South Indian gravy

Chinna Vengaya Sambar

Chinna Vengaya Sambar or Shallots Sambar is an easy and delicious sambar made with shallots or pearl onions.  Out of all the sambar, shallots sambar has an unique aroma and flavour. In my home, usually we make this sambar on Sundays with Potato currry. After wedding when I made this sambar, my husband fell in love with it from that day. So even if I didnt make it for a long time, he himself will ask.  There are some tips in making the sambar. Soak the shallots for half an hour before peeling the skin. Soaking helps in peeling it easily. And adding 2 tbsp of shallots while grinding the masala make the sambar very delicious.


Shallots – 1 bowl

Gingelley oil – 3 tsp

Tamarind – 1 Gooseberry size

Toor dhal – 3 tbsp

Jaggery – A small piece

Turmeric powder – A pinch

Salt – As required

For Grinding

Coriander seeds – 3 tsp

Channa dhal – 2 tsp

Fenugreek– 1/2 tsp

Red chillies – 2

Coconut – 3 tbsp

Shallots- 2 tbsp

Curry leaves – few

Gingelley oil – 2 tsp

For tempering

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

                   Curry leaves – few

  • Add gingelley oil in a pan and saute shallots until they turn glassy in texture.

  • Pressure cook the toor dhal and mash well.

  • Take tamarind, add water and allow it to boil. Extract tamarind juice and keep aside.

  • In a kadai, add 2 tsp oil and fry the coriander seeds,channa dhal, coconut, red chillies, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.

  • Add 3 tsp of shallots, some water and grind the above ingredients to a smooth paste.

  • Now in a pan, add oil and splutter mustard seeds.
  • Then add the shallots, extracted tamarind juice, salt, jaggery and turmeric powder.

  • Allow it to boil.
  • Now add the ground masala and mashed toor dhal to it.

  • Allow it to boil.

  • Mix this with hot rice and eat.

Note : Donot add asafoetida while making onion sambar. You will lose the flavour.

Add a tsp of Red chilli powder, if the colour of the sambar is yellow or if you need more spicy.

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