drumstick sambar recipe, murungakkai sambar recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Drumstick Sambar

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
Calories: 147kcal
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

  • 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

  • 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

    (cilantro leaves)


cooking dal

  • 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 the sambar with some chopped coriander leaves.


Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 305IU | Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 1mg | Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 1mg | Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 29mg | Vitamin B6: 1mg | Vitamin C: 164mg | Vitamin E: 3mg | Vitamin K: 3µg | Calcium: 209mg | Vitamin B9 (Folate): 314µg | Iron: 1mg | Magnesium: 34mg | Phosphorus: 62mg | Zinc: 1mg