This is the simplest easiest sambar recipe for beginners , bachelors and students away from home who love to have the taste of home but with limited ingredients and cooking methods. This also does not require cooked dal to be added. So a very easy to prepare quick sambar.

Recipes for Hotel sambar and tiffin sambar has been posted , so why one more you might ask? Well to start with , I decided to limit the no of ingredients and methods of making an elaborate Hotel sambar  and reducing it to the one below without compromising on the taste. Try it once and  you will agree this is very close enough to the Hotel Sambar.

You can either prepare the sambar in a rice cooker, yes you heard me right!! as students and travelers on short trips will definitely have one in their room which can be plugged easily. Or you can make it on stove top if you have the access to one, or even in the microwave .

The sambar recipe is so versatile , it can be used as a delicious veggie filled sambar or as a yummy thick chutney like  dip.
Do not be stunned as the recipe has almost similar ingredients as that in an onion tomato chutney.
So the bonus is you get two dishes with one preparation. The sambar prepared thick in consistency can be freeze stored. So take out only as much as you will require for the week.

Try a small quantity , make your adjustments for the  sambar as this is only an idea.


1 cup finely chopped  onions ( shallots , small onions preferred for that yummy taste)
1  1/4 cup finely chopped  tomatoes.
1 Tsp Kashmiri chili powder for that awesome colour to sambar .
1 tbsp any good sambar powder that you may have on hand.

salt as needed.
Pinch of turmeric powder.
2 tbsp oil

To grind

2 tbsp grated coconut , either dry or fresh.
3 tbsp fried dal /roasted gram dal/pottukadalai/daliya
1-2 green chillies depending on how spicy you want the sambar.
Some curry leaves and chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.

To temper

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 -2 red chillies
 1tsp oil 


 Stove top cooking 

Take a pan, or a vessel, add some oil, let it heat up, add the chopped tomatoes, onions, some curry leaves.
Stir well, add some salt, turmeric powder,sambar powder,  1-2 cups water to enable cooking of the sambar  ingredients to a thick consistency.

While this is thickening  and cooking , blend to a paste the coconut  and green chillies with the daliya/pottukadalai./fried gram dal . Keep aside.
When the sambar is thickened well, glistening , add the ground paste and little water ( dont make it watery like regular sambar because this is our ready to use sambar mix.,  also we are going to store frozen if need be. for a week.) Cook till the raw smell of the ground paste is removed, around 2 minutes is enough.

Remove from flame. This is your ready to use sambar but in a thick consistency.
Prepare the tempering and pour over the sambar.
Let the prepared sambar mix cool down.


If you plan to store for a week in the freezer, use small portion sized containers and use that completely instead of using one big container and taking it out of the freezer every time.

How to prepare  Hotel sambar from this ready to make sambar mix.

Take one or two small ladles of the prepared mix, blend it well in a small blender. Almost puree, one or two turns of the switch.
Take a vessel add the blended sambar , add some water to dilute, let boil gently. Remove and garnish with curry leaves or chopped coriander leaves.
 Delicious Hotel sambar is ready. If you notice Hotel sambar generally has more liquid than vegetables as everything is mashed while cooking making the sambar most aromatic . 

Tip...If you want some onions and tomatoes in your sambar to be floating around, add some more sambar mix prepared  , around 1-2 tbsp of the prepared mix , stir it in the prepared sambar.

This sambar mix can be prepared easily within minutes in a microwave oven

Take a microwave safe bowl, add all the .ingredients mentioned in the ingredients list, add very little water, cook till mushy. Add the ground paste, add little more water, microwave for 3-4 minutes, till thickened and blended well.
Remove and prepare the tempering, pour over the prepared sambar mix.

Remaining procedure same as above

In a rice cooker

Add all the ingredients,  mentioned in the ingredients list, add 1-2 cups  water, cover with rice cooker lid,  cook till mushy. The Rice cooker will switch off when the mixture starts thickening.  Add the ground paste, add little more water, press the cook switch once again till the ingredients are blended well and thickened .
Remove and prepare the tempering, pour over the prepared sambar mix.


Last but not the least...remember I mentioned this can be made into a yummy chutney too?? 
Well all you need to do is to blend to a paste the already thickened sambar mix, in a blender without adding water. ( doesn't matter if tempering is already done earlier, ground mustard seeds will not harm! ) Remove and garnish with curry leaves and serve as a thick spicy tomato onion chutney...It s a great success in my house..no one ever guesses it is the same recipe in different form!! well anything to lighten the housewife's efforts in the kitchen !