Homemade Sambar Powder Recipe
Sambar is the lifeblood of Tamilian cuisine. It has kept South Indians healthy, happy, and nourished for centuries. There are few meals on this earth that you can eat every day without food fatigue… Sambar is one of them. Ask any Tamilian if they have had Sambar today, and you will rarely get a ‘No.’! At the heart of Sambar is a Sambar Powder recipe. This amazing spice mix is made of roasted spices and dals, which are ground to a fine powder. Sambar Powder creates a depth of flavor, with a combination of hot, bitter, tangy, savory, and sweet, that is unrivaled by any other spice mix.
Today, I’m going to share with you a classic South Indian style sambar masala recipe that you can use in your favorite sambar recipe.
Indian cuisine is full of diversity. You will find many versions of sambar powder recipes all over the country. I’ll show you how to make a sambar powder recipe which is universally delicious and is used to make traditional Southern Indian Sambar.
Here are some main ingredients which will go into our homemade sambar powder recipe.
Toor dal(arhar dal), Chana dal(Bengal gram dal), urad dal( split black gram dal)
Coriander seeds(dhaniya seeds), fenugreek seeds(methi seeds), cumin seeds(jeera seeds), turmeric, Asafoetida (heeng), curry leaves, dry red chillies, and black peppercorns.
Most cooks add tamarind to Sambar while cooking, but adding it to Sambar powder recipes can elevate that lovely sour zing that makes Sambar so delicious.
Our recipe card will give you the exact amounts of the above ingredients.
- Make sure your dals are washed and completely dried. Also, clean any debris from your spices and make sure they are completely dry.
- If you have turmeric root instead of turmeric powder, then boil it until it softens. Dry it completely in an oven on low or a food dehydrator and grind it to a fine turmeric powder.
- Cut the heads off of your dry red chilies.
- Take the seeds out of your tamarind.
Homemade Sambar Podi Recipe
- If you want to have a perfect Sambar Podi (powder) at home, then do not rush. Never make the mistake to put everything together in the same batch, you must roast your spices in different turns to get a satisfactory result.
- We are going to put our frying pan on medium heat. Once it is nicely hot, set your stove to low flame.
- Add one cup of coriander seeds and dry roast them until you can smell their aroma. It will take two to three minutes of dry roasting to change their color to light brown. Now spread them on a dish.
- Next, take your dry red chili peppers and slowly heat them. We need to roast them until they become perfectly crispy and easily break.
- Slowly roast your curry leaves next so that all the moisture is evaporated and they are crisp. Take a leaf and crush it with your fingers if it turns into a powder then it is ready to go to the grinder.
- Now put one tsp of coconut oil in your pan and add your tamarind to it. Smash the tamarind ball with the back of a spoon. At first, it will become very soft and will be pressed easily and then gradually it will become brittle and dry. Take the tamarind piece out and keep it with other roasted spices.
- It’s time to add our fenugreek seeds (methi seeds), cumin seeds, black pepper, asafoetida, and mustard seeds. They should also be roasted on low flame until they are fragrant and the color is changed a little bit. Add them to other roasted spices.
- Roast one tsp turmeric powder. Since it is in powdered form, it will take only a few seconds to be roasted and can burn very quickly, so be careful.
- Lastly, we will dry roast our dals. Take two tablespoons of chana dal, two tablespoons of toor dal, and two tablespoons of urad dal. Roast them on medium flame for 2 – 3 minutes until their color changes and a nice aroma fills your nose.
- Grind roasted Ingredients: When all the ingredients cool to room temperature, put them together in a spice grinder and turn them into an aromatic fine powder.
- And here you have your aromatic and flavorful homemade sambar powder.
This Sambar powder recipe brings to life homemade sambar. Serve it with poriyal, dosa, dal fry, and tomato chutney You can also serve it with fried idli or sambar sadam.
Tips to Store Sambar Powder for a Long Time
I use this sambar powder recipe to make sambar powder in large quantities. You can store it in an airtight container for a long time, but here are some precautions to keep in mind.
- All the spices which are used in sambar masala powder should not have been aged too much. Older spices will tend to lessen the shelf life of masala powder.
- Dry the grinder jar before putting roasted spices in it. You don’t want any moisture in your sambar powder.
- Roasted ingredients should be at room temperature when they are ground. This will prevent them from heating up too much and oxidizing during the grinding process.
- Use a dry spoon to scoop out your sambar powder. This will prevent moisture from gettin into your powder
- When making it in large quantities, make sure you grind it in smaller batches and then combine them at the end.
Can I use garam masala instead of Sambar powder?
I would not recommend it. Garam masala and sambar powder have very different flavor profiles. Instead use “rasam powder” as the rasam powder recipe is very close to sambar powder.
Which is the best brand to get Sambhar powder?
If you are not going to use your own sambar powder, I would recommend Sakthi brand ready-made sambar powder as it has a very authentic flavor. But careful, it is very spicy!
Is curry powder same as sambar powder?
No. Curry powder is a generic term for spice mix. Another common term for spice mix is masala. Sambar powder is a rich spice mix with coriander and red chilies used in traditional Tamilian sambar.