Sambar Powder

Its been many days I was thinking about posting this recipe. Finally today I am doing it.

When I was in Bangalore, I brought this powder from my native. I never tried to prepare it at home. Even if I keep it for 1 year, it retains its nice aroma (unlike the other sambar powders which we get in shop).

Aayi prepares this in a lot so that she can give it to me, my brother and aunty. I brought some when I came here. But luckily I had noted down the recipe, so next time I am going to make this myself.

This powder is used in variety of dishes. I make two kinds of sambar (one for idli and one for rice), then poha(avalakki), tomato sar etc using this powder.

Definitely this powder is better than any other sambar powder we get in shops. Try atleast once…

Coriander seeds 3 tbl spns
Chana dal 1 tbl spn
Jeera(Cumin seeds) 1 tbl spn
Mustard seeds 1 tbl spn
Methi(fenugreek) seeds 1/2 tbl spn
Urad dal 1/2 tbl spn
Pepper corns 1/2 tbl spn
Asafoetida 2-3 big stones or Asafoetida powder 3/4 tea spn
Turmeric 1/2 tea spn
Cloves 25-30
Cinnamon 3″ piece
Oil 1/2 tea spn
Chilli powder

Fry mustard and asafoetida in 1/2 tea spn oil.
Fry remaining ingredients(except chilli powder) one by one without oil.
Mix all and make a fine powder.
Heat same quantity (as the powder) of chilli powder in a drop of oil for some time. Mix it with the powder.
Store in a air tight container (Allow it to cool to room temperature before storing).

61 thoughts on “Sambar Powder”

  1. hi there shilpa, i’ve tried most of ur receipes and guess wat most of them have turned out mom and i tried out ur green paratha and now we’re gonna try out d sambar powder.shilpa plz provide us with amti pitti masala powder receipe if possible.i’ll ask my mom 4 an amchi receipe and will surely post it soon.

  2. im planning to make this powder today but em a bit confused…….when u say one whole pc of cinnamon does it mean a big stick or a small one……and also can u specify the quantity of asafoetida powder that i have to use in tblspn or tsp format cuz here in the UK you get this powdered form of asafoetida…..and hve i to use 1/2 tbl spn of pepper corns or pepper powder?

  3. Rhea, I have changed the above ingredinet contents to answer all your questions. Please have a look. Hope it is very clear now.

  4. shilpa i did make the sambhar powder and i tasted a pinch of it…its a bit bitter though…….i jus wantd to know if thts the way samshar powder tastes?……or has it turned bitter bcuz i must hve roasted the fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds a little more? was wondering if it will make a difference to the tomato saar tht im planing to make with this powder…..i mean if i use this powder of any of my curryz will thye turn bitter? pls advice cuz im gonna use this tomm

  5. Rhea, is it really bitter? because after reading your comment, I went a tasted sambar powder(I had never tasted it before), and since there is no salt in it, it tastes a bit strange. So my advise is to make tomato saar in very less quantity and try the sambar powder. Usually frying mustard more makes things bitter. Also if some of the ingredient got burnt, it might turn bitter.

  6. well it is a bit bitter……since i tasted a pinch of it,i felt it a bit bitter maybe if i had tasted a bigger portion of it it wud be more bitter…..anyway wht i’ll do is,i’ll make a little quantity of tomato saar and try…im really keeping my fingers crossed hope its not bitter once i cook it…….i tried tasting a little bit of MTR sanbhar powder that i had at home even tht tasted a bit bitter but not as mush as mine……

  7. hey shilpa,my tomato saar came out really well with this sambhar powder…thnks to u…..but i hve a little suggestion to put forth…i seriously think you shud mention in this recipe below,tht one shudnt over roast any of the ingredients that could add into making this powder a bit bitter…… i really dint knw till u told me tht over roasting of mustard seeds can make things bitter……so there might be many who may not knw some cooking tips……

  8. Rhea, good to know your tomato saar turned out to be great.
    Actually over roasting or burning of any spice would spoil the taste of it. It applies to all the dishes (not only sambar powder). I had mentioned it in one of my posts. Anyway..I will add this tip to Cooking tips

  9. Is this recipe the same as for “Kholmabo” masala ? I have tried various recipes for kholombo but nothing tastes as good as mom’s..Shall try yr recipe and see… By the way, do you have “amti pitti” recipe.. This is one recipe I am craving so much for.. my brother-in-law’s aunt used to make this at Talmakiwadi in Mumbai and he brought it a few times when he visited us here. Would love to get this recipe..A couple of years back when I visited India, a fellow from South\North Kanara was selling this at the Swamiji’s math but have been unable to locate his address…

  10. HI Shilpa,
    I tried ur sambar powder…it came out excellent.. I added tamarind water to sambar and little bit sugar to it. Thanks for ur wonderful sambar powder recipe.


