How to make Sadya or Kerala’s Flavorful Veggie Palette - Onam Sadya Recipes
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Sambar (Mixed veggie curry)
Serves: 5 people
  • Toor dal or Sambar lentil- 1 cup, cooked in a pressure cooker with enough water
Cooking Veggies
  • Carrots, diced into medium size- 2
  • Ash gourd, diced into medium size- 1
  • Egg plant, diced into medium size- 1, Japanese variety or use half of the American variety
  • Cucumber, deseeded, diced into medium size- 1
  • Drumsticks, fresh cut long or frozen- 10 (3 inch slices)
  • Small pearl onion, whole- 10
  • Green chilies, halved vertically- 3
  • Curry leaves- 2 sprig
  • Salt- 2 tsp
Spice powders
  • Chili powder- 2 tsp or depending upon how spicy you want
  • Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder-1½ tsp
  • Asafetida- ⅛ tsp
To Roast and Grind
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds-1/2 tsp
  • Coriander seed- 2 tsp
Other Ingredients
  • Fresh Tamarind juice or concentrated paste- if using fresh tamarind juice, take gooseberry sized tamarind soaked in 6 tbsp water, mash with hands and drain to get the juice (or use ½ to 1 tsp of concentrated tamarind).
  • Water- to thin down the curry
For Seasoning
  • Small onions, chopped small- 4
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Whole dry red chilies-2
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Coconut oil- 2 tbsp
  1. Soak 3-inch slice or gooseberry sized fresh tamarind in ½ cup water for 5 minutes.
  2. After 5 minutes, squeeze the tamarind in water and extract the juice.
  3. Strain the extract. Keep aside.
  4. Cook the toor dal or sambar lentil with enough water (1½ cups water) in a pressure cooker (or in a deep pot) until the dal has cooked well until 2 whistles.
  5. Cook the veggies along with green chilies, curry leaves and salt in enough water until the veggies have turned tender. Don't overcook the veggies.
  6. In a small pan, roast the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and coriander seeds until aromatic and golden in color. Grind these into a fine powder and keep aside.
  7. When the veggies have turned tender, add the cooked toor dal to this and combine well.
  8. Add the roasted ground spice powder along with the other spice powders: chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and asafoetida.
  9. Cook for 5 minutes until all the spice powders are well incorporated.
  10. Add the tamarind juice and more salt if required.
  11. Add 1 cup water if the gravy is thick to thin it down and let the gravy come to a boil.
  12. Place a small pan over medium heat: add oil, add mustard seeds and let it splutter, add whole red dry chilies, curry leaves and small onion, saute until the onions turn golden brown in color.
  13. Pour the seasoning over the cooked Sambar and keep covered for sometime until ready to be served.
Please adjust the spice level, salt and tamarind juice according to your needs.
Recipe by Cooking with Thas - Healthy Recipes, Instant pot, Videos by Thasneen at