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Recipe Collection

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Sambar (Lentil Soup)

Sambar (Lentil Soup) Related:   condiments, gluten-free, low-fat, pareve, Shavuot, vegan, vegetarian

Prep time: 40 min

Cook time: 35 min

Yield: 5-9 servings

Sambar is eaten as a side dip or soup with various South Indian dishes such as dosa (rice crepes) and idli (steamed rice patties). It can also be eaten plain or over rice.


  • 1 teaspoon dried tamarind pieces
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup yellow lentils
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • To make the tamarind paste, soak dry tamarind pieces in warm water for 20 to 30 minutes. Then strain fibers from water through a strainer over a bowl. Put the strained water in a pot and add lentils, turmeric and a drop of oil. Cook for about 20 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile, heat remainder of oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Stir in rest of spices until they become fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes, being careful to not let them burn. Once fragrant, add chopped vegetables and salt, and cook until onions are translucent and potatoes and carrots are soft, 7 to 12 minutes. The consistency should be a soupy liquid, so add water if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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