Small Onion Sambar / Vengaya Sambar

Vengaya Sambar is typically a lentil gravy with small onions. I used sambar powder and freshly made powder for topping to give additional taste and flavor. Potato fry is the best combination with this sambar. This is the best sambar to try for beginners as it gives good taste. This Recipe can be used as side dish for idly or dosa varieties. I normally like to have mini idlies with this sambar adding with a tsp of ghee on top


Preparation Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins

  • Small Onions – 10-15
  • Sambar powder – 2 tbsp
  • Cooked Tur Dal – 1 Cup
  • tamarind water -1 cup (soak small sized tamarind in a cup of water 15 minutes before start)
  • Curry leaves
  • coriander leaves
  • hing/asoefotida
  • turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
  • mustard seeds -1 tsp
  • ghee – 1 tsp
  • Salt As Required
  • Oil As Required

To roast and grind:

  • coriander seeds – 1 tsp
  • channa dal – 1 tsp
  • red chili -1


  • Heat a pan, once hot, dry roast “to roast and grind” ingredients for 3-5 minutes
  • once cooled, grind it into fine powder and keep it aside
  • in a vessel, add oil. once hot, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter
  • put curry leaves in the pan and a pinch of hing/asoefotida is added
  • now add small onions and saute well for 2-3 minutes
  • once onions form glassy appearance, add sambar powder and salt. Mix well and let it cook for 3-5 minutes in medium flame. saute it tentatively without being burnt
  • pour the tamarind water in the pan and allow it boil till raw smell goes off.normally will take 7-10 minutes
  • add the cooked tur dal. mix well and let it boil for 3-5 minutes
  • once it forms froth on top, whole house is filled with nice aroma. add a tbsp of grounded powder and switch off the flame
  • sprinkle the coriander leaves on top along with a tsp of ghee and close the sambar with lid
  • small onion sambar is ready to serve hot!!!
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