Chettinad Style Sambar- with Drumsticks
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
For Roasting
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds- ½ tsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Garlic, chopped- 2 cloves
  • Small onions- 6
  • Coconut grated- 1 cup
For cooking vegetables
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Whole dry red chilies- 2
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Toor Dal or Pigeon pea- ½ cup
  • Drumsticks- 15 (or use mixed veggies like carrot, potatoes, eggplant, lady's finger, small onions)
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Chili powder- 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 2½ tbsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Water- 1½ cups
Other Ingredients
  • Asafoetida- 2 pinches
  • Cilantro, chopped- 2 handfuls
  • Tamarind extract, freshly squeezed- 6 tbsp (3 inch slice soaked in 6 tbsp warm water)
Roasting Coconut
  1. Place a pan over medium heat, add oil and let turn hot.
  2. Add fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds, saute for a few seconds. Be careful not to burn the fenugreek seeds.
  3. Add garlic, saute for a few seconds.
  4. Add small onions and coconut, roast till coconut turns golden brown in color.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, let coconut cool down for a bit.
  6. Add to a blender along with ¼ cup water and grind to a smooth paste.
Cooking vegetables
  1. Soak 3 inch slice fresh tamarind in 6 tbsp warm water for 3 minutes, squeeze the tamarind in water and extract the juice, strain the juice.
  2. Place a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add oil, let turn hot.
  3. Add mustard seeds, let it splutter.
  4. Add whole dry red chilies and curry leaves, saute for a few seconds.
  5. Add toor dal, saute for a minute.
  6. Add drumsticks, combine well.
  7. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Combine well.
  8. Add 1½ cups water, combine well.
  9. Cover the pressure cooker with its lid, place the whistle and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or till 2 whistles.
  10. Let the pressure subside and open the lid.
  11. Combine the cooked lentil and drumsticks.
  12. Add Asafoetida and combine well.
  13. Add the ground roasted coconut paste, combine well.
  14. Add tamarind extract, combine well.
  15. Add ½ cup to ¾ cup water to thin down the gravy and cook till gravy starts to boil.
  16. Taste and add more chili powder if more spice is needed and salt for taste.
  17. Add chopped cilantro, combine well and cook for a minute.
  18. Remove the pan from the stove, keep it covered for sometime.
  19. Serve with rice, idli, oats idli, dosa etc
Recipe by Cooking with Thas - Healthy Recipes, Instant pot, Videos by Thasneen at