Anu's Kitchen Sambar recipe

Capsicum Sambar

We had friends over the weekend and I made “Gallo Pinto“, Costa rican dish with capsicum/bell peppers. I had bought a big bag of colorful bell peppers. In spite of adding them generously in the rice, I still had a few left un-used. All I could think of was to make sambar with remaining veggie. I have heard about bell pepper chutney, must give a try next time!

I have tasted capsicum (kudamilagai or kodamilagai in tamil) sambar with onions and green capsicum. But I used red, yellow and orange ones (coz that’s what I had at home). You can green ones for little sour taste. Red, Orange and yellow peppers are sweeter than green ones. But trust me, sweet peppers in tangy tamarind sauce tastes amazing!

This is a basic sambar recipe that uses sambar powder. If you prefer making sambar with fresh ground masala (sans sambar podi), please look at this recipe – Arachuvitta sambar.

I have also used malli podi (dhaniya or coriander seeds powder) in this recipe. I’m sure you can get dhaniya powder from Indian stores. Even otherwise it isn’t difficult to prepare at home. Some recipes may need to roast dhaniya (coriander seeds) before powdering them. Don’t worry this recipe does not need any roasting! Time saved! isn’t it? Yippee… am always happy if I spend less time in the kitchen and yet manage to prepare delicious recipes. To me spending time with my loved ones is as important as feeding them healthy dishes 🙂

Capsicum Sambar
Capsicum Sambar

Time Taken: 25-30 mins


Toor dal: 1/2 cup
Capsicum: 1-2 (any color, chopped into 1″ pieces)
Onion: 1 (chopped length wise)
Tamarind: marble size
Oil: 1 tbsp (=3 tsp)
Sambar powder: 1 tsp
Dhaniya powder: 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Asafetida (Hing/Perumgayam): a pinch
Turmeric powder (Manjal/Haldi): a pinch
Curry leaves: few
Red chillie: 1-2 (optional)
Salt: to taste

Kudamilagai Sambar
Kudamilagai Sambar

Preparation Method:

  • Wash and clean dal.
  • Add turmeric powder and pressure cook dal for 3 whistles or until soft.
  • Meanwhile add 1/2 cup water to tamarind, extract the juice and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and so seasoning with mustard seeds, red chilli, asafetida and curry leaves.
  • Add onion and saute till transparent.
  • Add capsicum, sambar powder, dhaniya powder and salt and fry for 2-3 minutes till it turns soft.
  • Pour tamarind extract and 1 cup of water and allow it to cook well.
  • Ensure that raw taste of tamarind leaves.
  • Mash dal and add it to the tamarind mixture.
  • Add water as necessary to adjust the consistency. (It shouldn’t be too thick or watery)
  • Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from stove top and serve with hot rice.

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