Saravana Bhavan Hotel Style Sambar Recipe in Tamil | Hotel Sambar recipe

Even there are so many ways to make sambars, I am always a huge fan of Saravana bhavan sambar. Especially the one in mylapore koil street. I will never miss to eat idly Pongal Vada with my favorite sambar and finishing touch with coffee. So, I desperately wanted to make this at home. For that I did some research using google and read so many blogs and recipes. Finally, I have discovered my destiny recipe after multiple attempts and little tweaks and turns. I don’t know if it is exactly as same as hotel taste, but it reminds me of my golden days and that taste.

Let’s see how to make this sambar:

  • Prep time – 10 mins
  • Cook time -30 – 45 mins
  • Serves – 4


Ingredients needed: 

  • Toor Dal – 1 cup
  • Tomato – 1 roughly chopped
  • Carrot – 2
  • Brinjal – 4
  • Drumstick – 1
  • Turmeric powder – 1 generous pinch
  • Sambar powder – 1 tsp
  • Thin/watery tamarind pulp – 1/2 cup
  • Coriander Leaves – to garnish
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Water – as required
  • Salt – to taste

To Grind:

  • Fried Gram Dal – 3 tsp
  • Coconut – 2 tbsp
  • Tomato – 1 roughly chopped
  • Red chili – 2


  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Split Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Small Onion – 10 -15
  • Hing – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves – a sprig
  • Green Chili – 1 slit



  • Rinse dal and Pressure cook it with little oil and turmeric powder for 5 whistles in low medium flame or until mushy.
  • Once the pressure subsides, mash it well with a laddle, Keep aside
  • Cut all the vegetables of your choice
  • Grind together coconut, roasted gram, red chili and tomatoes to a fine paste. Keep aside
  • In a pan, add a tsp of oil and saute all the vegetables, along with tomatoes for few mins. Add required salt.
  • Then add the mashed dal to it. Add required water and bring it to boil. Let the veggies cook until soft.
  • Now, add coconut paste to it and boil it for 5 mins
  • Add tamarind pulp and let the sambar boil. Adjust water as required
  • Tempering: Heat oil in a pan, add mustards, urad dal, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, small onions, green chilies, Hing.
  • Add this tempering to the boiling sambar.
  • Let the sambar boil for 3-5mins, then garnish with coriander leaves and switch off.


Serve with Idly, Dosa, Pongal or Vadai.


  • This sambar will be thick, so adjust the consistency by adding water according to your preference.
  • The more you cook the thicker the sambar will end up.
  • This sambar thickens with time too. So, add hot water, if it becomes thick while serving.
  • Add veggies of your choice, mostly a combination. So that sambar will be flavorful. I have used carrots, brinjal, drumsticks and shallots (small onion) . This can be made without the vegetables, with just the shallots as well.
  • Add 1/2 tsp chilli powder if your sambar powder is less spicy.
  • Why are we using Roasted gram? – It gives different flavor than the regular sambar and gives thickness.


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