8 Sambar Recipes for Kids to Savour (Sambar Powder Recipe Included)

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Are you in look for fail proof sambar recipes for kids?

Hunting for that perfect sambar recipe for idli?

Does you kids like sambar? Do you know that there are many varieties of sambars available?

Are you in search of curries that can go along with your breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

Unave marunthu, marunthe unavumeans food is medicine and medicine is food. It simply means that the food you eat should heal all your ailments and any ailment can be treated with a proper diet.

I am a person who strongly believes in this statement taken from the Tamil Sanga Ilakkiyam. The ingredients we add to the food must give us some functional value (functional food). All of the traditional South Indian food sticks to this principle.

sambar recipes for kids
Sambar must be the first menu or recipe that comes to your mind when you start thinking of South Indian foods. Sambar is the best side dish that can be served with the main course and can be taken for all three meals of the day. An unavoidable dish when it comes to Kerala Sadya, sambar stands out as a preferred must have gravy in any wedding or festival party. And we Tamilians have our own array of dishes with Sambar as the base- Sambar vadai, sambar idly, sambar rice. Simply tempting!!

Why is Sambar the best combination for any meals?

With dal/lentil as the base, protein is guaranteed when you take sambar. Plus the vegetables added make sure you get enough fiber and vitamins. The spices we add to the Sambar, which include coriander, cumin, mustard, fenugreek, turmeric, hing etc, have many health benefits and they act as antibiotic too which in turn is food as medicine.

A recent study shows that sambar, if made properly, can help reduce colon cancerThe study says that the spices in sambar can help prevent the development of tumors and is recommended by many nutrition specialists and gastroenterologists. The spices added to sambar is what gives it the anti-cancerous properties. Also the various vegetables used in sambar makes sure that the fat content is less and fiber is more. This helps in proper digestion and excretion which are crucial in preventing colon cancer.( Ref: Food cure: How sambar can prevent colon cancer)

No doubt that sambar is one healthy gravy that you can combine with any of your main course dishes to make a wholesome meal. Sambar with rice, idli or dosa given to your kids make sure that they get the carbohydrate, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals as a combo pack.

Any kid above the age of 1 year can have sambhar once they are comfortably introduced to all the vegetables and spices.

8 Sambar recipes for kids to make meal times fuss free 

There are so many varieties of Sambars. From the famous tiffin sambar, which is the best for idly and dosa, to beetroot sambar, tomato sambhar and drumstick leaves sambar, the way one makes sambar changes according to the region and culture and of course availability of veggies. But the beauty of this simple curry is that it can be made with almost any vegetable that is available in your pantry.

#1. Drumstick and jackfruit seeds sambar

sambar recipes for kids

arachuvita sambar recipe

Choosing and combining vegetables to sambar is a big art I should say. Adding jackfruit seeds with drumsticks to sambar gives you a fantastic aroma and taste. I can just finish a plate full of steamed rice with this yummy sambar. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients required

  • Drumstick – 1 no’s
  • Jackfruit seeds – 10 to 12 cut into half
  • Toor dal – ½ cup
  • Tomato – 2
  • Small onion – 15 or 1 big onion
  • Sambar powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Pepper powder – ¼ tablespoon (optional but it’s very healthy)
  • Turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
  • Red chili- 1
  • Green chili – 1 (optional)
  • Garlic – 1 or 2 (must add when cooking the dal)
  • Tamarind – a small marble size
  • Hing – ¼ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Coriander leaves – a few
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 3 teaspoons (I prefer groundnut oil)
  • Salt – as needed

How to make

  • Soak toor dal in water for 10 minutes
  • Soak tamarind in warm water and keep aside
  • Cut the vegetables and jack fruit seeds
  • Crush the garlic
  • In a pressure cooker add the dal, one red chili, the crushed garlic, a drop of oil or ghee, turmeric and needed water. Pressure cook for two to three whistles. Wait till the pressure release completely. Keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters add the cumin and hing.
  • Add onions and chili to this and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Once the onion becomes transparent add the tomatoes and add very little salt (this will help to get tomatoes cooks fast). Sauté until they are mashed well.
  • Now add the drumstick and jackfruit seeds. Sauté for a minute, now add the sambar powder, pepper powder and needed salt. Mix well.
  • Extract the juice from tamarind and add it to the sambar. Close the pan with a lid for five minutes.
  • Now mix the cooked dal with a spoon and add it to the sambar. Close the lid again.
  • Mix them in between. Cook till jackfruit seeds and drumstick is cooked well.
  • If desired add a spoon of jaggery to the sambar.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice and a few drops of ghee topping.
  • We had it with raw banana fry.

