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Tomato Sambar Recipe

Tomato Sambar recipe made with homeground masala. Sambar recipe without tamarind. Perfect accompaniment for south Indian dishes. Recipe with step by step pictures.

  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



For the Masala

  • 3 dry red chillies
  • 1/3 cup coconut
  • 1 teaspoon white poppy seeds ( khus khus / gasa gasa )
  • 1 tablespoon fried gram
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/4 inch piece cinnamon

Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 3 Tomatoes, roughly chopped (preferably country tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon Indian sesame oil / gingely oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt
  • 2 sprigs coriander leaves, chopped


  1. First boil the washed toor dal along with the roughly chopped tomatoes and 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 4 whistles. Remove the cooker from heat after the said time and allow the pressure from the cooker to settle naturally. Mash the toor dal and the tomatoes. Set aside.
  2. Grind all the ingredients for the masala along with half a cup of water to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat Indian sesame oil / gingely oil in a pan and add in the mustard seeds. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Add in the curry leaves and asafoetida. Add in the chopped onions and saute for a couple of minutes
  4. Add in the ground masala sitting in the mixie to the pan. Wash the mixie jar with half a cup of water and add it back to the pan.
  5. Add in the salt.
  6. Add in half a cup of water and let the masala simmer for five minutes.
  7. Now add in the cooked and mashed tomato – toor dal mixture to the pan.
  8. Simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and add in the coriander leaves.
  9. Serve hot with idli or dosa..
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Tamilnadu