Dec 082014

This is a classic Andhra-style dal/lentil stew made by cooking vegetables in lentil and very mild spices, hence the name ‘mild sambar’. This is eaten with plain rice and a dry Indian curry on the side. It is quick to make and needs no special masala powders to prepare. Many people do add some spices to suit their taste but I prefer it without any spices.


Serves: 2

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 mins


Toor dal/Kandipappu – 1/3 cup

Radish/mulangi – 1, small (peeled and cut into thin discs)

Drumstick (vegetable) – ¼ cup (cut into 1 inch long sticks)

Tamarind pulp/juice – 2 tbsp

Tomato – 1, small (roughly chopped)

Green chili – 2 (slit lengthwise)

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Coriander leaves – 1 tsp (very finely chopped)

Oil – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

For tadka/seasoning:

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Cumin seeds/jeera -1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – 5

Asafoetida/hing – ¼ tsp

Oil – 1 tsp



  1. Cook the dal in 1 cup water till it completely gets mashed. The best way to do this is to cook it in a pressure cooker. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a kadai/saucepan and add the drumsticks, radish, turmeric powder, a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook till vegetables are cooked.
  3. Into this add the tomato, green chili, cooked dal, tamarind juice and 1 cup water. Season with salt and red chili powder (if required) and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. In a separate pan, prepare tadka by heating 1 tsp oil. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the curry leaves and hing and pour this into the simmering dal stew.
  5. Give a good mix, add the coriander leaves and simmer for another minute and remove from heat.
  6. Serve hot with plain rice and a dash of desi ghee.!!!


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