varutharacha sambar

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Varutharacha sambar recipe with step by step pics. Kerala varutharacha sambar is a delicious variety of sambar made with mix veggies, lentils, roasted spices & coconut. A vegan recipe.

varutharacha sambar recipe

Roasted coconut is one of the highlight of this sambar. Hence varutharacha sambar tastes different than the regular variety of sambar which is made with sambar powder.

Varutharacha sambar is served in the onam sadya and I thought of sharing my method. I do make this Kerala varutharacha sambar once in a while. I have shared another version before which is my mom’s recipe and even that one is delicious and comfort food for me. Recipe is here – Kerala sambar.

Of course The type of veggies you add in sambar does contribute to its overall flavors and taste. I prefer to add pumpkin, drumsticks, yam, okra, brinjal, yellow cucumber and white gourd. Though you can add whatever mix veggies you have.

The vegetables that can be added in a sambar are:

  • Carrots
  • Snake gourd
  • Ash gourd
  • Pumpkin
  • Drumsticks
  • Bottle gourd
  • Okra
  • Plantain
  • Elephant foot yam
  • Colocasia
  • Potatoes
  • Ivy gourds
  • Brinjal
  • Pearl onions/shallots
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow cucumber
  • Radish

Making varutharacha sambar takes some time as there is some preparation work. So you can first chop the veggies and keep them ready. Next you can cook dal and then cook the veggies. When the veggies are cooking, make the roasted coconut sambar masala. I have added pearl onions in the sambar, but you can skip them for a no onion version. Even tomatoes can be skipped.

You can even use three pan which fit each other and cook dal, veggies and rice together in a 5 to 6 litre pressure cooker. To check this method of pressure cooking you can check this recipe post – Poricha kuzhambu.

Varutharacha sambar tastes best with steamed rice. Though at times I have even served it with idli, dosa and uttapam.

How to make varutharacha sambar

Pressure cooking dal

1. Rinse ⅓ cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentils) a couple of times in water. Add the lentils in a pressure cooker. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

2. Add 1.25 cups water.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

3. Cover and pressure cook on a medium flame for 7 to 8 whistles or for 10 to 11 minutes till the dal becomes mushy and soft.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

4. When the pressure settles down, open the lid.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

5. Mash the dal well with a spoon. Cover and keep dal aside.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

Making tamarind pulp

6. Meanwhile when the dal is cooking, soak ½ tablespoon tightly packed tamarind in ⅓ cup hot water. Cover and keep aside for 20 to 30 minutes.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

7. Later squeeze the pulp from the tamarind with your fingers and add in the bowl. Keep the tamarind pulp aside.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

Cooking veggies for varutharacha sambar

8. Rinse, peel and chop all the veggies in slightly large pieces. I have used 1 cup chopped ash gourd, 1 cup chopped brinjal, 1 cup chopped pumpkin, ½ cup chopped drumsticks, ½ cup chopped snake gourd and ¼ cup chopped french beans. You can use 4 to 4.5 cups of chopped mix veggies. Soak brinjals in water. If using plantains, yam or colocasia, then soak them too in salted water. you can chop the veggies and keep them ready ahead of cooking everything. Discard the seeds and pith from ash gourd, pumpkin and snake gourd.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

9. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a pan.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

10. Add 7 to 8 pearl onions or shallots. Onions can be given a skip.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

11. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on a low to medium flame.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

12. Then add ½ cup diced tomatoes. Tomatoes also can be skipped if you want.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

13. Sauté tomatoes for 1 minute.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

14. Now add the chopped veggies.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

15. Sauté for a minute.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

16. Then add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

17. Mix well.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

18. Pour 2 cups water and mix well.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

19. Add salt as required and mix again.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

20. Cover and cook veggies till they are tender and done. Do not overcook them.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

21. do check when the veggies are cooking. Cooking veggies on a medium-low flame takes about 20 to 25 minutes.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

