Sambar powder or sambhar powder makes or breaks a good Sambar.
Sambhar or Sambar is a South Indian lentil stew that is served with Idlis, dosas and vadas. It is a popular side for a popular snack that you get throughout India and even elsewhere in the world.
( I have found that South Indians tend to spell Sambar with a ‘b’, while folks from the North like us use ‘bh’. I am using both interchangeably.)
There are several recipes for Sambar in the different regions of Southern India. Tamil, Andhra, Keralite, Kannada, Udupi and so on. Almost every region and every family has a special twist. So the sambhar you eat in one city may be very different from what you eat in another.
Popular spice blends for sambhar powder available in the market are Everest and MTR. I think Everest Sambhar Masala is more of a cosmopolitan version, while MTR Sambar Powder is more authentic and true to its South Indian roots.
Yesterday, I think I hit the jackpot as far as sambar powders go! This combination turned out to be just right for me. As the hot sambhar was bubbling away, the aroma took me back to my childhood. So that kind of sealed the deal for me. Humans attribute a lot to nostalgia, you know. At least I do! Or maybe it’s a sign of getting old :P.
The measures given here will give you at about 2.5 cups of sambhar powder or sambhar spice mix. Store it in an air tight container, maybe in the freezer. That will keep it fresh for a longer time.
This blend is strong!
Definitely stronger compared to store bought versions. So add only a little at a time and taste as you go.
As you will see, this sambar powder is strong in coriander which forms the base. Earthy, lemony and fresh coriander is the right background for the other warm spices. You will not need to add coriander powder separately to your sambhar when you are using this mix.
You will be amazed at the nutrition information of this Sambar powder, and how loaded with fiber it is.
Roasting the spices enhances their flavor. I love using my Cuisinart coffee grinder for making this spice mix. Or you can use the dry blade of your mixer.
Recipe for the best homemade sambar powder spice mix is here –
Sambar Powder Spice Mix is homemade and free of salt and preservatives. Use sambar powder mix to make a delicious Sambar - South Indian lentil stew.
- 1 cup coriander seeds
- ¼ cup toor daal
- 1/8 cup chana dal
- 1/8 cup urad dal
- 1 Tbsp coconut
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp methi seeds
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 Tbsp turmeric powder
- 2 dry red chili
- Add optional ½ tsp oil to a wok. Lightly roast all the ingredients one by one.
- Cool completely.
- Powder in a spice grinder, coffee grinder or in the dry jar of your mixer.
This sambar powder is the building block for a lip smacking sambar or lentil stew. I will be posting the recipe for sambar in the coming weeks, and it will of course be based on this sambar powder mix.
Meanwhile, check the awesome nutrition info and let me know what you think!