Homemade Sambar Powder (சாம்பார்பொடி) | How to make Sambar Podi

             சாம்பார் பொடி / sambar powder is an utlimate and must spice mix in all south Indian home, even if they are away from India. Indians use to carry this podi without fail in their baggage.  This is the basic ingredients that makes Sambar, the most flavorful and tasty.Believe me it smells good even to your next door neighbors, that probably grab them to your kitchen directly to see what are you cooking?

Sambar podi, Usually  I use to get it from my Amma every time I travel to and fro India-singapore. Here I must agree that nothing can beat Amma's Sambar Podi. The perfectly selected ingredients like toor dal, coriander seeds, cumin, pepper and the main hero of this podi hot & spicy red chilli  are roasted finely. Later cooled and ground coarsely. This podi do magic  when added to sambar, poriyal, curry, kuzhambu. This versatile podi  goes well with any spice dish you want to prepare.

Preparation Time : 30 minutes 

YIELD : 250 grams 


Red Chilli (use spicy long variety as shown in picture below) - 75 no.
Thoor dal / thuvaram paruppu - 50 grams
Cumin Seeds - 30 grams
Pepper corns - 25 grams
Coriander Seeds - 100 grams
Curry Leaves, one handful
Asafeotida / Hing - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp (or 3-4 use varali manjal,long one)
Oil - 2-3 tsp

* Add few amount of preserved coriander leaves stems to the roasted ingredient, this will enhance sambar taste.


  1. Heat a wok with oil. Add the toor dal, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, pepper corns. Roast constantly over low flame until roasted evenly and aromatic. Throw in the curry leaves, coriander stem and fry again for few seconds. Add  turmeric powder, asafeotida  before turn off the fire. Transfer to the plate to cool before grinding.
  2. Now in the same wok roast red chilli on low flame until it becomes crisp.{care should be taken while you roast the chilli, due to high spice level will make you to sneeze(cover your nose with cloth)}. Let it cool completely.
  3. Pound the roasted ingredients to coarse powder and cool the mixture in a paper / tray completely before storing.
  4. Tip: Grind  chilli and dal mix separately, again combine both and grind for evenness.
  5. Store it in a air tight container. Use as needed. This will be good for minimum 6 months.
  6. Check here for sambar recipe and when to include this sambar podi .


  • All the roasted ingredients should be cooled completely before pound. Otherwise it forms lumps during grinding process.
  • Adding curry leaves, coriander stems to the podi is optional.
  • Adjust chilli as per the spice level of your choice.
  • To make huge quantity of sambar podi, roast the ingredients and pound in the flour mill.
  • For longer shelf life (minimum 6 months), refrigerate the podi to retain freshness. 

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check for more spice powder.

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