Microwave Saambaar




  • 1 cup Toor dal (lentils), washed well
  • 1 cup of vegetables of your choice (I have used okra here)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2-3 tablespoons Sambhar Powder
  • 6-8 shallots – peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2-3 whole red chillies
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • A pinch of asafoetida (perungaayam/hing)
  • Coriander leaves for garnish



1. Soak the lentils in 2 cups of boiling water for one hour.

2. Add a pinch of salt and cook the lentils high power for 5 minutes (my microwave is 900W, but cooking time will vary if you use a different level of power).

3. Stir and cook again at 60% power for 10 minutes.

I didn’t turn down the first time I made the lentils and it they overflowed and it was a disaster! (see pic below)

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Lentil overflow!









Mash the lentils with a potato masher or blend in a blender (i don’t like to mash the lentils completely, but it’s your preference) Mix in a pinch of sugar, salt and the sambhar powder.

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4. In another large dish, mix together the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and 1 tablespoon oil. Cook covered on high power for approximately 2 -3 minutes.

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5. Add onions, curry leaves, tomatoes and the rest of the oil and cook again on high power for 3 – 5 minutes until onions are cooked.

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6. Add your cooked vegetable(s). I used sauteed okra in my recipe.

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7. Add the lentil mixture to this along with 1 cups of boiling water and cook covered at 70% for 5 mins, stirring a few times in between. Add more water if you like your sambar more watery.

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8. Add the tamarind and cook covered at 50% power for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or idlis.

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