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Sambar Rice

This is inspired by the sambar rice that is served in some of the restaurants in South India. But this is my no means the recipe used by restaurants. I wanted to actually make a sambar and rice, but then thought of making a one pot dish. Instead of toor dal which is normally used for sambars, I used masoor dal. Unlike the version available in restaurants, which is kind of semi-solid, I made it more like a pulav. I also used my favorite green, spinach, to make it fiber rich. Served it with a dollop of ghee. It was a hearty meal. Add more water to make it semi-solid.

1 and 1/2 cups basmati rice
1/2 cup masoor dal
3 tea spns sambar powder
1 tea spn red chilli powder
A pinch asafoetida
A pinch turmeric
1 tea spn mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn tamarind extract
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup tomato
1 cup spinach (optional)
2 cups vegetables – cauliflower, yellow bellpepper(capsicum), carrot, potato

Wash together rice and dal. Keep aside.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves, asafoetida.
Add onion and fry for a few minutes. Add all the vegetables, spinach(optional) and tomato. Fry for a min.
Add rice and dal, turmeric, salt, red chilli powder, sambar powder, tamarind, salt. Mix everything.
Pour in 5 cups of water and let it cook on medium heat. If required, add more water. When most of heat is absorbed, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 10mins.
Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot topped with a dollop of ghee.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 45mins


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{ 26 comments… add one }

  • Radhika Vasanth March 22, 2010, 10:29 pm

    I would love to have a bowl of sambar rice with papadam. I like the idea of using masoor dhal.

  • starry March 22, 2010, 11:17 pm

    Looks really Yummy.

  • SUDHA BORKAR March 23, 2010, 12:21 am


    sudha borkar

  • notyet100 March 23, 2010, 12:45 am

    yummy one pot meal

  • abc March 23, 2010, 9:33 am

    Hi Shilpa
    Do you cover the vessel while the rice is cooking?

  • radha March 23, 2010, 12:46 pm

    Quite an interesting variation of Bissebelle bhat and Kichidi.

  • dr pratap patil March 23, 2010, 1:57 pm

    Hi GE..
    Last wk I made rice using most of the above mentioned items in addition to Peanuts and 1 table spoon Methi seeds and instead of Spinach , I used fresh beans cut in 1 inch pieces with GARAM MASALA…and small choped pieces of Lemon….it tasted very nice…
    Readers can try this too………
    It goes very nice with Udad Papad….

  • Amy March 23, 2010, 7:43 pm

    Looks very appetizing! I haven’t tried a lot of Indian foods before but this looks like a must-try. Maybe I’ll try to make this one just for a change :) keep it up!

  • heartyfeast March 24, 2010, 9:36 am

    Love ur recipes … Please collect your award from my blog :)


  • aruna March 25, 2010, 10:50 am

    Quick one pot dish, will try today.

  • Prathibha Pai March 28, 2010, 5:58 am

    Nice on pot dish.. :)

  • Rice Exporters April 1, 2010, 1:44 am

    hi shilpa.. i love you dish that you share with us.. thanks for this.. but can you tell me that how much time is required to boil them?

  • Maaya April 6, 2010, 4:30 am

    i love this blog. and for entertaining this dish looks amazing


  • uma April 16, 2010, 6:40 am

    hi shilpa

    it’s very good recipe tried last week and turned very good.

    can u pls post some finger food recipe for small babies

  • subhadra April 20, 2010, 12:40 am

    but i thnk the masoor dal will make it more runny.. is it so???

  • Gayathri sivakumar April 23, 2010, 12:30 pm


    I used toor dhal instead of masoor dhal, it came out well.thanx fr the yummy recipe….u rock!!!!

  • seema gupta July 4, 2010, 3:10 am

    this receipe was too good

  • Hari December 16, 2010, 11:25 am

    Looks like its easy shud try some time and btw u dint add tamarind…

    • Shilpa December 17, 2010, 9:11 am

      I have mentioned it in the recipe. Please read carefully

  • sharda December 23, 2010, 10:21 pm

    Shilpa -hi-though i am quite fond of masoor dal but any specific reason to swap arhar with this? does this make it tastier/ healthier? Thanx

    • Shilpa December 23, 2010, 10:27 pm

      It takes a lot less time to cook compared to toor dal. That is why I had used it

  • shwetha r February 5, 2011, 2:03 am

    hi, this recipe is simple and looks very tasty

  • Ratna February 24, 2011, 11:02 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    On the outset – your blog is just excellent. I happened to pass through it couple of days ago and since then, I am hooked to it and exploring all the recipes..

    Today, I made Sambar rice. Since I dont have masoor dal handy, I used normal Tuar Dal (roasted dry) and it turned out to be just great. In the last, I added 1 spoon of Ghee and sprinkled some grated coconut.. And in the veggies, I added carrot, Bhendi along with Onion and Tomato… it’s just awesome..

    More or less – it appears as bisebella bath – but the spices used while making this bisebella bath are differen.

    If the veggies are cut and kept ready, making sambar rice is just few minutes..

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe.

    Have a great day.

  • pratheepa December 1, 2011, 11:20 am

    its possible to made tis sambar rice in pressure cooker…how many whistles ….

    • Shilpa December 2, 2011, 9:04 am

      Yes. About 3 whistles

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