tiffin sambar along with dosa and idli and separately
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3.75 from 4 votes

Tiffin Sambar | Sambar for Idli and Dosai

A delicious gravy made with fresh ground spices, moong dal, vegetables aka the sambar precisely the tiffin sambar that pairs well with idli and dosai.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: TamilNadu
Keyword: tiffin sambar
Servings: 6
Calories: 164kcal
Author: Srividhya G


To Pressure Cook:

  • 1/2 cup yellow split lentils/moong dal rinsed and drained
  • 2 green chilies slit into two
  • 2 tomatoes approx 1.25 cups when chopped
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 cups water

To Roast and Grind:

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 tsps oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 5 shallots
  • 1 cup onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables I used bottle gourd + chayote squash and butternut squash
  • 2 cups of water divided
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro.


Pressure cook the lentils and tomatoes:

  • Add the moong dal, tomatoes, green chilies, turmeric powder, and 1.5 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook for four whistles or hisses.
  • Let the pressure release naturally. When the pressure is all release, discard the green chilies and mash the lentils and the tomatoes using a potato masher.

Prepare the spice powder:

  • While the lentils are cooking, you can prepare the spice powder.
  • In a pan, roast the coriander seeds, red chilies, and Bengal gram for about 5 minutes or until the aroma comes over medium heat.
  • Allow the spices to cool down and grind it into a coarse paste without adding any water.

Prepare the Sambar:

  • In a pan or kadai, heat the oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, hing, curry leaves, and shallots.
  • Fry for two minutes. And then add the sliced onions and cook until the onions turn translucent.
  • Now add the mixed vegetables, 1 cup of water and mix. Mix thoroughly.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are soft and tender.
  • Meanwhile, mix 1 tsp of tamarind paste in 1 cup of water.
  • Remove the lid and add the tamarind water and allow it to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Then add the spice powder and mix. Make sure there aren't any lumps.
  • Then add the mashed moong dal and mix. Bring this to a boil.
  • After one boil, garnish it with cilantro and serve it with idli or dosai.



  • Adjust water according to consistency preference.
  • As always adjust the spice and salt according to your preference.


Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 862mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2170IU | Vitamin C: 63.8mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2.3mg