Sambar Powder Recipe / Sambar Podi

Learn to make South Indian Sambar Powder with easy steps. I guarantee, you will never buy store bought sambar masala again!

Sambar Powder Recipe / Sambar Podi

Sambar powder is a must have masala or spice mix recipe in South Indian homes. It flavors Sambar – The vegetable lentil stew or curry that is eaten as breakfast or main course with rice.

South Indians make Sambar in two ways – One is with Podi or sambar powder and the other with a coconut gravy base which is called Arachuvitta Sambar.

The latter is reserved for special occasions, weekends when you have time to roast and grind for the gravy. The former (podi sambar) can be made in a jiffy with available vegetables at home.

Today I am sharing the recipe for easy Sambar Podi at home that you can stock up and use to make Sambar anytime.

After I posted the Rasam Powder Recipe on the blog, few months back, few readers requested for my home made sambar recipe which I finally had the time to document when my stock at home had to be replenished.

My version of Sambar Masala is a Tamil Brahmin Style and contains No Garlic. It also does not contain any coconut.

Honestly, there is no match to home made spice mixes or masalas. They are free of additives, preservatives and the aroma is unbeatable.

Home made Sambar Powder

Also, once you check out the recipe, you would realize how simple and easy it is to make this at home and would probably be wondering why you have been buying it from the supermarket shelves, all this while!

Ingredients for Sambar Powder Recipe

Ingredients for South Indian Sambar Powder

Homemade Sambar Powder Recipe Step by Step

Coriander Seeds
tur Dal
Roasted Tuvar Dal
Black Pepper and Cumin seeds
Methi seeds
Whole red chillies
Roasted ingredients for sambar powder recipe
Grinding the sambar powder ingredients
Sambar Powder Recipe

Recipe Notes

  • All ingredients have to be individually roasted and on medium to low heat.
  • Cool the ingredients before grinding.
  • Grind the masala in small batches. It ensures the grinder doesn’t heat up and affect the quality or aroma of the masala.
  • Once ground, cool and store in a glass container with tight lid.

Some ideas to use Sambar Powder other than making Sambar

  • Use it to sprinkle on vegetables like Aubergine or Baingan (Kathirikkai), Vendakkai or Lady Finger (Okra), French Beans, Potatoes etc instead of regular garam masala or sabzi masala.
  • You can also toss few spoons of this masala over paneer cubes and grill them or air fry them. Same process can be followed for Tofu.
  • Use it to spice your dal at home. Instead of adding red chilli powder, a heaped tbsp of sambar masala can be added while the dal is simmering.
  • You can make rice varieties like Kathirikkai sadam or Tendli bath using this spice mix too.

Shelf life of the Sambar Podi is atleast 2 months. I grind the powder in small batches and stock them in clean, dry glass jars. Over the counter, it stays fresh for a month but I usually stock home made masala in the refrigerator or freezer.

Other Home Made Masala Recipes on the blog –

South Indian Sambar Powder recipe

Sambar Powder Recipe / Sambar Podi

Vidya Narayan
Step by Step Homemade Traditional Tamil Brahmin Style Sambar Powder Recipe to make delicious, aromatic, flavorful South Indian Sambar at home anytime.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cooling time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Condiments
Cuisine South Indian, Tamil Nadu Recipes
Servings 3 people


  • Mixer Grinder


  • 2 cups Coriander Seeds (Sabut Dhania or Varakothamalli) 1 cup is 80 ml measurement
  • 1 cup Chana Dal or Bengal gram dal (Kadala Paruppu) 1 cup is 60 ml measurement
  • 1 cup Tur Dal or Arhar Dal or Thuvaram Paruppu 1 cup is 125 ml measurement
  • 1 tbsp Milagu or Peppercorns 1 tbsp is 15 ml measurement
  • 1 tsp Jeera or Cumin seeds 1 tsp is 5 ml measurement
  • 1 tsp Methi Seeds, Fenugreek Seeds or Vendayam 1 tsp is 5 ml measurement
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric Powder or Haldi Powder (Manjal Podi) 1 tbsp is 15 ml measurement
  • 40 nos. Whole red dry chillies (30 nos. Pondy chillies + 10 nos. Beydgi chillies)


  • If possible sun dry these ingredients for a day before making the masala. It ensures no moisture and leads to long shelf life. If this is not possible, follow the below steps directly.
  • Heat a pan on medium to low flame, dry roast all the items one by one. Keep a plate ready to set aside these ingredients for cooling.
  • Add coriander seeds to the hot pan. Roast until you get an aroma. Remove aside on to a plate.
  • In the same pan, add the Arhar dal and roast until they are reddish in colour. Remove on to a plate.
  • Now add the chana dal and repeat the process.
  • Add the peppercorns and jeera together. It takes couple of seconds to heat them up. Do not brown them.
  • Next we can add the vendayam or methi seeds which will brown in couple of seconds.
  • Lastly, dry roast the whole red chillies until they puff up and are crisp.
  • Allow all the ingredients to cool completely before grinding.
  • Just before grinding, add the turmeric powder. It is recommended to grind the masala in small batches. It doesn't heat up the mixer grinder nor the masalas. Also don't grind it for a long period of time. Do it in short bursts, stop and repeat. Always follow this key tip for all your masalas at home.


  • All ingredients have to be individually roasted and on medium to low heat.
  • Cool the ingredients before grinding.
  • Grind the masala in small batches. It ensures the grinder doesn’t heat up and affect the quality of the masala.
  • Once ground, cool slightly and store in a glass container with tight lid.
Keyword sambar masala, sambar podi, Sambar powder recipe
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Vidya Narayan

Views: 5098

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Supreeta Rao

    nice recipe…sure going to try next time

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much, sure



    1. Vidya Narayan

      thank you so much

  3. Meera

    You forgot asafoetida..
    Which is very important.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hello Meera,

      We add hing or asafoetida when cooking the sambar. It helps retain flavors more than just adding a meagre amount in the powder. For both rasam and sambar, we prefer following the same process and yes, it is important, like you mentioned.

  4. Meera

    I don’t think pepper and cummin is needed for a sambhar.
    For rasam …yes its needed.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hello Meera,

      Like I mentioned in the post, each family has their own version. This is ours.

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