Pile of Powder

Sambar Podi #1
India - South
  -   Sambar Podi

Sambars are usually the first course in a southern Indian meal. Every cook has his or her favorite Sambar Podi. This simple one is based on a recipes from Tamil Nadu. See also our Sambar Podi #2. This recipe will fill a 6 ounce jar.


-- Dry Roasted
Cumin seeds
Coriander seeds
Fenugreek seeds
Toor Dal (1)
Red Chili, dry (2)  
Pepper, black
Make   -   (20 min)
  1. On a dry tava, comal or skillet, fairly high heat, separately dry roast each of the Dry Roasted items, stirring often and being careful not to burn them - there should never be smoke. Each is done when it's unique aroma becomes more intense and it darkens just a shade. Since this happens at different times for each, it's important they be roasted separately. Have everything measured in advance because roasting time is very short. I always start with Cumin seeds because they make it easy to tell when the pan is hot enough.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and grind them in a spice grinder until very fine.
  3. Package in an airtight jar - it'll keep 6 months or so.
  1. Toor Dal:   [Tur Dal] This is split and peeled Pigeon Peas, available in any market serving an Indian community, as it is a major item in the region. Do not buy the version preserved with oil.
  2. Chilis:   Hotness depends on how hot your dried chilis are, and how many of them you use. I used de Arbols which make a fairly spicy podi by Southern California standards. If you want it a little less hot you can use the common Japones, but in southern India they do like their powder fairly hot. Now I have Ramnad Mundu chilis, which are very popular in Tamil Nadu, so I'll try them for the next batch. For details see our Chili Page.
  3. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required, tt=to taste
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