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Saturday 11 June 2016

Shallots Sambar - Chinna Vengayam Sambar - Small Onions Sambar – How to?

Shallots Sambar by published on

This recipe guide is first published in June 2016 issue of Writer's Ezine, my first step towards my dream of publishing my own cook book. Thank you, Writer's Ezine and Simran Kaur (Chotti). To view the magazine click below. To order the paperback edition, visit WE website.

Since a few of you requested to write a detailed recipe guide, I am here to write about one of my favourites Sambar, famously known as Chinna Vengayam Sambar. Come let’s prepare this delicious heavenly Chinna Vengayam Sambar.

Shallot Sambar
Prep time: 20 Minutes | Cook time: 30 Minutes | Total time: 50 Minutes
Serve: 3 (Servings) | Calories per serving: 558 | Fat per serving: 39 g
Recipe Category: Curry Items | Recipe Cuisine: South Indian Cuisine

1. Pressure Cooking:
Toor dal: 1 Cup
Salt: To taste
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tbsp.
Water: 3 Cups

2. Main dish:
Oil: 3 tbsp.
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tbsp.
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tbsp.
Green Chillies: 3
Small onions (Shallots): 10 to 15
Tomato: 2
Sambar powder: 2 Cups
Tamarind juice: 2 tbsp. (As per taste)
Salt: To taste

3. Garnish:
Coriander Leaves: 8 to 10 in Number (Finely Chopped)

Shallot Sambar Ingredients
Shallot Sambar Ingredients

1. Heat up the pressure cooker, add properly washed toor dal, salt, turmeric powder and pour three cups of water. Pressure cook it for three whistles (10 minutes)..
Shallot Sambar How to Guide
2. Once the pressure is released, blend the dal for a couple of minutes and keep it aside. Soak half an index finger sized tamarind in water and extract the tamarind juice and keep it aside. Peel the onion skin and keep it aside. (as shown in in section.)
Shallot Sambar How to Guide
3. Heat up the pan, add 3 tbsp. of oil and allow it to heat well. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and green chillies. Let it splutter. Add in the onions (Chinna Vengayam) and saute it until translucent.
Shallot Sambar How to Guide
4. Add tomatoes and saute until it get mushy. Preferably in medium flame. Add salt and turmeric powder and mix it well. Add blended toor dal paste and mix it well to combine all together.
Shallot Sambar How to Guide
5. Add sambar powder (2 tbsp. or as per taste) and stir it for few minutes. Usually I prefer to use homemade sambar powder than the ones available in the market. You can find the recipe guide here.
Shallot Sambar How to Guide
6. Add the extracted tamarind juice and let it to boil well. Make sure to reduce the flame to medium before you close the pan. Cook it for 10 minutes or till the oil is up.
Shallot Sambar How to Guide
7. Switch off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve it hot with Idly, Pongal, Rice or any South Indian Cuisines. And, this is what we did. Completed everything for lunch.
Shallot Sambar How to Guide

#1: Prefer to add salt right after adding tomatoes. It helps to saute faster.
#2: Prefer to add salt to toor dal while pressure cooking it as it gives a good taste to it. Moreover it decreases the cook time.
#3: Sliced green chillies are always a good tasty option for this type of sambar. Though it is optional.
#4: Tamarind juice should not be thick. It should be as light as possible (It gives a good taste).
#5: I am using cumin seeds as it will help for digestion.

Shallot Sambar, famously known as Chinna Vengayam Sambar. I always loved the flavour the sweet small tamarind soaked onions add to the Sambar. It’s simply delicious, especially for kids lunch box. Do try it out and you are welcome to post the pics here.

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Happy Cooking,
Vinayaka Vidhya


  1. Oh my!! It looks delicious!! *_*
    will ask dad to try this one :D

  2. Thank you so much Chotti! Sure I await your photos :)


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