#2. Arachuvita sambar (sambar with freshly prepared masala)

sambar recipes for kidsThis is very famous in Tamil Brahmin houses. An aromatic dry powder is freshly prepared and added at the final stage of the sambar preparation. It’s a good side dish for both rice and tiffin.

Ingredients required

  • Toor dal – ½ cup
  • Vegetable of your choice – 1 cup cut ( I have used radish)
  • Tomato – 1
  • Small onion – 15 or 1 big onion
  • Sambar powder – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
  • Green chili – 1 (optional)
  • Tamarind – a small marble size
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Coriander leaves – a few
  • Oil – 3 teaspoons (I prefer groundnut oil)
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt as needed

For fresh masala powder

  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  • Fenugreek – ¼ tsp
  • Cumin – 1 or 2 pinch
  • Hing – ¼ tsp.
  • Red chili – 3 to 4 nos
  • Pepper corns – a few
  • Curry leaves – 3 strings
  • Coconut shredded – 2 tablespoons heaped

How to prepare

  • In a pressure cooker add the dal, one red chili, and one garlic, a drop of oil or ghee, turmeric and needed water, pressure cook for two to three whistles. Wait till the pressure releases completely. Keep it aside.
  • In a kadai / pan add oil and add the given ingredients for making masala powder one by one in the order given. Statue and make sure you don’t burn any. Add coconut at last and stir till the moisture from the coconut is completely gone. Once it is cooled powder it coarsely.
  • Soak the tamarind in half a cup of hot water
  • Chop the vegetables of your choice including tomatoes, onions, and chili.
  • In a kadai add the oil then mustard seeds. Once it splits add the onions, curry leaves and green chili and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Once the onion becomes transparent add the tomatoes, sauté for two to three minutes.
  • Once tomatoes are mashed well add the vegetable of your choice. I have added radish.
  • Then add the tamarind water and required water.
  • Add salt and sambar powder, mix well and close the pan for three minutes.
  • Add the cooked dal to the preparing sambar, give a quick mix and close the pan for five to seven minutes or till vegetables are cooked.
  • Now our final touch – add the freshly prepared dry masala powder to the boiling sambar. You can add half spoon of jaggery at this stage. Mix well and close the pan for two minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.Note: The freshly ground powder can be stored in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for a week.

#3.Arachuvitta sambar Kerala style / Kerala sambar recipe with coconut

sambar recipes for kids

sambar recipe kerala style

I just love this sambar prepared with coconut oil. The aroma…hmmm…it’s just like heaven.

The specialty of this Kerala Sambar is the addition of a combination of various vegetables and of course the yummy coconut flavor.

Ingredients

  • Toor dal – ½ cup
  • Mixed vegetables – 1 cup (any vegetable but yellow pumpkin is must)
  • Tomato – 1
  • Small onion – 15 or 1 big onion
  • Sambar powder – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
  • Green chili – 1 (optional)
  • Tamarind – small marble size
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Coriander leaves – a few
  • Coconut Oil – 3 tsp
  • Salt as needed

    For tempering
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal- 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek – ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Oil – 1 tsp

    For masala paste
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  • Fenugreek – ¼ tsp
  • Cumin – 1 or 2 pinch
  • Raw rice – 1 pinch
  • Hing – ¼ teaspoon
  • Small onion – 5 no’s
  • Red chili – 3 to 4 nos.
  • Curry leaves – 3 strings
  • Grated Coconut – 1/3 cup of vegetables taken

Instruction

  • In a pressure cooker add the dal, one red chili, and one garlic, a drop of oil or ghee, turmeric and needed water, pressure cook for two to three whistles. Wait till the pressure release completely. Keep it aside.
  • In a kadai / pan add oil and add the given ingredients one by one as given to make dry powder, make sure you don’t burn any. Switch off the stove, add the coconut into the hot pan. Mix well.
  • Once the ingredients cool add a little water and make a fine paste.
  • Soak the tamarind in half a cup of hot water
  • Chop the vegetables of your choice including tomatoes, onions, and chili.
  • In a kadai add the oil. Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds. Once it splutters add the onions, curry leaves and green chili. Sauté for a few minutes.
  • Once the onion becomes transparent add the tomatoes and sauté for two to three minutes.
  • Once tomatoes are cooked well add the vegetable of your choice. I have added drumstick, carrot, pumpkin, potato, and brinjal.
  • Then add the tamarind water and required water.
  • Add salt and sambar powder. Mix well and close the pan for three minutes.
  • Add the cooked dal to the preparing sambar, give a quick mix and close the pan for five to seven minutes.
  • Finally, add the grounded coconut paste, mix well and cook for two minutes.
  • Best side dish ever is ready

#4. Drumstick leaves sambar

drumstick leaves sambar recipe

This is a very healthy sambar. If your toddler hesitates to eat green leaves try to add the green leaves in sambar so that initially he can at least have the soup of the green leaves. You can prepare sambar with agathi keerai (humming bird’s leaves) too instead of drumstick leaves.

