Step-By-Step Guide for Making Indian Sambar, an Authentic Indian Curry

Updated on January 19, 2018
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I worked as a banker for 17 years. Now I am working as a freelancer for indexing. I love cooking tasty, healthy meals, and staying fit.

Mogem Sambar Curry

Madras Cucumber (Mogem) curry called 'sambar'
Madras Cucumber (Mogem) curry called 'sambar'

Sambar Curry - The Best Side Dish for Boiled/Steamed Rice

Nearly every day, we make a curry called 'sambar' to eat with boiled rice. They go very well together and make a wholesome meal. Sambar and cooked rice are delicious, light on stomach, and easy to digest. There are many ways of making this curry. You can make it using raw masala, fried masala, or even without masala. Each variety has its unique taste and flavor. We select the type of masala or spices to be used according to the veggies used; you want the flavors to be complementary.

Now, let me show you how we make mogem sambar in authentic way. Mogem or Madras cucumber is a soft and tasty vegetable that suits best to make sambar curry. We don't use garam masala spices for making sambar curry.

5 stars for Mogem Sambar Curry
Mogem or Madras cucumber cut into half
Mogem or Madras cucumber cut into half

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: Serves six people

Ingredients

  • 500 g mogem or Madras cucumber
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 2/3 cup split red gram or pigeon pea split
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • small lemon size tamarind, soaked in water
  • small lemon size jaggery or powdered jaggery
  • 1/4 tsp or less fenugreek seeds, for the masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, for the masala
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, for the masala
  • 5 dry red chilies(mainly for color), not so hot variety. I used Byadigi chili
  • 4 dry red chilies, hot variety, for the masala
  • 6 curry leaves, for the masala
  • 1/4 tsp white raw rice, optional, gives thick texture
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp salt, or as per taste

Step-By-Step Instructions and Images for Making Mogem Sambar Curry

  1. Wash madras cucumber or mogem. Cut it into half. Remove the seeds and connected soft flesh. If the mogem is mature, remove the skin. If tender, no need to peel the skin. Chop into about 1" cubes. Keep aside.
  2. Wash pigeon pea split in water. Add fresh water to completely immerse them. Add chopped mogem, some turmeric powder, and a little salt to the same container. Gently mix.
  3. Keep the container inside the pressure cooker and cook up to a whistle and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Open the lid once the pressure releases naturally.
  4. Making the Masala: Meanwhile, heat a tea spoon oil in a small pan. Add fenugreek seeds and raw white rice. Saute for 5 seconds. Add cumin seeds, broken dry red chilies, and curry leaves. Saute for 30 seconds. Throw in coriander seeds. Turn the contents for 2-3 seconds, just to warm it up. Turn off the heat. Turn them for a while to ensure not burning. Keep aside for cooling.
  5. Take them in a mixer grinder. Add grated coconut. Grind adding water to get a near-smooth paste.
  6. Pour the boiled mogem and the lentil mix to a vessel in which you are going to make the sambar. Add ground masala paste, tamarind pulp, jaggery, and some salt. Remember that you have added salt while cooking the lentil and mogem. Hence, add less salt. Stir the mix well.
  7. Boil the mix on low fire for 4-5 minutes. Add sufficient water to get the proper consistency. Sambar curry should be neither thin nor thick.
  8. Add chopped coriander leaves. Tempering the sambar is not mandatory. It tastes good even without that. I don't recommend adding more oil by way of tempering.
  9. Mogem sambar curry is piping hot and inviting! Serve boiled rice or idlis or any bland dishes with this curry to enhance the food taste. Happy eating!

Some Important Information

1. You can replace mogem(madras cucumber) with any other vegetable of your

choice to make the similar sambar curry.

2. Add diced onions in the last step, while boiling the curry for enhancing the taste and flavor.

3. This curry remains fresh for a day in room temperature. You can store it in refrigerator and use for 2-3 days.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mogem or Madras cucumber(Bannada sautekai)Step one: Container having chopped mogem with split pigeon pea, turmeric powder, salt, and water. Keep it inside the pressure cooker.Step two: Fried masala spices and grated coconut. Grind them adding water to get a near-smooth paste.Step three: Ground masala paste.Step four: Mix boiled lentil, mogem, and ground paste. Add tamarind pulp, water, jaggery, and salt. Boil for 4-5 minutes on low fire. Mogem sambar curry is ready!
Mogem or Madras cucumber(Bannada sautekai)
Mogem or Madras cucumber(Bannada sautekai)
Step one: Container having chopped mogem with split pigeon pea, turmeric powder, salt, and water. Keep it inside the pressure cooker.
Step one: Container having chopped mogem with split pigeon pea, turmeric powder, salt, and water. Keep it inside the pressure cooker.
Step two: Fried masala spices and grated coconut. Grind them adding water to get a near-smooth paste.
Step two: Fried masala spices and grated coconut. Grind them adding water to get a near-smooth paste.
Step three: Ground masala paste.
Step three: Ground masala paste.
Step four: Mix boiled lentil, mogem, and ground paste. Add tamarind pulp, water, jaggery, and salt. Boil for 4-5 minutes on low fire. Mogem sambar curry is ready!
Step four: Mix boiled lentil, mogem, and ground paste. Add tamarind pulp, water, jaggery, and salt. Boil for 4-5 minutes on low fire. Mogem sambar curry is ready!

Nutritional Information of Sambar Curry

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 154
Calories from Fat36
% Daily Value *
Fat 4 g6%
Carbohydrates 28 g9%
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 0 g
Protein 7 g14%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 7 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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