Instant Sambar Mix ( Just boil with vegetables)

South Indian dishes are not complete unless there is the accompanying yummy sambar to dip into.
At times the task of making a delicious sambar seems cumbersome as we may not have enough time in kitchen yet we long to have it , so these instant sambar mixes are a great boon.

Store brand ones are already available but am not comfortable using them as there seems to be some ingredients not required, some use hydrogenated oils too..besides the freshness is a question mark. Some unnecessary spices are also added not required for daily use sambar. Not to mention the expense . So the at the  beginning of every month or when you get some spare time it is a good idea to have such mixes ready for your use.

Send the prepared ready to make sambar mix with your kids when they leave to Universities/colleges away from home  and need a homely taste to food. One cannot live on pizzas all your life and when home  sickness kicks in, there is nothing to beat , a quick instant sambar which has no complicated  process of hunting for ingredients, running to stores etc…simply measure out tbsps of powder into water, boil , add vegetables, salt and garnishing if any and a delicious home made sambar,  just like mom made is ready in no time. Microwave comes handy for such occasions.

This sambar mix is a great boon to the hurried busy housewife , working moms who love to have good tasty food within minutes but cannot slave in the kitchen.
When the sambar   requirement is only for the tiffin items and you do not require a big quantity to be made, this powder comes handy.

Housewives who need to be free from long cooking processes will also find this a great help.The ingredients are for a basic south Indian sambar, make your own tweaks to get your preferred taste.


  • 6 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4 tbsp chana dal
  • 3 tbsp toor dal ( optional )
  • 2 tbsp fried gram 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida crystal or powder
  • 8-10 red chillies
  • lime size tamrind broken into smaller pieces
  • 2 tbsp tomato powder if needed tomake for a travel pack , or can skip ..
  • 1 ts p turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 2 tsp oil coconut milk powder can be added to the prepared mix , if making it as a travel pack if preparing at home , coconut milk can be added to the sambar separately , as it gives a very tasty finish .
  • Method
  •  Heat a pan with little oil and roast the dals till lightly golden, keep aside.
  • Now roast all the remaining ingredients except the mustard seeds over a low flame , including the asafoetida powder / crystals and the tamrind ( after breaking it up into small bits. )
  • Roast all till a fine aroma emanates and do not scorch ingredients or it will leave an unpleasant taste to sambar.
  • Remove all ingredients and let cool completely.
  • add roasted tempering of mustard seeds, red chillies and dry curry leaves to add to the mix .
  • Meanwhile grind all the roasted ingredients to a fine powder.
  • Remove and let it cool down. Add the roasted tempering also , to this mix and stir well.
  • When the prepared mix has cooled completely store immediately in an airtight container to lock in the aroma .

To prepare the sambar with the instant mix

  • 1.Take a vessel and add some water depending on  quantity of sambar you need.
  • For instance I took around 150 ml of water and
    added 3 tbsp of the prepared mix.
  • Mix the powder well in water and keep on heat,
    add finely cut vegetables like potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins . or keep vegetables to cook and add the powder .
  • Add salt as it is not added in the mix.
  • When the vegetables have cooked well, make adjustments to the sambar which would have reduced or thickened, so add little water and boil.
  • Although there is no need to add any cooked dal as dal is already added in the mix, if preparing at home and cooked dal isreadily available, add the dal to thicken.
  • Sambar can also be thickened by gently mashing potatoes with the ladle.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • No need to season as it is already added in the mix.
  • There is no need to add dal or tamrind, or any seasoning as everything is premixed.
You can add some ground coconut paste to make it even more richer .
In that case you need to add a little more mix while preparing sambar.
As we presume these mixes are going to be sent with those
travelling, we assume that ingredients like curry leaves may not be available
so we add them to the mix itself.
Similarly they may not have time to measure out ingredients
like tamrind, extract water from it so we add that also to the mix, which gets
roasted till brittle and gets powdered .
Last but not the least , all adjustments to final sambar can be easily made by using your own home made sambar powder too.
You can also add toor dal, moong dal in the mix .
a tbsp of rice can also be added as a  thickening agent , roast all these well .
a quick video to show the process



















  1. says

    Instant Sambar powder will definitely be a boon to people who don't have the time to prepare from the scratch or for people like me who get lazy sometimes to cook ;)..will be making a batch of this soon

  2. says

    Hello Radha, This is an absolute brilliant idea. I tried it yesterday. it was delicious. but I have a doubt. My sambhar powder had overpowering coriander seeds taste. I have followed the same measurements. Could you tell me what could have gone wrong?

    • says

      perhaps the seeds were not roasted well , so in which case they would be overpowering…may be you need to reduce the required amount to suit your taste…thanks a lot for visiting…certain taste like the spiciness, tangy taste can be elevated or reduced to suit individual needs…hope you will be able to set it right

  3. Viji says

    Thanks seems interesting . Should this be refrigerated ?
    Can this be given to babies ?
    I m planning to try this please advise

  4. Anissa Khalfa says

    Hi Radha, many thanks for sharing your recipe !

    I have a question, in the ingredients you mentioned 1 tbsp of chana dal (Bengal gram) in the second row then you are 1 tbsp of roasted gram (potty kadalai) in the 12th row but isn’t it the same thing ? If not, what is the difference between the two ?

  5. Shilpa Bhatia says

    should we store this sambhar mix in fridge or without fridge.
    Till how many days it is best for use.

    • radha says

      any powder mix can be stored in fridge upto 3 months for freshness. better to store in fridge for better flavor retention

  6. Gayathri says

    Hi Radha.. I tried your instant sambar, rasam and adai mixes. All three came very well.. Thanks a lot for making my life easy. God bless you

    • radha says

      thanks to you too ,,,am so sorry for the late reply ,,,hope you will viist more, do write in for any specific request

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