Arachuvitta Sambar

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Arachuvitta sambar recipe with step by step photos – presenting one of our favorite sambar recipe from the South Indian cuisine. A vegan recipe.

arachuvitta sambar

In Tamil language ‘arachu’ means ‘ground’. The sambar is made with roasted spices, which are then ground with fresh coconut. Hence the name arachuvitta sambar.

Arachuvitta sambar is a sambar that is made in tambrahm homes. So a tamil brahmin specialty. This sambar recipe is without onions and garlic. Also no sambar powder is added.

I prepare this sambar on occasions to be served with steamed rice. Sometimes I also serve this aromatic sambar with idli, dosa or medu vada.

I usually make this arachuvitta sambar either with pearl onions or with mix vegetables. the mix veggies I add are carrots, okra, radish, capsicum, brinjals, french beans, white or yellow pumpkin, drumsticks, colocasia (arbi). Whatever I have at home. In this recipe post, I have added drumsticks, white pumpkin (ash gourd) and carrots.

Pearl onions or sambar onions gives good taste, so you can add these too. You can also add tomato, if you want. The color of the sambar depends on the type of red chilies you add. I have used byadagi red chilies and hence the orange color.

Serve arachuvitta sambar with steamed rice or with idli or dosa or rava dosa, medu vada or uttapam.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Arachuvitta Sambar

1. First rinse ½ cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentils) and add them in the pressure cooker. Also add ¼ tsp turmeric powder and 2 cups water. Stir well and pressure cook the lentils for 8 to 9 whistles.

lentils for arachuvitta sambar recipe

2. Meanwhile while the lentils are getting pressure cooked, in a small bowl take ½ cup hot water and 1.5 tbsp tightly packed tamarind. Soak the tamarind in hot water for about 20 to 30 minutes.

tamarind for arachuvitta sambar recipe

3. Next in a small pan, heat 2 tsp sesame oil (not the asian variety of sesame oil). Add 4-5 dry red chillies, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, ¼ tsp methi seeds/fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp chana dal and ½ tsp black pepper.

spices for arachuvitta sambar recipe

4. On a low flame stir and roast the spices.

spices for arachuvitta sambar recipe

5. When the spices become fragrant switch off the flame and keep the pan down. Allow the spices to become warm or cool down.

spices for arachuvitta sambar recipe

Making arachuvitta sambar

6. Next step is to heat 2 tbsp sesame oil in a pot or pan. Then add 1 tsp mustard seeds and let them crackle.

mustard seeds for arachuvitta sambar recipe

7. Once the mustard seeds crackle, then add 2 dry red chilies and a pinch of asafoetida (hing). Stir and fry till the red chilies change color. Don’t burn them.

chillies for arachuvitta sambar recipe

8. Now add 1 sprig curry leaves (about 12 to 15 curry leaves) and 2 drumsticks (peeled & chopped), 1 cup of diced ash gourd and 1 medium to large carrot (diced). If you plan to add pearl onions or regular onions, then sauté them with curry leaves till they turn translucent. Add the mix veggies later once you sauté the onions. You can add about 1.5 cups of mixed veggies except for the drumsticks.

vegetables for arachuvitta sambar recipe

9. Stir very well.

vegetables for arachuvitta sambar recipe

10. By now the tamarind must have got soaked very well. Squeeze the pulp from the tamarind in the bowl.

tamarind for arachuvitta sambar recipe

11. Add the tamarind pulp and ¼ tsp turmeric powder to the veggies and stir. tamarind pulp can be added later too, if you don’t want the sour taste in the veggies.

tamarind for arachuvitta sambar recipe

12. Next add 1 cup water.

water for arachuvitta sambar recipe

13. Add 1 tsp salt or as required.

salt for arachuvitta sambar recipe

14. Cover the pan and simmer on a medium to high flame till the veggies are cooked.

simmer arachuvitta sambar

15. When the veggies are cooking, take the roasted spices in a chutney grinder or a wet grinder jar. Also, add 4 tbsp fresh grated coconut. If you do not have grated coconut, then add desiccated coconut.

spices for arachuvitta sambar recipe

16. Grind to a smooth paste with 5 to 6 tbsp water. Add more water if required while grinding. Keep this ground sambar masala aside.

sambar masala for arachuvitta sambar recipe

17. When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid of the cooker and mash the dal with a whisk or spoon.

making arachuvitta sambar recipe

18. In 20 to 25 minutes, the veggies will be cooked. If while cooking, the water becomes less, then do add some more water. I did add ½ cup water later when the veggies were getting cooked.

making arachuvitta sambar recipe

19. Then add the mashed dal and the freshly ground sambar masala.

making arachuvitta sambar recipe

20. Stir very well. If the sambar looks very thick, then add some more water. If thin, then add 1 to 2 tbsp rice flour to thicken it. Check the taste and add more salt if required.

making arachuvitta sambar recipe

22. Simmer more for 4 to 5 minutes on a medium to high flame.

simmer arachuvitta sambar

23. You can serve arachuvitta sambar with steamed rice or idli or set dosa or rava idli or any South Indian tiffin snack. If you want you can also garnish it with some chopped coriander leaves.

