Monday, March 21, 2011

Ulli Sambhar


I am sure there are tons of recipes for Ulli Sambhar on the net,so contemplated a while before posting this.But I believe with each recipe you follow,you add your own touches to it and make it 'your' special dish,so why not post my version,which might be similar to other recipes but is a special in my home.Did I confuse you there?

I've been planning to make this sambhar for a while now,ever since amma followed a recipe from a Cookery show and tried it out.No complicated steps and gets done in a jiffy,of course only if you have peeled pearl onions stored in the fridge,and you need a lot of them for this sambhar!

Picnik collage

Ulli Sambhar


Ulli/Pearl onions - 1 cup
Tomato - 1 big,chopped
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Tamarind - a lime size ball
Sambhar powder - 2 tsp[I used Eastern]
Coriander leaves - 3-4 tbsp,finely chopped
Salt to taste
Oil/ghee - 1 tbsp
Jaggery - 1 tbsp[optional]

For seasoning

Oil/Ghee - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Add enough water to cover the toor dal and cook in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles or till it becomes soft and mushy.
Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract about 1 cup of pulp/juice.
In a thick bottomed kadai add oil/ghee and saute the onions till they start to brown[about 5-7 minutes].
Add the chopped tomato along with the tamarind juice and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
Mix in the mashed dal,sambhar powder and salt to taste.
Let it come to a boil,then simmer for another 5 minutes.
Add the coriander leaves and crushed jaggery.
Prepare seasoning in a pan with oil/ghee and splutter mustard seeds and jeera.Add curry leaves.
Add the seasoning to the sambhar and add a tsp of ghee before serving[optional].


  • You could substitute Toor dal with Moong dal with great results.A friend of mine who is not very fond of toor dal tried it with moong dal and loved it.
  • Soak the pearl onions in water for about 10 minutes and then peel it,this makes peeling easier.
  • Adding jaggery is optional but highly recommended since jaggery balances the flavor.
  • Depending on whether you are serving the sambhar with dosa or idlis,you would need to add less/more water.Since I was serving it with dosa,I made a slightly thicker version.
Sending this to Kerala Kitchen,an event hosted by Magpie and Ria.


  1. delicious sambar and dosa combination

  2. Yours is looks awesome too...


  3. I love this with idly and some times rice too,drooling!

  4. My kind of sambar, thick and saucy..looks yumm

  5. looks yumm...especially dosa with tawa attracts.....wonderful pic and recipe too...

  6. nobody will say no to this deiicous sambar and crispy dosa.. great clicks divya

  7. looks delicious..nice tempting pictures..I add a little toasted grated coconut to this..

  8. This looks delicious... I love to eat sambhar. This one looks little diffrent from what I generally make. Love to try this :)

  9. drooling ;-) wish ya nd your family happy holi,

  10. Crispy Dosa with spicy n tangy sambar...the best combo:-)
    Great clicks

  11. hi it looks delicious....i hav one dobt can i use shallots instead of pearl onion

  12. Yummy looking sambhar. For some reason my bro used to call the small onion as rubber onion and this sambhar was called as rubber onion sambhar too ;) I just love the taste and the simplicity of the dish. Reminds me of the good old days with bro :)

  13. awesome blog ! this sambar looks so yummy !! do check out my food blog :

  14. delicious sambar and dosa combination

  15. divya, i love this sambar :) i make sure i always add ulli to my sambar whenever i make it, ....the photo where you have the cone shaped dosa makes my mouth water :)

  16. wow...Love it very much...i love it with small sambhar onions...

  17. My eyes are on your dosa.. Looks Perfect and crispy..

    Sambar looks awesome as well..

  18. Sambar looks delicious and mouth watering good!

  19. I love pearl onions and never tried them in sambhar..looks very inviting!

  20. The sambar looks great with that dos cone :)

  21. This is all a Sunday brunch should be all about. Love Love love this. I make it quite often too and it remains a favorite of mine always.

  22. i never knew u could make sambar only with shallots... i tried this for lunch yesterday and it was really yum... this is one recipe i'l keep with me for years to come for sure... i'm now going thru your other curries for lunch specials... thank u so much for your efforts...

  23. Hi Divya,

    Thank you so much for such a brilliant recipe! I made this Sambar for Onam and it was fantastic! Do chk out my blog coz Ive posted the recipe and made a dedication to you. Happy to be a follower!



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