Idli Sambar


As I said Idli Sambar is South India’s Special dish. Mainly this dish is served for morning tiffin. Since many years, many hotels are serving this dish; it is even had for supper. With the trends changing, chefs are innovating different forms of Idly. Whatever new comes, Old taste cannot be forgotten. This plain Idli with sambar is one among the traditional dishes that remains forever the best household dish.


Preparation becomes easy if you have the idli batter ready. Even making batter is not rocket science. Some use Kusublakki (boiled rice) whereas some Idli Rawa. Here I am giving you the Idli rawa method. The Sambar preparation is quite a lengthy process. But it gives you such a perfect taste that no hotels can match your sambar taste. Instead of using ready made sambar powder, here I have explained the process of making fresh aromatic spices powder. Just follow these steps and make a lip smacking Idli Sambar. Iam sure after eating your homemade Idly Sambar, none of your family members will opt for going to hotel.

Idli Sambar
Idli Sambar

Idli Ingredients :

  • Urad Dal / White Lenthils – 1 cup
  • Idly Rawa or Rice Rawa (Semolina) – 2 cups
  • Salt

Soaking Time for Urad Dal : 4 hrs

Fermentation Time : 7-8 hrs or Overnight

Preparation Time for Idli : 15 mins

How to Make Idli:

  1. Wash and soak Urad dal in water for 4-5 hours. Grind Urad dal with water in a wet grinder until it turns thick paste to form Urad batter.
  2. Wash the Idly/Idli Rawa or Rice Rawa; drain out the water. Add washed Idly Rawa and Salt to the Urad dal batter and mix well.
  3. Leave the batter to ferment overnight. Proper fermentation will increase the volume of the batter almost 1 1/2 times of that of original batter. If batter is not fermented, Idly/Idli will not turn fluffy and soft.
    Idli Sambar
    Idli Sambar
  4. Next day morning prepare Idly/Idli with the help of Idly trays. Grease the Idly trays molds with Oil or Ghee. Pour 1 ladle/big spoon of batter in each of the moulds. Fill all the moulds. If one does not have Idly/Idli cooker, use normal pressure cooker to cook the Idlies. Place the Idly trays in a outer cooker container partially filled with water (obviously with sufficient gap between Idly stand and water level).
  5. Cook these Idly/Idli for 15 min (without placing the cooker whistle) in medium flame.
  6. Open the cooker container and take out the Idly/Idli stand from the cooker and keep it aside for just a minute. Now scrape out the Idlies from the tray with the help of a spoon one by one.

Serve hot and fluffy Idlies with Sambar or Chutney.



Sambar Ingredients :

  • Tomatoes – 2
  • Onions – 2
  • Toor Dal – 1/4 cup
  • Coriander Leaves / Cilantro
  • Curry Leaves
  • Ghee / Clarified Butter -1 tsp
  • Jaggery – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt

To be ground into Masala paste Ingredients :

  • Bengal Gram Dal or Channa Dal – 5 tsp
  • Urad Dal / White Lenthils- 2 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Tamrind – 1 small Lemon sized
  • Cumin seeds or Jeera – 1 tsp
  • Cinamon or Dalchini – 1 inch
  • Cloves or Lavang – 2
  • Red Chillies – 5-6
  • Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Oil – 3 tsp

Tempering Ingredients:

  • Ghee / Clarified Butter – 1 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal / White Lenthils – 1/2 tsp

Time to Prepare : 30 mins

How to Make Sambar :

  1. Cut the Tomatoes into cubed sized pieces and Onions lengthwise.
  2. Heat Ghee in a frying pan, add just the Onions and fry until it turns golden brown. Keep aside.
  3. Cook the Toor Dal soaked in sufficient water in a pressure cooker until you hear 4 whistles. Leave it to cool. Once the Dal is cooled, grind the Dal into smooth paste in a mixer grinder.
  4. Heat Oil in a frying pan. Add all the above Masala paste ingredients (except grated Coconut) and fry until the Dals and the ingredients like the Coriander seeds and Dals turn golden brown. Leave it to cool. Take a mixer jar, add all fried ingredients, grated Coconut, a little water and grind into smooth paste.
  5. Take a cup of water in a cooking vessel, add chopped Tomatoes and cook for 3-4 min. Once the Tomatoes are done, add fried Onions from Step 2 and cook for 2-3 min. Add Curry leaves. Then add ground Toor Dal from Step 3, Jaggery, Salt and cook for 5-6 min.
  6. Now add ground Masala paste from Step 4 to this mixture and cook for 10 min. If you feel the Sambar is too thick add little water and cook.
  7. Tempering: Heat the Ghee in a frying pan, add Mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add Urad dal. Fry Urad dal till golden brown. Add this to the Sambar. Garnish with Coriander leaves.

Now Sambar is ready to serve with Idly/Idli



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