Sambar recipe

Sambar is a kind of south Indian lentil and vegetable stew. We made this sambar recipe as an accompaniment for our raclette dosas. It was so delicious that I ate the leftovers for the next two days! 

Sambar (serves 4-6)

Sambar is a spicy lentil-and-vegetable soup that makes an excellent dipping sauce and accompaniment for your dosa. You can make it from scratch, but I used a packet of sambar paste to save time and effort. This sambar recipe is based on the recipe on the back of the package of sambar paste I used; please follow the instructions on the package you buy if you choose to use sambar paste.


  • about 1 and 1/4 cup pigeon peas (also called toor dal or red gram dal), or substitute the same quantity of yellow split peas
  • 6 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1 package MTR sambar paste
  • about 4 cups of assorted vegetables, chopped

I used a little bit of each of the following: chopped onion, chopped carrot, chopped cauliflower, chopped eggplant, chopped okra, chopped fresh green beans, and chopped potato. It’s very open-ended, and you can add more or less as you like. 


  1. Put the water and pigeon peas or lentils in a large pot. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat until it’s simmering. Keep covered and let simmer for about ten minutes, or until peas are edibly soft.
  2. Add four more cups of water to the pot and add all the chopped vegetables. Cover and bring to a boil. 
  3. Add the sambar paste and let the soup cook until the vegetables are soft, about ten minutes. 

To serve with raclette dosas:

  1. Give each diner his or her own bowl of sambar to use as dip and to eat.
  2. This recipe should serve 4-6 people. If you have any leftover, you can reheat it and eat it with rice. It’s basically a hearty, spicy vegetable stew, so pour it over a bowl of rice and enjoy. 

New! Comments

Do you have tips, techniques, or an opinion to share? Leave me a comment in the box below!

Top 10 Recipes for Saint Partrick's Day!

Join my tabletop cooking adventures. New recipes, dining stories from my travels, helpful info and a lot of fun!

Looking for something really tasty? Check our  Recipe Index

Get ready for your next meal at:

The Tabletop Tool Shop

The Tabletop Food Shop

Some of my favorite online stores might have just what you need for your next tabletop meal!

Asian Food Grocer has a great selection of essential ingredients and many hard-to-find items.

Shop Today!

Cilantro Cook Shop has a great selection of quality raclette and fondue sets.

Cilantro Cook Shop Logos - Free Shipping

For The Gourmet has an amazing selection of cheeses and chocolates.

Exotic & Fresh Ingredients from For The Gourmet

Sephra specializes in chocolate, caramel and fruit fondues... and fountains.