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Tiffin Sambar / Arachuvitta Sambar Recipe

Written By Angela Steffi on Thursday, January 12, 2017 | 10:51:00 PM

Sambar is a traditional recipe of south India often had as a side for Idli, dosa, pongal and Rice.  Tiffin sambar is very famous recipe in Hotels and restaurants which is served with breakfast recipes and for medhu vada, This sambar does not require any sambar powder just roasting few ingredients gives that nice aroma and taste to the sambar recipe and popularly known as arachuvitta sambar in Tamil. Because of its simplicity and easiness it is quick and easy to make for breakfast. I have added pumpkin to enhance the taste and thickness to the sambar , instead of pumpkin we can also add other vegetables like potato, carrots, brinjal etc. 

Please click here to watch Tiffin Sambar Recipe in Tamil - Madras Samayal


Serving Size           : 6  people

Preparation Time  : 10 minutes

Cooking Time        : 20 minutes
Difficulty: Spice Level:
Quantity Ingredients for Tiffin Sambar Recipe
1/2 Cup Thoor dal / Thuvaram Paruppu
3/4 cup Pumpkin
For Roasting
1 tsp Oil
1 tbsp Channa Dal / Kadalai Paruppu
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp  Cumin Seeds
5-6 Dry red chilies

For Sambar
2 tspOil
1/8 tspMustard seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
Dry red chilies
few Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/8 tspAsafoetida / Kaayam
10-15 Shallots / small onions
1 Tomato
2 Green Chilies
1 ball Tamarind (lemon size) 
required Water
handful Coriander leaves for garnishing
1 tsp Ghee 

Cooking Method

Step 1) Dal and Pumpkin:
Pressure cook Thoor dal and pumpkin with water for 4-5 whistles (cut the pumpkin into small pieces and add)  You can also add vegetables like carrot, potatoes , brinjal, drumsticks instead of pumpkin.
Mash it with a spoon and keep it aside.

Step 2 ) Sambar Powder:
Heat a tsp of oil and roast channa dal , coriander seeds , cumin and red chilies until the raw smell is gone and you feel the aroma of the roasted spices. Be careful while roasting do not burn the spices. 

Allow it to cook and grind it to a very fine powder 


Step 3) Tempering:
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, fenugreek, dry red chilies, curry leaves, turmeric powder, Asafoetida and give it a stir. Then add the shallots cut into halves and saute if for a minute.

Step 4)
Add tomato, green chilies and the freshly ground masala and cook for 2 more minutes.

Step 5) 
Add the cooked dal - pumpkin mixture and tamarind extract, (soak a lemon size tamarind in water for 10 minutes and extract the juice) also add required water , salt and cook it for 5-7 minutes 

Step 6) Garnishing:
Once it comes to a boil add in some chopped coriander leaves for garnishing and also add a tsp of ghee for a nice aroma and flavor .Mix it once and turn off the heat. 

Our Delicious Hotel style sambar is ready to be enjoyed with a plate of Idli, Dosa or with pongal. As i mentioned earlier this is really easy to make and that's why it is called as arachuvitta sambar in Tamil.


  • While roasting the spices be careful not to burn and at the same time if it is not well roasted then the coriander smells raw in the Sambar. 
  • Pumpkin adds some sweetness to the recipe if you are not adding pumpkin then add a small piece of jaggery to balance the taste.
  • Adding Ghee enhances the flavor and aroma of the sambar 
  • You can also add Carrot, Potato, brinjal - any vegetables of your choice.

Tiffin sambar is a tradition recipe of south India served in all the hotels and restaurants with breakfast recipes like Idli, Dosa, Vada and pongal. This is really simple and and very easy to make recipe with very few ingredients.
Rated 4.7/5 based on 58 reviews

  • 1/2 Cup Thoor dal
  • 3/4 cup Pumpkin
  • For Roasting:
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Channa Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 5-6 Dry red chilies
  • For Sambar:
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 3 Dry red chilies
  • few Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida
  • 10-15 Shallots
  • 1 Tomato
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • required Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • 1 tsp Ghee

  • Instructions:
    1. Pressure cook Dal and pumpkin
    2. roast the ingredients for the sambar powder and grind it to a fine powder
    3. Temper and add shallots, tomato,sambar powder, cooked dal, tamarind extract , water and salt
    4. Bring ot to boil and add chopped coriander leaves for garnishing and turn off the heat
    5. Finally add some ghee to enhance the flavor
    6. Our Hotel sambar / Tiffin sambar is ready to be served

About Angela Steffi

I am an avid food blogger with a great passion for food. I am always eager to try new recipes and modify recipes and experiment with them. I have two cooking channels on Youtube CLASSIC MASALA HUT (for english recipes) and MADRAS SAMAYAL (for Tamil recipes).


  1. Tried this recepie it came out well.My daughter was so happy that the sambar finally tasted like the sambar in her grandmom's house.Thank you for sharing it:)

  2. Dear mam,

    Myself Maha,from Chennai.I dint even know how to prepare coffee also.

    But now after seeing your recipes of all good stuffs.

    Now am a far better after seeing and trying all those recieps. And now everyone of our family telling like I started cooking nicely..

    Thanks a ton mam.

  3. Hi Mam on step 2 instead of cool you have marked as cook..

  4. Dear Madam,

    Gone through your blog. Although we belong from North (Rajasthan), but still south indian dishes are first priority for us. Today came across you blog via youtube channel. The method is described so nicely that you are almost rest assured that when you prepare your way it is going to be the best. I will try sambar out of this list :-) . Congrats for your nice blog. Arun Chauhan, Jaipur Rajasthan.