Read:

Ingredients

  • Moong dal – ½ cup
  • Drumstick leaves – ½ cup
  • Small Tomato – 1
  • Small onion – 15 or 1 big onion
  • Sambar powder – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
  • Tamarind – very little (optional)
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Oil – 3 teaspoons (I prefer ghee+ oil)
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Split urad dal – 1tsp
  • Red chili – 2 no’s
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Salt as needed

Method

  • In a vessel or open pan add two cups of water. Let it boil.
  • Add turmeric and oil to the boiling water.
  • Rinse the dal in running water and add it to the boiling water.
  • Wait till the dal is half cooked. Mean while clean and chop the green leaves and other vegetables mentioned.
  • Once the dal is half cooked add the chopped green leaves to the cooking dal.
  • In other pan add ghee and oil. Add the mustard seeds. Once it split, add urad dal and hing.
  • Add the onion, curry leaves, chilies, and tomatoes. Sauté till the tomatoes cook well. Can add sambar powder at this stage or at the end too. Add this to the dal green leaves mix.
  • Now add the salt and tamarind water to the preparing sambar.
  • Close the pan and cook for five minutes.
  • Drumstick leaves sambar ready.

#5.Summa kulambu (chettinad special)

summa kulambu sambar recipeSumma in Tamil means nothing. The name of this kulambu or gravy sounds funny but it is the easiest to prepare. This kulambu is prepared without any vegetables but just with tomatoes and onions. This can be prepared in a few minutes. If you are in hurry try this sambar variety.

Ingredients

  • Toor dal – ½ cup
  • Tomato – 2
  • Small onion – 15 or 1 big onion
  • Sambar powder – 2 tablespoon
  • Turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
  • Red chili- 1
  • Green chili – 1 (optional)
  • Tamarind – small marble size
  • Hing – ¼ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Coriander leaves – a few
  • Mustard seeds – a few
  • Urad dal – a few
  • Oil – 3 teaspoons (I prefer groundnut oil)
  • Salt as needed

Instructions

  • Soak the toor dal in water for half an hour.
  • Chop the onion, tomatoes, and chilies.
  • In a pressure cooker heat oil and add the mustard, once it splits add the urad dal.
  • Add the onions, curry leaves, and chilies. Sauté for a few minutes.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté till it is cooked and mashed well. Add sambar powder and turmeric powder. Mix well.
  • Now add two cups of water. Once it starts boiling add the salt and toor dal, close the cooker and wait for 3 whistles.
  • Once pressure release add coriander leaves
  • Summa kulambu is ready.

#6.Tomato sambar

This tomato sambar is the best combination for idlis and dosas. I learned the recipe for this very simple and tasty tomato sambar from my UG friend. Weekly once I prepare this sambar.

Ingredients

  • Toor dal – 50 gms
  • Tomatoes – 4 big
  • Onion – 1 big
  • Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Sambar powder – 2 tsp
  • Green chili – 1
  • Coconut – ¼ cup grated
  • Oil – 3 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – a few
  • urad dal – a few
  • Salt as needed

Instruction

  • Soak the toor dal for half an hour, pressure the dal for 4 whistles.
  • Clean and chop the vegetables. Peel the garlic.
  • In a pan heat oil, add the mustard seeds. Once it splits add the urad dal.
  • Add the onions and chili. Sauté till onion becomes transparent.
  • Add the tomatoes. Sauté till the tomatoes are cooked and mashed well.
  • Add the salt and sambar powder mix well and close the pan.
  • Add the cooked dal and needed water. Close for some time.
  • In a mixer jar grind the coconut and garlic to a fine paste and add them to the boiling sambar. Close the pan for two minutes.
  • Off the stove, mix well and garnish with coriander leaves.

Read: 11 Quick and Easy Recipes for Busy Moms( curries and side dishes)

#7. Beetroot sambar recipe

sambar recipes for kids

beetroot sambar recipe

My daughters love red color. So at times, I prepare them separate meal or curries. This beetroot sambar is my kid’s favorite one. Very simple and very easy. The sambar will have a light sweet taste.

