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Tiffin / Idli Sambar_pin

Tiffin / idli Sambar

Tiffin / idli Sambar as the name denotes, it is always paired with tiffin recipes like Idli, Dosa, Vad, Pongal. According to me the best tiffin Sambar is sever in Annapurna Gowrishankar hotel, Coimbatore. Also the Chennai people love the Sambar in Saravana Bhavan hotel. There are so many varieties of Sambar that differs in each household. But this tiffin / idli sambar doesnt taste good with rice. It always pairs with tiffin recipes easpecially with mini idli.
Whenever a tiffin sambar is made, I have some extra idlis. We can also make mini idlis and soak it in the tiffin sambar. These sambar idlis taste really divine. Here I am attaching the pic of Sambar Idli.
Dals to be used
I have used Moong dal in the recipe.
We can also use Tur dal to make tiffin Sambar. 
Some people use half moong dal and half tur dal.
To make perfect tiffin Sambar 
Use shallots in the sambar that enhances the flavour. If you donot get shallots, use Onions.
Avoid using lady's finger, brinjal.The most commonly used vegetables are Carrot, Potato, Beans.
We can also add sweet pumpkin or Red pumpkin. This gives sweetness to the sambar. But personally I donot like to use it while making tiffin Sambar though love to use it in normal Sambar.
I have used homemade Sambar powder. This plays an important role in giving the flavour and taste. So the taste depends on the sambar powder you use.
For making Tiffin Sambar, use very little tamarind. This is another important point in making perfect Tiffin Sambar.
Also check my recipes
Saadham Masaal
Thengai Varuthukottina Porichozhambu
Chinna Vengaya Vathakuzhambu
Murungai keerai Molagootal.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4


  • Pressure cooker



  • 2 ladles Moong dal
  • 1/2 no Carrot
  • 1 no Potato
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 no Green chilli
  • few Curry leaves
  • 1 no Tomato
  • 20 nos Shallots
  • a small piece Tamarind
  • 3/4 tbsp Jaggery
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • As req Salt
  • 2.5 tbsp Sambar powder
  • To garnish Coriander


  • Take moong dal in a vessel, wash it and pressure cook the dal. Mash the dal well.
  • Cut the carrot into slices, potato into big pieces. Add it into a vessel and pressure cook it.
  • Cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Also peel the skin of shallots.
  • Take a small piece of tamarind, extract juice from it. Keep it aside.
  • In a kadai, add oil and splutter mustard seeds. Once they crack, add cumin seeds, saute well.
  • Then add curry leaves, green chilli into it and saute well.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, peeled out shallots or small onions.
  • Meanwhile add salt into the kadai and saute until the shallots become translucent.
  • Once done, add the cooked vegetables into the pan.
  • Into this add turmeric powder, sambar powder and allow it to boil.
  • Once the raw smell goes off, add tamarind extract, jaggery and allow to cook for sometime.
  • Finally add the cooked and mashed moong dal and mix well.
  • Add water to adjust the consistency of the sambar. It will thicken after cooling down.
  • Once the sambar starts boiling, add chopped coriander leaves and turn off the stove.



  • If you dont get shallots or small onion, use normal onions. Slice it lengthwise and saute it.
    We can use Tur dal instead of moong dal.
    I have used homemade Sambar powder. You can use homemade or any brand of your choice.
    If the sambar becomes too thick, boil some water and add into it.
Keyword Hotel Sambar, Idli Sambar, Tiffin Sambar