arachuvitta sambar recipe


Few more tasty sambar varieties

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arachuvitta sambar recipe

Arachuvitta Sambar

5 from 9 votes
Arachuvitta sambar is a tasty mix vegetable sambar made with roasted & ground sambar masala. This is a no onion no garlic sambar. 
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Cuisine South Indian
Course: Main Course

Servings 4 to 5
Units

Ingredients

for pressure cooking dal

  • ½ cup tuvar dal (arhar dal or pigeon pea lentils) or 110 grams arhar dal
  • 2 cups water for pressure cooking
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon oil – optional

cooking veggies

  • 2 drumsticks
  • 250 grams ash gourd (white pumpkin) or about 1 cup of diced ash gourd
  • 1 medium to large carrot
  • 3 to 4 shallots or 1 medium sized onions – optional
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 sprig curry leaves or 12 to 15 curry leaves
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 to 1.5 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

sambar masala

  • 4 to 5 dry red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (husked and split bengal gram)
  • ½ teaspoon whole black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
  • 5 to 6 tablespoon water for grinding

for tamarind pulp

  • 1.5 tablespoon tightly packed seedless tamarind + ½ cup hot water

Instructions

pressure cooking lentils

  • First rinse 1/2 cup arhar dal/tuvar or pigeon pea lentils and add them in the pressure cooker. Also add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and 2 cups water. Stir well and pressure cook the lentils for 8 to 9 whistles.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid of the cooker and mash the dal with a wired whisk or spoon.

preparing tamarind pulp

  • Meanwhile while the lentils are getting pressure cooked, in a small bowl take 1/2 cup hot water and 1.5 tbsp tightly packed tamarind. Soak the tamarind in hot water for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Later squeeze the pulp from the tamarind in the bowl. Keep aside.

roasting spices & preparing sambar masala

  • Next in a small pan, heat 2 tsp sesame oil (not the asian variety of sesame oil). Add 4-5 dry red chillies, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1/4 tsp methi seeds/fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp chana dal and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  • On a low flame stir and roast the spices.
  • When the spices become fragrant switch off the flame and keep the pan down. Allow the roasted spices to become warm or cool down.
  • Take the roasted spices in a chutney grinder or a wet grinder jar. Also add 4 tbsp coconut.
  • Grind to a smooth paste with 5 to 6 tbsp water. Add more water if required while grinding. Keep this ground sambar masala aside.

making arachuvitta sambar

  • Next step is to heat 2 tbsp sesame oil in a pot or pan. Then add 1 tsp mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  • Once the mustard seeds crackle, then add 2 dry red chilies and a pinch of asafoetida. Stir and saute till the red chilies change color. Don’t burn them.
  • Now add 1 sprig curry leaves (about 12 to 15 curry leaves) and 2 drumsticks (chopped), 1 cup of diced ash gourd and 1 medium to large carrot (diced). If you plan to add pearl onions or regular onions, then saute them with curry leaves till they turn translucent. Add the mix veggies later once you saute the onions. Stir very well.
  • Add the tamarind pulp and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder to the veggies. Stir. Tamarind pulp can be added later too, if you don’t want the sour taste in the veggies.
  • Next add 1 cup water. Add 1 tsp salt or as per taste. Do check while the veggies are cooking and if required add some water if the water becomes less. I added 1/2 cup water later.
  • Cover the pan and simmer on a medium to high flame till the veggies are cooked.
  • In 20 to 25 minutes, the veggies will be cooked.
  • Then add the mashed dal and the freshly ground sambar masala.
  • Stir very well. If the arachuvitta sambar looks very thick, then add some more water. If thin, then add 1 to 2 tbsp rice flour to thicken it.
  • Simmer more for 4 to 5 minutes on a medium to high flame.
  • You can serve arachuvitta sambar with steamed rice or idli, dosa or any south indian tiffin snack. If you want you can also garnish it with some chopped coriander leaves.

Notes

You can also add about 1.75 to 2 cups diced veggies of your choice.

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Dassana Amit

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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30 Comments

  1. Beautiful recipe, thank u..
    Just tried it out and it has come out beautiful..
    Thanks once again5 stars

  2. I had read a very similar version of this recipe called Kootu(think its a dish from Karnataka or Andhra) long back. But very nice presentation and explanation. And it sure looks mouth watering

    1. Arachu means ground (past tense of “to grind”)
      Vitta means poured.
      Adding rice flour to thicken is not a good idea. Better to warn people to be careful while adding water. Also while adding lentils (toor daal) one needs to be careful not to over power the, main taste of the “arachu vitta” spices. Also the final taste come after the first boil of the entire sambhar after adding the toor daal.

      1. Thanks for the info and inputs. A recipe varies from family to family and this is how I make this dish. Rice flour does help in thickening if the gravy becomes thin. Many a times people do not have measuring cups and so the water added can be less or more. So I do mention what to do if this happens if the gravy becomes thick or thin.

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