Arachuvitta Sambar or Fresh Ground Masala Sambar


by Savitha,

Arachuvitta Sambar is one of the tastiest sambar recipes of Tamil Brahmins. It is very important in our cuisine. Hence, it is prepared on all important festivals and occasions. Arachuvitta Sambar, unlike any ordinary sambar, we add specially prepared masala just before preparing the sambar. This masala gives the sambar an aromatic flavour. This sambar is suitable for rice as well as idli or dosa.

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins

Key Ingredients

Drumstick (Chopped – 3 inch size) 2 nos. or Raddish 2 nos. (chopped thinly)
Sambar onions (shallots) 150 gm (peeled and washed)
Tamarind pulp – 1 gooseberry sized (soaked in warm water and strained)
Toor dal 50 gm
Fenugreek 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder

For the masala

Bengal gram 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds 1 1/2 tbsp
Red chilies 3-4 nos.
Curry leaves a few
Sambar onions (shallots) (only one layer peeled, leave some of the papery layer) 3 nos.
Grated coconut 2-3 tbsp

For Tempering

Oil 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds
Hing 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves a few
Coriander leaves for garnishing


  1. Pressure cook Toor dal by adding water, turmeric powder and fenugreek for 3-5 whistles.
  2. In a thick vessel, boil the chopped drumstick/raddish by adding a little salt and turmeric powder. (you can even add some water and microwave it for 5 mins by closing it with a microwave safe lid)
  3. While the vegetable is getting cooked, heat a pan, add 1/2 tsp oil, add coriander seeds, bengal gram, red chilies, curry leaves and sambar onions. Roast it, till the dal turns deep brown. Transfer it to a blender jar, add the grated coconut and grind it to a smooth paste by adding some water.
  4. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil, add mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and add the onion shallots.
  5. Add some salt, saute till the onions get translucent. This may take till 4-5 mins.
  6. Add the cooked drumstick. Mix well.
  7. Now, add the tamarind syrup and wait till the raw smell of the tamarind goes off.
  8. Then, add the ground paste and let it boil for 3-4 mins.
  9. Add the cooked toor dal, check for the consistency, if requried add more water.
  10. Cook on low flame for 2-3 mins.
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves

Serve hot with steamed rice and poriyal. Add some ghee to rice while serving

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