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Girija Paati’s Arachuvitta Sambar - The Perfect Tiffin Sambar

As much as sambar is a staple of South Indian cooking, this ubiquitous dish comes in a large variety of forms. Not counting the individualised recipes of each home, there are still a number of versions of the traditional sambar.

Arachuvitta Sambar – GirijaPaati Style South Indian traditional vegetarian recipes from an Indian grandmother's kitchen www.girijapaati.com

Previously, we had shared Girija Paati’s mixed vegetable sambar, which is the most common version made in most Tamil households. Arachuvitta Sambar is a fancier version that is thicker with coconut and a lot more spices. It goes especially well with classic South Indian tiffin items such as idlies, dosas and vadas.  

Arachuvitta Sambar – GirijaPaati Style South Indian traditional vegetarian recipes from an Indian grandmother's kitchen www.girijapaati.com

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  1. Dried Red Chillies – 4
  2. Dhaniya Seeds – 1 tbsp.
  3. Bengal Gram – 1 tsp
  4. Methi Seeds – a pinch
  5. Asafoetida – 1 piece (size of a pea)
  6. Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
  7. Tamarind – 1 piece (large lemon size)
  8. Thoor Dhal – 3 tbsp
  9. Small Onion / Sambar Onion – 10 pieces
  10. Tomato – 2 medium
  11. Small Brinjal – 2
  12. Drumstick – 1
  13. White Pumpkin – 100 gms
  14. Red Pumpkin – 100 gms
  15. Capsicum – 1 medium
  16. Broad Beans – 3
  17. Girija Paati’s Sambar podi (click here) – 1 tsp
  18. Turmeric powder – a pinch
  19. Oil – to cook
  20. Water 

For the Seasoning:

  1. Mustard Seeds
  2. Methi seeds
  3. Dried Red Chilies - 1
  4. Curry leaves
  5. Coriander Leaves – chopped

Method:

  1. Dice or cut all vegetables into large pieces, except the sambar onions (these should be kept whole)
  2. In a large kadai heat some oil, to the hot oil add the onions and fry for a minute
  3. Add all vegetables except tomato and fry for about 5 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes
  5. Add a sambar podi and fry for 2 minutes
  6. Add water to cook the vegetables, once the water starts to boil, lower the flame, cover and allow to cook
  7. Take the tamarind and mash it with water to make 1.5 cups of tamarind extract. Strain the extract and keep aside
  8. Add the tamarind water and rock salt to the cooked vegetable and allow to boil for 10 minutes, can be half-covered
  9. Cook the thoor dhal with water, turmeric and a drop of oil, in a cooker for about 5 whistles
  10. In a small kadai heat oil, add dried red chillies, dhaniya seeds and asafoetida and fry, when half fried add the methi seeds and bengal gram and fry well
  11. Grind the fried spice mix with the coconut to a coarse paste, add water as required
  12. Add the spice paste into the cooked thoor dhal and mix well, lightly mashing
  13. Add the dhal paste mix in with the cooked vegetable, add water if it is too thick, allow to cook for about 10 minutes and switch the flame off
  14. Create a tadka of oil with mustard, methi seeds, dried red chilli and curry leaves
  15. Add the tadka to the sambar, top with coriander leaves and close
  16. Serve Hot

When we serve Arachuvitta Sambar with hot rice and ghee, we top it with Girija Paati’s Classic Mixture or Kara Boondi for a bit of crunch and indulgence.   

Download the printable recipe here.

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Arachuvitta Sambar – GirijaPaati Style South Indian traditional vegetarian recipes from an Indian grandmother's kitchen www.girijapaati.com

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