September 15, 2011

Ulli Sambar

Ulli Sambar is my favourite type of sambar and I make it whenever I feel bored of the regular veggie Sambar. Ulli is the malayalam term for Onion and the onions used in this recipe are the small ones which are called sambar onions/shallots. I make two versions of this sambar. The easiest version is this recipe. The other one is my Amma's recipe in which the gravy is made with roast and ground coconut. Will post that sometime later...


Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Small onion/Shallots peeled - 1 cup
Garlic - 2 or 3 cloves
Green chillies - 3, slit
Tomato - 1
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Red chilly powder - 3/4 to 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek powder - 1/4 tsp (dry roast the seeds and then powder)
Hing/Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - a small lemon sized
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

For seasoning
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a few

Note: You may substitute coriander and chilly powders with your regular sambar powder.


1. Pressure cook the toor dal with 2 cups of water for 1-2 whistles. The dal should be cooked but not mushy. Keep aside.
2. Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the juice.
3. Peel the sambar onions. If onions are large, cut into 2. Otherwise use the whole onion. Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions till they are transparent. Add the green chillies and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add coriander, chilly, turmeric and fenugreek powder and combine.
4. Add the cooked dal, tamarind juice, tomato, salt and enough water. Cook till onions are cooked and sambar thickens. Take care not to overcook as onions turn mushy. Add hing now.
5.Heat oil in a tadka pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add dry chillies and curry leaves and pour this seasoning to the sambar.

Serve hot with rice

Sending to Anyone can cook: Series 33 and  to The Kerala Kitchen hosted by Divya Kudua


  1. This really looks easy. All types of sambar are my favorite..


  2. Delicious and tempting sambar.

  3. perfect and delicious sambar.. looks inviting :)
    Indian Cuisine

  4. Yummy and tasty .. all time favorite.


  5. Yum ...this looks very delicious

  6. Yum yum! Must try this for breakfast soon. I am sure it will taste gorgeous with Sanna (our Mlorean idlis), thanks for sharing Ramya :)

  7. Very comforting and delicious sambhar,simply inviting..

  8. Super delicious sambhar!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  9. Very yummy and delicious, perfect with some hot Idlis.

  10. sambar looks grt!!!perfect for idly..

  11. Yummy Sambar.. My hubby is a fan of those small onions..

  12. Ulli sambar is our family favorite..liked your version

  13. Looks very delicious, thank you for linking with Any One Can Cook :)


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