  11. Hi Shilpa,
    I have tried your Sambar Powder it came out excellent. The extra thing I added was little dry copra. Thanks for your wonderful sambar powder recipe. I am also from Karnataka(Dharwad) and my mom is from Sirsi. So i will try your recipes.

  12. Hi Shilp,
    this is Uma mailing u from Manipal I just happen to click google search for sambar powder and i found yours as most intresting as I find many r appriciating i will defintly try it out and mail it u how was it .

  13. hi Shilpa,
    I tried the sambar powder, and sambar came out excellent. Thanks for the recipe. I will try rest of your recipes too.

  14. Hi Shilpa
    Came across your website today. Just this morning, I remembered the lovely amti pitti that the Mahila Udyog in Talmakiwadi used to make and sell. And a real coincidence that Chetna has also mentioned the Talmakiwadi Amti pitti. I am currently based out of Mumbai and so would request you to send as soon as possible the amti pitti and amti recipes.


    Shilpa: Sujata, as of now I don’t know this recipe. If I find it, I will surely post it.

  15. I would like to know the recipe for amti pitti which is different than sambhar powder
    pls email me the same

  16. hi i want to point out the recipe u given is for sambhar powder and amti pitti recipe is different

    Shilpa: Jyotsna, Yes, amti pitti is different and the recipe I have mentioned is sambar powder. I haven’t posted amti pitti yet on this blog.

  17. hi hw i missed your site…since i changed my job i dont hv time to access it and unfortunately i dont hv net connection at home. two days back i logged on to your website and tried out teh chow chow recipe & it turned out well. hubby loved it too. 🙂 for me. can i have the poddi chutney receipe as my hubby loves this chutney with his dosas and i had picked up ready packets from bby but they are almost finished. something that i can prepare at home. am sure u will find teh right receipe for it…thks a lot glynis

  18. Hi Shilpa,
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes. Wishing you bon-voyage and a good & well earned rest. so when you’re back we can have plenty more delicious recipes from yr Aayi. Take care!!

  19. I’m so happy that I found your blog for this recipe. I’m not for the first time here, though. Hubby does not like the packed one one I have and I want to make uttapam today. You are my saviour. So, let me get going! Thanks!

  20. I must say this is an awesome recipe.

    I have tried many recipes but none to beat this one.

    A MUST TRY!!!!

    All the BEST.


  21. Hi Aayi,

    Can you please give me a good recipe to make dosai. I use 3 idlie rice and 1 cup ulandu but it sticks every time. Idlie comes out fine.

    I live in New Zealand.


  22. Dear Shilpa,
    Hi! I am a hit-n-try cook and I stumbled onto your website few days back while googling for sambar powder recipe. I was finally able to try it today and the sambar came out fantastic!! It was a bit hot but tasted great. Though there is a good variety of ready made sambar powders available here in Delhi but I like to prepare my own masalas. And I really thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with all of us. Great work on the website and keep up the good work!! And thanks again!!

  23. Dear Shilpa, I jst happen to come across your recipe – I have a small doubt as to heating the chilli powder in a drop of oil – does it mean that we have to slightly roast the chilli power (depending on the requirement) in a drop of oil – for 3 spoons of chilli powder,would slight oil be enough.


    Shilpa: Yes latha. You are right. Its like roasting chilli powder. So do not add more oil. Even if you leave out oil, it is fine.

  24. this is Uma mailing u from Manipal I just happen to click google search for sambar powder and i found yours as most intresting as I find many r appriciating i will defintly try it out and mail it u how was it .

  25. Dear Shilpa Pachi,

    I have been reading your receipes for the past few days, but still have not got a chance to try the receipes. I stay in Mumbai.

    I have 2 questions which I hope you would help me as this will be the 1st time that I will be trying on my own this sambhar powder and sambhar too. I want it to be perfect.

