Homemade Sambar Powder - Capture the
Aromatic Flavours of Southern India

Sambar powder is a classic blend enjoyed throughout Sri Lanka and South India with many regional variations. It's often used as a seasoning for vegetable dishes, sauces, soups and bean and lentil dishes. (See the bottom of the page for links to more of my recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes about 9-10 tablespoons)

5 tbsp brown lentils (or yellow split peas)
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp turmeric powder
4 tsp chili powder
4 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp asafetida (hing)
1 tsp whole cloves
15-20 curry leaves
3 inch piece of cinnamon

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Break up the cinnamon
  • Dry toast the lentils, peppercorns, coriander, cumin, cloves and fenugreek for a few minutes
  • When you can really smell the aromas, take off the heat and let cool
  • Add the cooled ingredients to your grinder and grind along with the curry leaves, cinnamon and mustard seeds
  • Add the ingredients to a bowl
  • Finally, stir in the chili, turmeric and asafetida powders

Store your powder in an airtight jar out of sunlight. Use within 3 months.

Note: Click here for further step-by-step info on toasting and grinding. (Link opens in new window)

Note: The recipe below uses a few whole spices. If you don't have them available, substitute with pre-ground powders and reduce the amount the recipe requires by half. So, for 2 tablespoons of whole coriander you would use 1 tablespoon of pre-ground coriander. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with any other powders.

Here's a Short Video of How I Made it...

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homemade sambar powderSambar Recipe

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