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.
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.
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tablespoon = 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: ⅓ cup
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.
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.
Allow the spices to cool down completely and grind it to a powder.
Store it in an airtight jar.
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 #spiceblend
📖 Recipe Card
Sambar Masala Recipe
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tablespoon = 15ml
- 1 cup Coriander seeds
- 3 tablespoon Cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon Black peppercorn
- 1 tablespoon Mustard
- 3 tablespoon Urad dal
- 3 tablespoon Channa dal
- 1 tablespoon Fenugreek seeds
- 12 gms Cassia bark (Dalchini)
- 9 Dry red chillies adjust based on your preferred spice levels
- ⅓ cup Desiccated coconut
- 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.
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