drumstick sambar recipe, murungakkai sambar recipe
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5 from 1 vote

drumstick sambar recipe

tasty sambar variety made with drumsticks aka murungakkai 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: main, side
Cuisine: south indian, tamil nadu
Servings: 4
Author: Dassana Amit


for cooking dal

  • cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentils or arhar dal)
  • 1.25 to 1.5 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

for tamarind pulp

  • ½ tablespoon tamarind
  • ¼ cup hot water

other ingredients for murungakkai sambar

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • cup pearl onions (shallots) or ⅓ cup chopped onions
  • cup chopped or diced tomatoes or 1 small to medium tomato
  • 2 to 3 drumsticks (murungakkai) or 175 grams drumsticks, peeled and chopped in 3 to 4 inches pieces
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoons sambar powder or add as required
  • 1 cup water
  • salt as required

for tempering murungakkai sambar

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 to 2 dry red chilies , broken and seeds removed
  • 5 to 6 fenugreek seeds
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves , chopped or whole

for garnish: (optional)

  • 1 to 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves


cooking dal for drumstick sambar

  • rinse ⅓ cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentils) a couple of times in water. take the lentils in a 2 litre pressure cooker.
  •  add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1.25 to 1.5 cups water.
  • mix well. then cover and pressure cook dal for 7 to 8 whistles or 11 to 12 minutes on medium flame.
  • when the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the dal. dal should be completely cooked and mushy. mash dal with a spoon or wired whisk. cover and keep aside.

making tamarind pulp

  • meanwhile in a bowl soak ½ tablespoon tamarind and ¼ cup warm or hot water for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • then later squeeze the soaked tamarind pulp in the water. keep this tamarind pulp aside.

cooking drumsticks

  • in a pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil (preferably sesame oil made from raw sesame seeds). add ⅓ cup pearl onions (shallots) or ⅓ cup chopped onions.
  • stir and sauté pearl onions till the onions turn translucent or the edges start to turn light golden. for onions, sauté them till they turn translucent.
  • add ⅓ cup chopped or diced tomatoes. sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • now add drumsticks and mix well.
  • then add 1 cup water and 1 pinch turmeric powder. mix again.
  • cover the pan and cook the drumsticks on a low to medium flame.
  • in between do check when the drumsticks are cooking.
  • the drumsticks should be cooked well and tender, but take care that they do not get overcooked.

making drumstick sambar

  • once the drumsticks are cooked and tender, add the tamarind pulp.
  • then add the cooked dal. also add 1.5 to 2 tablespoons sambar powder or add as required. mix very well.
  • season with salt as per taste.
  • simmer drumstick sambar on low to medium flame for 6 to 7 minutes. the raw aroma of tamarind should go away.
  • after simmering for 6 to 7 minutes, switch off the flame. cover the pan and keep aside.

making tempering for drumstick sambar

  • heat 1 tablespoon oil (preferably sesame oil made from raw sesame seeds) in small pan or tadka pan. add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds. keep the flame to a low while tempering spices. 
  • let the mustard seeds crackle.
  • when the mustard seeds crackle, then add 1 to 2 dry red chilies (broken and seeds removed), 5 to 6 fenugreek seeds & 10 to 12 curry leaves.
  • quickly add 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing).
  • mix well and fry till the curry leaves become crisp.
  • switch off the flame and immediately add the tempering mixture in drumstick sambar.
  • cover and let the flavors infuse for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • then serve drumstick sambar with idli or dosa or medu vada or steamed rice. while serving you can garnish murungakkai sambar with some chopped coriander leaves.