In South, Sambar (Lentil based gravy) is the main starter in lunch/brunch/feast. It is used as side dish like dip for tiffens too. The main spice mix is ready made Sambar Powder, which is always kept in stock. Normally it is prepared in bulk and stored in air tight containers for 6-8 months. So summer is the ideal time for preparing the ready mixes. Alternatively this can be dry roasted in winter and prepared. The smell and aroma of this powder will induce sneezing.

Sambar Powder

Recipe: Sambar Powder (South Indian Lentil Gravy Spice Mix)
Preparation & Cooking Time: 1 hour (Approx)
Makes: 1 kg Jar full (Approx)
Shelf Life: 6-8 months when stored outside & upto a year when kept in freezer
Cooking Level: Beginner/Easy
Recipe/Post by: Viji

500 gms Dhania/Coriander Seeds
300 gms Dried Red Chillies
1 cup Tur Dal/Split Yellow Lentils
¼ cup Channa/Gram Dal/Split Chickpeas
¼ cup Jeera/Cumin Seeds
¼ cup Black Pepper Corns
2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
50 gms Dried Turmeric Fingers (Virali Manjal)

Special Utensils:
Clean and dry jar for storing
  1. Clean and dry every thing in the sun and grind it in the flour mill. Or else, you can dry roast them and grind it in the flour mill.
  2. Spread them on a paper to cool before you store.
  3. For daily use, use a small container with spoon.

Special Notes/Tips:
  • Alternatively small amount can be grinded in mixer too. This one will be coarse in texture.
  • Adding gram chal will make the gravy thicker. So the quantity is according to one’s choice.
  • Keep this powder ready to make sambar at any time.

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  1. Lakshmi // 22 April 2009 at 13:39  

    Viji, nice to see you here,a perfect foil to your creativity,yet another feather in your cap.

  2. Kitchen Flavours // 22 April 2009 at 15:55  

    Oh wow spicy and aromatic...I love the smell of spices when they are getting roasted...Ummmmmmm

  3. rekhas kitchen // 22 April 2009 at 17:41  

    wow viji nice color Ican imagen tha aroma

  4. Ramya Vijaykumar // 22 April 2009 at 18:35  

    Nicely presented Sambar powder... color is perfect...

  5. Ashwini // 22 April 2009 at 18:59  

    Nothing like homemade sambar powder..Can smell the aroma of it..

  6. Kalyani // 22 April 2009 at 20:49  

    Wow vijji . nice homemade sambar powder ..... ...

  7. Suparna // 22 April 2009 at 21:10  

    Hi Sia,
    Love homemade spice powders, I love the varieties of the same....would to try ur version dear. snap is very attractive :)
    Pls coolect ur award from my blog, would be glad if u will.

  8. Pooja // 22 April 2009 at 21:47  

    Oh gosh, I haven't thought about turmeric sticks in ages. Surefire way to know you're using the real thing!

  9. Khaugiri // 22 April 2009 at 22:07  

    Lovely Viji....... I can really smell it from the pic. Now I will try this.......

  10. meeso // 23 April 2009 at 02:06  

    Wow, never heard of turmeric fingers... The powder looks good, such a nice color!

  11. A_and_N // 23 April 2009 at 06:31  

    Thansk for the recipe. I haven't made Sambar powder yet. Believe it or not.

  12. Vcuisine // 23 April 2009 at 19:37  

    Thank you all for your comments. Viji

  13. Zarine // 23 April 2009 at 20:56  

    Thanks Viji I thought sambhar powder had complicated and several items. Who knew it was so easy to essemble! Am going to make the masala myself from now on. Tks again

  14. Alka // 23 April 2009 at 22:42  

    Viji u reminded me of my childhood, when every summer season we used to watch mother dear sundrying the whole spices and then grinding all of them to store for the upcoming monsoon season.The red chillies, whole turmeric, coriander seeds,along with Papad and kachris, all of these while drying out in open, have us (kids) as guards to shoo away straying animals
    The colour is so lovely,and i can almost feel the texture..lovely job done :-)

  15. Pavithra // 24 April 2009 at 03:58  

    Good color perfect...Home made are great taste

  16. Bharati // 24 April 2009 at 06:40  

    Absolutely tempting authentic preparation of Sambar powder.

    I can not enjoy this preparation in USA for not having flour mill.Our blenders don't grind spices and coffee grinders can not take load of Dals and turmeric fingers.

    Any recommendations for home friendly flour mill in USA?

  17. Nags // 24 April 2009 at 10:41  

    I don't know when I am going to be less lazy and make my own but when I do, I am using this recipe :)

  18. Sia // 24 April 2009 at 16:45  

    a must have spice powder in my pantry for 24X7 and 365 days :) Thank you, Viji for sharing this wonderful recipe :)