Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Style Sambar Recipe

Recipe for Coimbatore Hotel Annapoorna Sambar. Recipe as told by a cook who worked in the hotel for 27 years. With step by step pictures and video.

I get at least a couple of mails a month asking for Annapoorna sambar recipe as I am from Coimbatore. Everyone in Coimbatore loves the food from this iconic Annapoorna hotel. I am no different. Their Sambar is one of the best. I had tried different recipes but could not nail it. Then this happened. I was talking about my sambar quest to Prema akka (Vinodhs aunt) and she told she knows someone who can give us the recipe. She told me that one Mr. Palinisamy had worked as a cook in their house in the 80’s before moving to Annapoorna as a chef. She told me that she will definitely get hold of him for me. And she did. I met him at a function recently where he was in charge of the kitchen. Mr. Palanisamy is a dhoti clad chef with prominent brown eyes and a big mustache. His eyes are very unique. You will never forget him once you have met him. As soon as I met him, we started talking. He told that he started cooking at the age of 12. He worked at the hotel for 27 years. He now runs his own food and catering service at Coimbatore. His food rocks. If you are in Coimbatore and have a party at home, try Mr. Palanisamy’s food.  You can contact Mr. Palanisamy, Sai Baba catering. His phone number 96984 88764. Another number 9344680106 . His food is as good as home cooked food. If you are having a party in Coimbatore, this is the number you need to be calling.

Video Recipe of Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Style Sambar

A note on the quantity of vegetables to the dal.
We are going to use half a cup of toor dal for this recipe, which is 125 ml or roughly about 100 grams. We need to use 200 grams of drumstick for this recipe. About 2 drumsticks.

Wash and soak 1/2 a cup of toor dal in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with the water for 6 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Use the back of the tumbler to mash the dal. Set the dal aside to a bowl.

In another cooker, add in the drumsticks, diced onion, diced shallots (small onion) and tomatoes. Add one cup of water, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of turmeric. Cook for 4 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside.

Now for the Sambar Masala
Get all the ingredients listed below ready before you proceed. We will need a dozen ingredients namely coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves, dry red chillies, asafoetida, coconut, jaggery and the tamarind.
A note on jaggery and tamarind.
The quantity of jaggery and tamarind has to be equal.

Heat oil in a pan and add in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, chana dal and urad dal. Fry for a minute. Once the chana dal is brown, add in the curry leaves, dry red chillies, asafoetida, coconut, jaggery and the tamarind. Fry for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Grind the mixture with half a cup of water to a paste. Let the paste be very slightly coarse. Set aside.

Take a heavy bottomed pan and add in the ground masala and one cup of water. Let it come to a boil on medium flame. Once its boiling, add in the cooked vegetables along with the water used for cooking. Add in the salt. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. Add in the cooked dal and let it continue to boil for 2-3 minutes.

When the dal is cooking, we will do the tempering for the sambar. Heat oil in a kadai and add in the mustard seeds when the oil is hot. Add in the curry leaves and switch off the flame. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder and immediately pour it on the sambar. The red chilli powder might burn if kept in the oil for too long. So have an eye on the kadai. Add in the coriander leaves and a tablespoon of ghee. Switch off the flame.

Coimbatore Annapoorna Style Hotel Tiffin Sambar is ready!

Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Sambar Recipe
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamilnadu
Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Recipe for Coimbatore Hotel Annapoorna Sambar. Recipe as told by a cook who worked in the hotel for 27 years.
Ingredients
  • Measurments Used - 1 Cup = 250 ml
  • For Dal
  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal
  • 2 Cups Water
  • For Veggies
  • 2 Drumsticks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 shallots (small onions), diced
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup water
  • For Sambar Masala
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil (gingely oil)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 black pepper corn
  • 5 fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tablespoon chana dal
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 dry red chillies (gundu variety)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 tablespoon coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon jaggery
  • gooseberry size tamarind
  • Other ingredients
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 stalks coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • For Tempering
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (gingely oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
Instructions
For Dal
  1. Wash and soak 1/2 a cup of toor dal in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with the water for 6 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside.
For Veggies
  1. In another cooker add in the drumsticks, diced onion, diced shallots (small onion) and tomatoes. Add one cup of water, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of turmeric. Cook for 4 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside.
For Sambar Masala
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, chana dal, urad dal. Fry for a minute. Once the chana dal is brown, add in the curry leaves, dry red chillies, asafoetida, coconut, jaggery and the tamarind. Fry for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  2. Grind the mixture with half a cup of water to a paste. Let the paste be very slightly coarse. Set aside.
For the Sambar
  1. Take a heavy bottomed pan and add in the ground masala and one cup of water. Let it come to a boil on medium flame. Once its boiling, add in the cooked vegetables along with the water used for cooking. Add in the salt. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. Add in the cooked dal and let it continue to boil for 2-3 minutes.
For Tempering
  1. Heat oil in a kadai and add in the mustard seeds when the oil is hot. Add in the curry leaves and switch off the flame. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder and immediately pour it on the sambar. The red chilli powder might burn if kept in the oil for too long. So have an eye on the kadai. Add in the coriander leaves and a tablespoon of ghee. Switch off the flame.
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This post was last modified on February 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

