Idli Sambar Recipe

A staple of South Indian cuisine, idli sambar has gained popularity both domestically and internationally. This delicious dish, which consists of steamed rice cakes called idlis and a tasty vegetable stew called sambar made with lentils, is not only a favorite for breakfast but also a complete, healthy meal that can be enjoyed all day long. Before we delve into a classic recipe that will entice your palate, let’s explore the rich history of this dish.


Idli Sambar’s roots are deeply ingrained in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, two southern Indian states. Through trading networks, idli—which is thought to have originated from an old Indonesian dish—made its way to India. It changed into the fluffy, soft rice cakes that we are familiar with today over time. In contrast, the recipe for sambal has a long history in South Indian cuisine and varies depending on the location. The meal was traditionally made with regional veggies and spices, which resulted in a flavor profile that is distinctive and has endured.

Idli Sambar

Idli Sambar Recipe

Idli Sambar

Learn about the fascinating history of Idli Sambar and use our detailed recipe to prepare this traditional South Indian meal at home. Savor the ideal combination of tender, steam-cooked idlis and a savory stew made with vegetables and lentils. A tasty and wholesome supper suitable for any time of day!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Idli Sambar
Servings: 2
Calories: 350kcal


  • 1 Idli Steamer or Idli Cooker
  • 1 Mixing bowls
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Kadai or deep pan
  • 1 Ladle
  • 1 Cooking Spoon
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Cutting board


  • For Idlis:
  • 2 cups Idli Rice
  • 1 cup Urad Dal split black gram
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Water for soaking and grinding
  • For Sambar:
  • 1 cup Toor Dal split pigeon peas
  • 1 cup Mixed Vegetables carrots, beans, eggplant, drumsticks
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 cup Tamarind Pulp
  • 1 tablespoon Sambar Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • A pinch of Asafoetida hing
  • Curry Leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • Salt to taste


Step-by-Step Recipe:

Step 1: Make the batter for the idli
  1. Rinse the fenugreek seeds, urad dal, and idli rice together.
  2. Give them a 4-to 6-hour soak in water.
  3. Using as much water as necessary, grind the soaked components into a homogeneous batter.
  4. Season the batter with salt and leave it to ferment all night.
Step 2: Idlis on Steam
  1. Apply oil grease to the idli molds.
  2. Once the batter is in the molds, steam the idlis for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are cooked.
  3. Allow them to cool before taking them out of the molds.
Step 3: Get Sambar ready
  1. Use a pressure cooker to cook toor dal until it's tender.
  2. Heat the oil in a kadai and add the curry leaves, hing, mustard and cumin seeds.
  3. Include diced onions and cook till they turn golden brown.
  4. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the sambar powder, turmeric powder, and simmer.
  5. Cook the mixed veggies until they are soft by adding the tamarind pulp and salt.
  6. Simmer the mixture for ten to fifteen minutes after adding the prepared toor dal.
Step 4: Present and Savor
  1. Transfer the idlis to a platter and cover them with hot sambar.
  2. Add some fresh coriander leaves as a garnish.
  3. Serve hot and savor the real Idli Sambar flavors.


Idli Sambar is more than a dish; it is a voyage through South India’s cultural and gastronomic landscapes. Bring this custom into your kitchen at home and enjoy the delicious pairing of fragrant sambar and tender idlis. Savor the hearty goodness of a recipe that has delighted many families for generations.

Equipment List:

  1. Idli Steamer or Idli Cooker 
  2. Mixing bowls 
  3. Blender 
  4. Kadai or deep pan 
  5. Ladle 
  6. Cooking spoon 
  7. Knife
  8. Cutting board 

Read Also: 13 Must Have Indian Traditional Kitchen Tools

Read Also: Top 13 Best Of South Indian Cuisine.

Learn More about the vast Indian Foods here: TASTEOFINDIAAA…


Indian Culinary Journey

Scroll to Top