    1. How much chilli powder (exact quantity) is to be fried in how much quantity of oil. You have mentioned Heat same quantity (as the powder) of chilli powder, what does this mean. Please explain.

    2. Once this kholamba powder is ready how much quantity of this powder should be used while making sambhar/kholamba.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Anagha nee Jayashree

    Shilpa: Anagha, after u make a powder with all other ingredients of the powder, measure the quantity with a cup. For instance if the powder is 1 cup, use 1 cup chilli powder. It does not require a lot of oil. Just one drop(or you can even leave out the oil) is enough. Slightly heat up the chilli powder (do not burn it, so keep on a low flame).
    There is a sambar recipe here which uses this powder. For Kholambo, you can add more vegetables to it.

  26. Thanks,

    I am planning to make idli sambar for breakfast this Sunday. I will let u know the results once my family tastes it.

  27. Mrs.MenakaSaravanan

    Hi Shilpa,
    Iam Menakasaravanan from singapore.
    when iam studying school days ,i had a best friend she is from karnataka.her mom use to prepare lot of good dishes everything will be delicious.exspecially sambar no words to say…
    That time iam not interested in cooking,but after my marriage i remembered that and want to make karnataka recipes…all dishes are delicious.
    when i was searching in net i came across you sambar powder ie.,koda masala.
    I tried it really heavenly taste for rice,idly etc.
    thanks for you recipes and i need some uppama recipes,chappathi side dishes.
    please post it really all you recipes are superb.


  28. Hi,

    Let me start by saying i am probably one of those people who loves sambar. I really like the sambars that you get in Bangalore resturants.

    I wanted to know if anyone knew how to prepare the sambar from the resturant “Sukh Sagar”.

    I love the way it is both visually as well as taste wise very appealing.

    I wonder if someone knows how to get both the redness in it and also the sweetness (it tastes like jaggery).

    Anyhow if you know about it can you please post it somewhere or email me.


  29. Hi Shilpa,

    Could you let me know if its black mustard seeds that i need to use for sambar powder.


    Shilpa: Yes, it is black mustard.

  30. Hey Shilpa….i made this sambar powder and trust me i am making sambar more often nowadays! 🙂 The spice level is just right & its so fragrant. I recommend making this in small batches so as to enjoy a tasty sambar every time. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  31. Dear Shilpa,
    It is happy to read the receipe for Bangalore sambar (sepeare for idly and rice). Where can I purchase these Bangalore sambar powder? Kindly advice since my family are fond of this to cook the same sambar what it is served by bangalore hotels along with idly.

  32. Hello Shilpa,
    I have prepared this atleast 2-3 times and today again i am going to prepare as my stock is going to get over. Everybody enjoys. Sambar turns out to be very delicious even without adding tomatoes or tamarind as we don’t eat any sour things on fridays.
    Thanks a lot.

  33. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks – ur sambar powder recipe has transformed me from a good cook to an exceptional one…:)
    My husband and family simply devour “Hulliis” or “Sambars” that I cook using this powder.

    Thanks a ton 🙂

  34. Dear Shilpa/ Varada Mayi

    I have prepared sambar powder yesterday and it came out very nice. Can you tell me if we can use red chillies instead of chilli powder so that I can try it next time.

  35. Hai shilpa,

    I never tried to make any sambar powder till today, as my mom and aunts prepares the same and gave me some. This time i really decided not to ask anybody, but to do it myself. Then only i came to see ur receipe. well, as i am a working woman, i decided to prepare this powder in Kgs. Hence, i need the measurements in kgs. like 1/4 or 1/2 kg. so that i can use it for atleast 6-8 months. tom. i will try with ur given measurements, and then let u know. meanwhile try to post the receipe for 1-2 kgs.
    thanks a lot. bye.

  36. Hi Shilpa, Came across this recipe, while looking for different Sambhar powders. Found a list of new items we don’t use in our recipe: Mustard, Jeera, Cinnamon, Cloves and Peppercorns. Bookmarked. These spices are not used in the regular Kerala Sambhar recipes. Would you term the use of the above spices as regular in your region/Karnataka? Thanks in advance!

  37. hey shilpa,

    thnx so much for the recipe…but would want to know..will the taste really change if I dont use cinnamon piece?

  38. Hey shilpa. Loved your recipes. And happy to see all the recipes which I wanted. I was searching for the recipes from very long time. And when I found ur site I felt like I found a treasure. Ur from where in India. I am from kumta.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top