Sambhar Powder

Indian Spices

This is what you need to make the spice mix for sambhar, a South Indian lentil soup. It is supposed to be quite fiery, but reduce the number of chillies if you wish. The ground lentils in the powder will help to thicken the soup slightly.


  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 12 dried red chillies, de-seeded
  • 12 dried curry leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp asafeotida
  • 3 tsp sunflower oil
  • 3 tsp split black lentils (urad dal)
  • 3 tsp split yellow lentils (toor dal)


  1. Heat a dry frying pan and dry-roast the black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, chillies, peppercorns, coriander seeds and lentils over a gentle heat until lightly toasted. Keep the seeds and lentils moving constantly so that they do nor burn!
  2. Transfer the seeds to a spice grind or mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder. Add the turmeric, asafeotida and sunflower oil and mix well to combine. This keeps well in a sealed jar for four weeks.

1 Response to “Sambhar Powder”

  1. 1 Sambhar Lentil Soup | Toasted Special Trackback on March 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm
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