Ingredients

  • Toor and moong dal – ¼ cup
  • Beetroot – 1/2 Cup chopped
  • Small onion – a few (optional)
  • Tomato – 1 very small
  • Tamarind water – 3 tsp
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Sambar powder – ¼ tsp
  • Hing – a pinch
  • Cumin – ½ tsp
  • Salt as needed
  • Ghee /oil – 3 tsp


    Instruction

  • Soak the toor dal for half an hour.
  • Clean and chop the vegetables. Peel the garlic.
  • Heat oil in a cooker. Add the cumin, once it splits add the crushed garlic and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add the onions. Sauté till onion becomes transparent.
  • Add the tomatoes and a little salt. Sauté till the tomatoes are cooked well.
  • Add the chopped beetroot and mix well, add the tamarind water.
  • Add the salt and sambar powder, mix well. Let the raw smell go.
  • Add needed water. Once it started boiling add the washed dals.
  • Close the cooker
  • Cook it for 3- 4 whistles. Once pressure is released mix well and serve.

Read: 10 Beetroot recipes for kids 

#8. Hotel style sambar especially for tiffins/ saravana bhavan sambar recipe

tiffin sambar recipeThis is the best sambar recipe for idly, dosa , pongal etc. This restaurant style sambar recipe is used while making sambar vadai and sambar idly.

Most of the vegetarian hotels have a fantastic aroma of sambar once you enter inside. The reason is the last tempering they do with sambar powder while making this tiffin sambar.

Ingredients

  • Toor dal – 100 gms
  • Drumstick leaves – 2 nos
  • Yellow pumpkin – 75 gms
  • Small onion – 1 cup
  • Tomatoes – ½ cup
  • Salt as needed

For masala paste

  • Sesame oil or ghee – 2 tsp
  • 5 red chilies
  • Small onion – 5 no’s
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  • Pepper corns – ¼ tsp
  • Fenugreek a pinch
  • Channa dal – 2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 2 tsp
  • Coconut grated – ¼ cup or a little more than that
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Jaggery – 2 tsp
  • Tamarind – small gooseberry size
  • Hing – ¼ tsp

For Tempering

  • Sesame oil – 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- ½ tsp
  • A few curry leaves
  • Sambar powder – 1 tsp

How to prepare

  • Chop the vegetables and keep ready.
  • Soak the toor dal in water for 20 minutes.
  • Pressure cook the dal with two cups of water for 5 to 7 whistles, wait for the pressure to release naturally. Keep it aside.
  • In another cooker add all the vegetables and one cup of water and needed salt. Pressure-cook it for two to three whistles. Keep it aside.
  • In a pan add two tsp of oil. Add in order coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, channa dal, urad dal, fenugreek, red chilies , curry leaves, jaggery and tamarind. Last add the coconut and hing. Roast them well but make sure you don’t burn them. Grind them with half a cup of water.
  • Add the cooked dal to the cooked vegetables cook them for few minutes without closing.
  • Add the masala paste to the preparing sambar. Let it boil for five minutes.
  • In a kadai add oil. Once it is hot add the mustard. When it crakes add curry leaves then add the sambar powder, switch off the stove immediately. Sambar powder may burn quickly so once you off the stove pour it over the sambar immediately.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.

You can also read: 20 Breakfast recipes for kids

BONUS – Homemade sambar powder recipe

If you have time to prepare sambar powder at home please do give a try. I don’t prepare them but my mother or mil prepares for me. This will be very handy as you can add the powder to many curries and vegetables fry too, not just for sambar. The homemade version, without any preservatives, is healthy too.

sambar recipe sambar powder recipeIngredients

  • Red chilies – 500g
  • Coriander seeds   – 250g
  • Channa dal – 50 g
  • Urad dal – 50g
  • Toor dal – 50g
  • Jeera – 25g
  • Pepper – 25g
  • Fenugreek – 25g
  • Rice – 25g
  • Hing – a marble size
  • Curry leaves – dry leaves 30 gms

How to prepare

  • Clean all the ingredients without any foreign matters.
  • Sun dry them for two to three days
  • If you wish you can dry roast them in a kadai.
  • Powder it. It’s better to powder them from flour mill.
  • Store it in an airtight container.

You can also read: Multi-purpose Spice Powder for Babies and Toddlers

Do try these sambar recipes and am sure your kids and the whole family will love it. Sneak in some veggies that your child is not so interested in while preparing sambar.

What other sambar recipes for kids  do you prepare at home? Share your fail proof sambar recipe in the comments section.

About Author

Yamuna, mommy to 2 yr old Tejaswini & 6 month old Pragalya, loves to cook, write and believes good health comes from good eating habits. Eat natural is her mantra. Watch out for her home based traditional recipes and remedies.

3 Comments

  1. Great to see our humble sambar in so many deliciously different avataars…great going Yamuna…looking forward to more !!

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