Contributed by

Viji Varadarajan


‘Viji’s Veggie Vignettes’ takes you on a journey through our traditional food, culture and lifestyle as laid down by our great grandmothers’ many years back. This is one of the most versatile and creative spice powder in this Sathvic cuisine. When added to various sauces and stir-fries it adds a zooming flavor that is truly unbeatable. Sambar powder is a must in every South Indian home. Always prepare this powder at home as it is healthy and all the spice ingredients are available commonly in Indian / Asian groceries. You can buy a good brand of Sambar powder in the grocery store.


  • 5 cup coriander seeds
  • 3/4 cup pigeon peas / thuvar dal
  • 1/2 cup bengal gram / chana dal
  • 1/2 cup husked whole black gram / urad dal
  • 1/4 cup fenugreek seeds/ methi
  • 1/4 cup mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup cumin seeds
  • 2 cup dried red chillis
  • 1/4 cup peppercorns
  • 3/4 cup curry leaves
  • 8 long thin turmeric pieces OR 3 tbsps turmeric powder


  • Wash and wipe the curry leaves dry.
  • Roast all the ingredients with the curry leaves in a saucepan over a medium flame for a couple of minutes, until the lentils turn light golden and start emitting their distinctive aromas.
  • Blend into a fine powder.
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. The powder remains fresh for many months.
Course: other
Cuisine: Indian

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