Suguna Vinodh :I'm Suguna Vinodh aka Kannamma. I love south Indian food and I am passionate about baking. My Favorite things include my Wusthof knife, Coffee, Ilayaraja, Tamil and beaches. I love Jacques Pepin and Julia Child.

View Comments (232)

  • Let me start by saying I have never made Sambar before but had million times at sarvana Bhavan and at my south indian friend's home. This is first sambar recipe I tried last evening. My husband asked me to write a review and thank you.. for we both loved it thoroughly. Don't know what the original tastes like, never been to Coimbatore.. but still i would this Sambar tasted so delicious.. we ended finishing whole amount by night.. thank u so much for sharing authentic recipe selflessly... For north Indian like myself.. I can confidently cook tasty South Indian food at home because of you.
    Thank you so much 😊

  • Hi Suguna,
    I try most of your recipes when I am bored with my usual recipes. Saravanabavan kara kulambu and annaporna style sambar etc., .It comes out good everytime I made it. Your instructions are fool proof always. Your service is much appreciated :)

    Good work.
    Thanks
    Selvi

  • Hi Suguna,

    Just wanted to write as I am having some confusion with the quantity needed for the masala. The ingredient list calls for quantities such as 5 black peppers where I can see in your photograph that you have maybe 10 or so. The quantity of dals in your photograph look less than the tablespoons being called for in the recipe. Would you please be able to advise on which is correct?

    Sorry I am an amateur cook so am not familiar with these things.

    Thank you.

  • Hi Kannamma,
    Thanks so much for sharing COIMBATORE ANNAPOORNA HOTEL SAMBAR RECIPE with us. I followed everything in accordance to your recipe except that I used more drumsticks. It was out of the world and my family loved it so much. Words cannot express for your big heart in sharing the recipe with all your readers

    P.S - Can I put any other vegetable than drumsticks as I like vegetables in my sambhar.?

  • I am going to try this. I have tasted annapporna sambhar many times while I was in Coimbatore studying. After seeing all the comments I know it will come out superb.

    Can I use coriander powder instead of the coriander seeds? If so when to add?

  • OMG!!! This is truly exciting and "MEKKA NANDRI!"

    I am from Canada, and was a Rotary Exchange student in the late 1980s - in COIMBATORE!! Sambar and the food at Annapurna was an incredible treat! My Indian Ammas all made incredible sambar (of course!) and I have craved it since! It is truly one of the best foods of the world!
    Look forward to trying out the recipe.
    Thank you so much for sharing this to you both!

  • Hello again - I do not have/use a pressure cooker. Might you have the timing with no pressure cooker?
    Thanks again!

  • Hello Kanamma, I am a big fan of your blog, all the recipes I have tried so far have always been a hit. Huge Thanks and kudos for your great work ! I cant wait to try this special sambar for a potluck this Sunday and I have quick questions:
    1. What other veggies can I use instead of drumsticks as it is for a huge crowd?
    2. Would u recommend adding shallots instead of drumsticks to this sambar. Will it change or alter the taste, if it will not at what point should I add the shallots or the alternate vegetables.

    Looking eagerly for your response.

  • Hello Kanamma, I am a big fan of your blog, all the recipes I have tried so far have always been a hit. Huge Thanks and kudos for your great work ! I cant wait to try this special sambar for a potluck tomorrow and I have quick questions:
    1. What other veggies can I use instead of drumsticks as it is for a huge crowd?
    2. Would u recommend adding shallots instead of drumsticks to this sambar. Will it change or alter the taste, if it will not at what point should I add the shallots or the alternate vegetables.

    Looking eagerly for your response.

  • Hello Kannama,
    That was one awesome sambar recipe! Felt like I brought Coimbatore abroad. My husband had been pestering me to prepare this sambar for a while now & voila I tripped on your blog, what a wonderful turn of events that was. The sambar tasted so authentic and was lip-smacking, finger-licking good. Thanks for this! This was the first recipe from your blog that i tried out and was super satisfied, so looking forward to more culinary adventures with you. Ciao!