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Cooking Time

Preparation Time : 70

Cook Time : 10

Total Time : 80


Serves 4

  • White Urad Daal: 1.5 cups

  • Salt: 1 Teaspoon or as per taste

  • Green Chilies: 4 (Chopped)

  • Cooking oil for deep frying: 2 Cups

  • Arhar/Toovar Daal: 2 Cups

  • Tomatoes: 5 Medium to Large(Chopped)

  • Onions: 2 Medium (Sliced)

  • Turmeric Powder: 2 Teaspoons

  • Red Chili Powder: 2 Teaspoons

  • Mustard Seeds: 2 Teaspoons

  • Asafoetida: 1/2 Teaspoon

  • Dhania Powder: 1 Tablespoon

  • Tamarind Paste: 2 Tablespoons

  • Sambar Masala: 4 Tablespoons

  • Dry Red Chilies: 2 (Broken into halves)

  • Curry Leaves: 10-12

  • Coriander Leaves: 1/4 Bunch (Chopped)

  • Jaggery: 1” piece


  • 01

    Intro: Sambar-Vada is an indispensable part of South Indian Cuisine which is popular all over the world. The golden & crispy Vadas soaked in a flavorful, hot, tangy Tomato & Tamarind based Lentil Soup known as Sambar is absolutely delicious. Yields: 10 medium sized Vadas.

  • 02

    (A) To prepare the Vadas:

  • 03

    Soak the Urad Daal for at least 1 hour. After an hour, drain the water completely.

  • 04

    Grind it with just 2-3 tablespoons of water in a Blender or Food Processor.

  • 05

    Cover tightly & Let it ferment overnight or 8-10 hours.

  • 06

    Add salt & green chilies.

  • 07

    Beat the batter vigorously for 2-3 minutes. It should be light & fluffy.

  • 08

    To test: Take a tiny blob of the batter & drop it in a small bowl of water. If the batter sinks, beat more. If it floats immediately, you are good to go.

  • 09

    Heat enough oil in a large wok for deep frying.

  • 10

    Keep a medium bowl of water on the side. Wet your hands lightly.

  • 11

    Take a lemon size blob of the batter in your right hand.

  • 12

    Then transfer it to your left wet palm.

  • 13

    Dip your right index finger in the water & make a hole in the middle of the blob.

  • 14

    Now wet your right hand & transfer the blob to your right hand.

  • 15

    Slide it gently into the hot oil. Repeat.

  • 16

    Tip: Fry the Vadas in batches. 5-6 per batch depending upon the size of the wok. Turn them a few times until the vadas are crisp & golden.

  • 17

    Enjoy hot dunked in Sambar & Coconut Chutney on the side.

  • 18

    Note: 1.During hot summers the batter may rise in just 4 to 5 hours & during winters it may take up to 16 hours or so.

  • 19

    2.The oil should be very hot in the beginning. To check if the oil is ready or not, drop a tiny blob of the batter into the oil. It should float immediately & fluff up. Reduce the heat to medium as soon as one batch is in the wok. For the next batch, the heat should be high again.

  • 20

    3.If you are in a hurry & do not want to wait until the batter ferments, then add 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder to the batter. Whisk vigorously for 5-6 minutes. Then follow the same steps as above. I personally prefer a well fermented batter because it tastes much better.

  • 21

    (B) To prepare the Sambar:

  • 22

    Wash the Arhar/Toovar Daal until the water runs clear.

  • 23

    Pressure cook on high for 6 minutes with 8 cups of water, Salt, Turmeric Powder, Red Chili Powder, Jaggery, Sliced Onions & Chopped Tomatoes.

  • 24

    Let the pressure release on it’s own. Blend the Daal with the back of a ladle.

  • 25

    Heat oil in a small frying pan. Tip in the Mustard Seeds on low heat followed by the Dry Red Chillies & Asafoetida.

  • 26

    Add the Sambar Masala, Dhania Powder & the Curry Leaves. Stir.

  • 27

    Pour it on top of the cooked Daal. Let it simmer on low heat covered for about 10 minutes or until well blended, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning.

  • 28

    Add the Coriander Leaves.

  • 29

    *You may add more water at this stage, depending upon the desired consistency. Do keep in mind that it will thicken when it cools down.

  • 30

    Serve hot with Vada/Idli/Dosa/Steamed Rice.

  • 31

    P.S. I don’t like veggies in my Sambar. You may add Potato, Carrot, Eggplant, Cauliflower etc., if you wish to.

  • 32

    More pictures...

  • 33

    More pictures...



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