Simple, wholesome Vegetarian & Plant-based Recipes

Sambar Masala Recipe (Spice mix for lentil-veggie stew)

Sambar Masala is an essential spice blend used to make a popular south Indian dish Sambar. Different aromatic spices are roasted and ground to a powder. This home-made sambar masala recipe is simple and easy to make at home.

sambar masala powder in a glass jar on table

What is sambar?

Sambar is a stew made with lentils, vegetables, tamarind and sambar masala, one of the staple dish in south India. Sambar is often served with boiled rice and used as accompaniment with most of the south Indian breakfast dishes such as idli, dosa, vada, pongal. It is a tradition in most of the south Indian households to have this dish in festive and wedding menu. Infact south Indian thali is incomplete without sambar. Different regions across south India have their own versions of sambar masala that follow different ingredients and process of making. Each and every version is delicious and excellent on its own way.

Necessary spices used to make sambar powder

Each spice has its own aroma and adds its own character to this spice blend. Cassia bark(dalchini), coriander seeds, cumin are the common spices used in most of the Indian spice blends. Whole coriander seeds has a slightly citrus flavour with the notes of sweetness. Dry roasting allows this spice to take on a more nutty and floral aroma as the oils releases from the seeds. Cumin enhances the flavour of spice blends, it lends earthy and spicy sweet flavour to the spice mixes. A perfect blend of freshly ground spice brings out the well-balanced flavours and elements of the dish to tantalise individuals taste buds.

I always prefer to make spice blends such as Chettinad masala, Biryani masala powder, Bisi bele bath powder at home. 

Here is the aromatic sambar masala recipe with process shots and video.

Ingredients

1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml

Coriander seeds: 1 cup

Cumin seeds: 3 tbsp

Black peppercorn: 1 tbsp

Mustard: 1 tbsp

Urad dal: 3 tbsp

Channa dal: 3 tbsp

Fenugreek seeds: 1 tbsp

Cassia bark (Dalchini): 12 gms

Dry red chillies: 9 (adjust based on your preferred spice levels)

Desiccated coconut: 1/3 cup

Instructions

In a pan dry roast coriander seeds on low heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer it to a large plate.

Now roast mustard until it starts to pop. Transfer them to a plate.

Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cassia (dalchini), toast until fragrant and take them off the pan.

coriander seeds mustard and spices in a black pan

Dry roast red chillies for a minute or until it releases pungent aroma and take it off from pan.

In the same pan dry roast desiccated coconut until fragrant and transfer it to same plate.

dry red chillies and coconut in a black pan

Allow the spices to cool down completely and grind it to a powder.

spices in a jar before and after grinding

Store it in an airtight jar.

sambar spice blend in a glass jar

Notes

Roast the spices on medium low flame to avoid over roasting or burning the spices. Keep stirring frequently.

Sambar masala powder remains fresh for 3 months at room temperature, later on it looses its aroma gradually. As I prepare sambar almost twice a week with different vegetables, so I usually make big batch that last for nearly 3 months. If you do not intend to make sambar regularly I suggest you to cut the quantity to half to make small batch of masala powder.

Store spice blends in fridge/freezer for longer shelf life.

This basic sambar masala recipe has multi purpose uses, just a big pinch of this spice mix lends a great flavours to stir fries and side dishes.

Sambar Masala is an essential spice blend used to make a popular south Indian dish #Sambar. #sambarmasala #spiceblendClick to Tweet

Sambar Masala Recipe

Sambar Masala is an essential spice blend used to make a popular south Indian dish Sambar. Different aromatic spices are roasted and ground to a powder. This home-made sambar masala recipe is simple and easy to make at home.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Masala Powder, Spice Blends
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 255 gms
Author: Geetha Priyanka

Ingredients

1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml

  • 1 cup Coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp Mustard
  • 3 tbsp Urad dal
  • 3 tbsp Channa dal
  • 1 tbsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 12 gms Cassia bark (Dalchini)
  • 9 Dry red chillies adjust based on your preferred spice levels
  • 1/3 cup Desiccated coconut

Instructions

  • In a pan dry roast coriander seeds on low heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer it to a large plate.
  • Now roast mustard until it starts to pop. Transfer them to a plate.
  • Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cloves, cassia (dalchini), toast until fragrant and take them off the pan.
  • Dry roast red chillies just until it releases pungent aroma and take it off from pan.
  • In the same pan dry roast desiccated coconut just until fragrant. Transfer it to same plate.
  • Once all the spices are completely cooled, grind to a powder.
  • Store it in an airtight jar.

Video

Notes

Roast the spices on medium low flame to avoid over roasting or burning the spices. Keep stirring frequently.
Sambar masala powder remains fresh for 3 months at room temperature, later it looses its aroma gradually. As I prepare sambar almost twice a week with different vegetables I usually make big batch that last for nearly 3 months. If you do not intend to make sambar regularly I suggest you to reduce the quantity to half to make small batch of masala powder.
Store spice blends in fridge/freezer for longer shelf life.
This basic sambar masala recipe has multi purpose use, just a big pinch of this spice mix lends a great flavours to stir fries and side dishes. 

KEEP IN TOUCH

Do let me know if you make this sambar masala. I love to get feedback from readers.

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