Making varutharacha sambar masala

22. When the veggies are cooking, you can make the Varutharacha sambar masala. for this in a small frying pan, heat ½ tablespoon coconut oil. Keep the flame to a low and add 1 teaspoon chana dal and ½ teaspoon urad dal.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

23. Stirring often fry them till they become golden.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

24. Do stir often for uniform cooking of the dals.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

25. When the dals have become golden, add 1 tablespoon coriander seeds and mix well.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

26. Next add 4 to 5 dry red chilies (broken and seeds removed).

making varutharacha sambar recipe

27. Mix well.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

28. Now add ¼ teaspoon methi seeds.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

29. And again mix.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

30. Then add ½ cup fresh grated coconut.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

31. Mix again.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

32. Stirring non-stop roast the coconut till it becomes golden. Do not burn or over brown coconut. Once the coconut has become golden, remove the pan from fire and keep it down on the kitchen countertop. Stir so that the heat is distributed and the coconut does not roast more. Let this sambar masala mixture become warm or cool down. If the veggies are cooked by this time, then switch off the flame and keep the veggies aside.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

33.  add the roasted coconut+spices in a grinder jar.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

34. Add ½ cup water and grind to a smooth paste.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

Making varutharacha sambar

35. The veggies will be done by now. Check them if they are cooked and softened.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

36. Now first add the tamarind pulp to the veggies.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

37. Then add the mashed dal.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

38. Next add the sambar masala paste.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

39. Mix very well.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

40. Keep the pan on a low to medium flame. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water in the grinder jar and shake and swirl it so that the masala stuck at the sides and bottom of the jar gets mixed with the water. Then add this water in the pan.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

41. Simmer varutharacha sambar till it comes to a boil. You will some froth on the top and at this stage, you can switch off the flame. Do not overcook. Do stir at intervals. Cover and keep aside. Check the taste and add more salt if required.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

Tempering varutharacha sambar

42. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a small pan or tadka pan. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

43. Let the mustard seeds crackle.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

44. Once the mustard seeds crackle, then add 2 dry red chilies and 12 to 15 curry leaves.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

45. Stir and fry till the red chilies change their color.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

46. Lastly add ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida powder (hing). ⅛ teaspoon is roughly about 2 to 3 pinches.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

47. mix and then switch off the flame.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

48. Immediately pour the tempering ingredients in the sambar.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

49. Cover and keep aside for some minutes for the flavors to mingle. Then stir and serve varutharacha sambar.

making varutharacha sambar recipe

50. Serve varutharacha sambar with steamed rice and accompany a thoran and a pachadi by the side. You can also serve it with idli, dosa or uttapam.

Kerala varutharacha sambar recipe
More Sambar varieties

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varutharacha sambar recipe

Varutharacha Sambar

5 from 6 votes
Kerala varutharacha sambar is a delicious variety of sambar made with mix veggies, lentils, roasted spices & coconut. Roasted coconut is one of the highlights of this sambar. 
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Cuisine Kerala, South Indian
Course: Main Course

Servings 6
Units

Ingredients

for pressure cooking

  • cup tuvar dal (arhar dal, pigeon pea lentils)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1.25 cups water

for tamarind pulp

  • ½ tablespoon tightly packed tamarind
  • cup hot water

for cooking veggies

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 7 to 8 pearl onions or shallots (chote pyaaz), optional
  • 1 medium tomato or ½ cup diced tomatoes , optional
  • 4 to 4.5 cups chopped veggies or
  • 1 cup chopped ash gourd
  • 1 cup chopped brinjal
  • 1 cup chopped pumpkin
  • ½ cup drumsticks (saijan ki phali)
  • ½ cup snake gourd (chichinda)
  • ¼ cup chopped french beans (beans)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cups water for cooking veggies
  • salt as required

for making varutharacha sambar masala

  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (husked and split bengal gram)
  • ½ teaspoon urad dal (husked and split black gram)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 4 to 5 dry red chilies
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • ½ cup fresh grated coconut
  • ½ cup water for grinding

for tempering

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 to 2 dry red chilies
  • 12 to 15 curry leaves
  • teaspoon asafoetida powder (hing)

