezept: Jochen Lotz
© Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center Bad Ems


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