Ulli Sambar


1 cup toor dal
3 cups water
1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
small lemon sized tamarind
1 cup shallots / small onions / cheriya ulli
3 green chillies, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 big / 2 medium tomato, chopped
2 tsp heaped + 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
3 tsp heaped coriander powder
1 tsp + 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
1/4 tsp fenugreek powder
salt to taste
1 tsp jaggery, grated
1 tsp + 1 tbsp +1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Soak tamarind in 1 cup of hot water, extract its juice and keep it aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker, cook the toor dal adding about 3 cups of water, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, salt and 1 tsp coconut oil till soft. Remove from heat and allow cooker to cool.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a pan and add green chillies, shallots and crushed garlic cloves and saute well.
  4. Add tomato pieces and saute well.
  5. Reduce the flame and add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp heaped kashmiri chilli powder and coriander powder and mix well.
  6. Add tamarind water and mix well and allow to boil.
  7. Add 1 tsp asafoetida powder and fenugreek powder and mix well.
  8. Now add cooked dal along with gravy, mix well and boil well for 5-6 minutes.
  9. Adjust the salt and add grated jaggery and mix well. Switch off the flame.
  10. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
  11. Add a pinch of fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves and fry.
  12. Add 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder and 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder and mix well.
  13. Pour this tempering over the sambar and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice / dosas or idlis….


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