Instructions

pressure cooking dal

  • Rinse ⅓ cup tuvar dal a couple of times in water. Add the lentils in a pressure cooker. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Add 1.25 cups water.
  • Cover and pressure cook on medium flame for 7 to 8 whistles or for 10 to 11 minutes till the dal becomes mushy and soft.
  • When the pressure settles down, open the lid and mash the dal well with a spoon. Cover and keep dal aside.

making tamarind pulp

  • Meanwhile when the dal is cooking, soak ½ tablespoon tightly packed tamarind in ⅓ cup hot water. Cover and keep aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Later squeeze the pulp from the tamarind and add in the bowl. Keep the tamarind pulp aside.

cooking veggies

  • Rinse, peel and chop all the veggies in slightly large pieces. Soak brinjals in water. If using plantains, yam or colocasia, then soak them too in salted water. You can chop the veggies and keep them ready before you cook the dal and make the sambar masala.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a pan.
  • Add 7 to 8 pearl onions or shallots and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on a low to medium flame.
  • Then add ½ cup diced tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Now add 4 to 4.5 cups chopped veggies and saute for a minute.
  • Then add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Pour 2 cups water. mix well.
  • Add salt as required and mix again.
  • Cover and cook veggies till they are tender and done. Do not over cook them. Do check when the veggies are cooking. Cooking veggies on a medium-low flame takes about 20 to 25 minutes.

making varutharacha sambar masala

  • When the veggies are cooking, you can make the varutharacha sambar masala. To make the masala, in a small frying pan, heat ½ tablespoon coconut oil.
  • Keep the flame to a low and add 1 teaspoon chana dal and ½ teaspoon urad dal.
  • Stirring often fry them till they become golden.
  • Do stir often for uniform cooking of the dals.
  • When the dals have become golden, add 1 tablespoon coriander seeds and mix well.
  • Next add 4 to 5 dry red chilies (broken and seeds removed) and mix well.
  • Now add ¼ teaspoon methi seeds and again mix.
  • Then add ½ cup fresh grated coconut. mix again.
  • Stirring non-stop roast the coconut till it becomes golden. Do not burn or over brown the coconut.
  • Once the coconut has become golden, remove the pan from fire and keep it down on kitchen countertop. Stir so that the heat gets distributed and the coconut does not roast more. Let this sambar masala mixture become warm or cool down. If the veggies are cooked by this time, then switch off the flame and keep them aside.
  • Add the roasted coconut+spices in a grinder jar.
  • Add ½ cup water and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside. 

making varutharacha sambar

  • The veggies will be done by now. Check them if they are cooked and softened.
  • First add the tamarind pulp.
  • Then add the mashed dal.
  • Next add the sambar masala paste. mix very well.
  • Keep the pan on a low to medium flame.
  • Simmer sambar till it comes to a boil. Stir at intervals. Then cover and keep sambar aside.

tempering varutharacha sambar

  • Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a small pan or tadka pan.
  • Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  • Once the mustard seeds crackle, then add 2 dry red chilies and 12 to 15 curry leaves.
  • Stir and fry till the red chilies change their color.
  • Lastly add ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida powder. Mix and then switch off the flame.
  • Immediately pour the tempering ingredients in the sambar.
  • Cover and keep aside for some minutes for the flavors to mingle. Then stir and serve the sambar.
  • You can serve varutharacha sambar with steamed rice and accompany a thoran and a pachadi by the side.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Varutharacha Sambar
Amount Per Serving
Calories 214 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 7mg2%
Sodium 419mg18%
Potassium 573mg16%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 2140IU43%
Vitamin C 110.8mg134%
Calcium 73mg7%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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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