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Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe

This inspired Hotel Saravana Bhavan Tiffin Sambar Recipe comes very close to the sambar that's served in the popular hotel. The different ingredients that go in add flavour to the Tiffin Sambar.
Course Main Dish – Gravies
Cuisine Tamil Nadu
Keyword HSB Style Sambar
By Cook Method Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Occasion Weekend Special
By Diet Vegan
Dish Type Sambar Varieties
Author Srivalli


To grind as Paste

  • 2 tsp Fried Gram / Roasted Gram / Pottu Kadalai
  • 3/4 cup Tomato or 1 Big
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Shredded
  • 2 tsp Sambar Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida / Hing

For the Sambar

  • 3/4 cup Toor Dal
  • 1 cup Brinjal / Kathirikkai (3 to 4 small)
  • 1 Drumstick chopped into 2 inch pieces makes approx. 1 cup
  • 5 Shallots / Sambar Onions
  • 1 medium Tomato
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • Coriander Leaves handful
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind Paste / Puli (1 lemon size)

For Tempering

  • 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Urad Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3 Dry Red Chillies (round variety)
  • Curry Leaves handful
  • 5 Shallots / Sambar Onions


How to make Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe

  • Wash and pressure cook the toor dal to a soft consistency by adding enough water.
  • Wash and soak the tamarind, extract the pulp, keep it aside.
  • Chop the vegetables and keep it aside. Slit the green chili into two pieces.
  • Grind to paste roasted gram, 1 tomato, coconut, sambar powder, asafoetida to a smooth paste by adding water.
  • Once the dal is well cooked, add 4 cups of water, add the cut vegetables, shallots, chopped tomato, green chilli and cook.
  • Now, add ground paste to the cooking dal.
  • Next, add the tamarind (puli) water and cook until the vegetables are cooked. Then, remove from the heat.
  • In a pan, heat cooking oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal and stir until the mustard splatter. Now, add Shallots, dry chili, curry leaves until curry leaves splatter.
  • Now, pour this over the simmering sambar, add coriander leaves and cook until sambar comes to a boil and remove from heat.


  1. The more you cook the thicker the sambar will end up.
  2. This can be made without the vegetables, with just the shallots as well.
  3. The thickness and the difference in this recipe is because of the fried gram
  4. I have two different sambar podis, This Sambar podi is what Amma has been making for a long time. Second Sambar powder is something she developed recently. Both the versions work well with this recipe.
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