Monday, March 28, 2011

Parangikai Arachu Vitta Sambar / Spicy Yellow pumpkin Lentil soup

Sambar is a famous and common dish in South India especially Tamil Nadu. Sambar is a vegetable stew with broth made of tamarind and toor dal. Each state in south India adopts typical variations in preparing sambar. Sambar can be made with an instant spice mix called sambar powder or the spice mix can be fresh ground. The sambar made with fresh ground spice mix is called arachuvitta sambar in. I learnt to make this sambar from my motherin-law  Mrs.Jayalakshmi Narasimhan who specialises in authentic tamil cusines.  Sambar can be made with different vegetables like brinjal, carrot, tomato, potato, beans, drumstick, pumpkin, chayote squash, bell pepper (capsicum), okra (lady's finger) and so on. In this recipe I used the yellow pumpkins.

Toor dal- 1/2 cup
tamarind- small lemon sized
turmeric- 1/4 tsp
asafoetida- 2 pinch
chopped tomatoes-  1
Yellow pumpkin- 1 1/2 cup (chopped, big cubes)
salt to taste

To grind
corriander seeds- 1 1/2 tsp
red chillis -10
chenna dal- 1 tbsp
cyrry leaves- a string
shredded coconut- 4 tbsp
fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp

oil- 2 tsp
mustard seeds- 1 tsp
curry leaves- a string
asafoetida (hing)- 1 generous pinch


  • Wash and cook the toor dal with the yellow pumpkin, turmeric and asafoetida.
  • Soak the tamarind in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes to make an extract.
  • Heat a wok and dry roast the ingredients to grind, on a medium flame until the chenna dal turns golden brown. Cool it and grind them into a smooth paste with 1/4 cup of water.
  • Now boil the tamarind juice in a vessel with a cup water until its raw smell disappears and add the chopped tomatoes.
  • Once the tomatoes become tender and cooked add the ground paste and salt.
  • Mash the dal slightly( Make sure you dont mash the pumpkins) and add them to the boiling tamarind juice. 
  • Allow them to boil for 10 mins and turn down the heat. Sambar is almost ready except for the seasoning.
  • Heat some oil in a small wok, add mustard. When it cracks add asafoetida and curry leaves and season it on the sambar
Note: I made this sambar for rice and hence the consistency was little thick. In case if you want to use this same sambar as a side dish for dosas or idly add 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp of crushed jaggery and boil them and garnish with cilantro leaves (coriander leaves). This would taste like the restaurant sambar.


  1. Never used pumpkins in sambar. Looks delicious..

  2. Sambar looks Delicious!!

    I am here for first time, happy following you..


  3. Lovely delicious sambar. One of my favorites.

  4. Looks delicious...mouthwatering...thanks for sharing.

  5. yummy combination we make similar sambar looks wonderful

  6. சாம்பார் மிக அருமையாக இருக்கு...

  7. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and feedback...

  8. sambar is one of my fav !! This looks so delicious and perfect !!

  9. I love the aroma of sambhar with freshly ground spices. Looks very yummy.

  10. Nice sambhar, never added pumpkin.. will try soon.

  11. Yum! I make a lot of sambar at home. Sometimes varied but either ways we need sambar with rice. You have a nice recipe here

  12. Your Sambar look so delicious.Seeing your tempting sambar I decided sambar for lunch today.

  13. I love making sambar with freshly ground spices too. Nice recipe.


Thank you for your valuable comments.If you have any questions or comments you can also personally wrtie to me at