Tiffin Sambar | Hotel Style sambar

Tiffin SambarHow to make Hotel Style sambar

Tiffin Sambar or Hotel Style arachu vitta sambar, with freshly ground sambar masala.

Side dish for South indian Tiffin items like idli, medu vadai, pongal and dosa.

I recently served this meal for my family for breakfast, because were craving a restauranty breakfast.

Hotel Sambar Recipe
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  1. Cook and mash the toor dal to a creamy texture.
  2. Do not skip the jaggary or sugar in this recipe. This is one ingredient that brings the true hotel sambar taste. You can always skip to if you wish to do.
  3. Red chillies – I have used dried Kashmiri Red chillies in the recipe. If you don’t have access to it and want to use regular red chillies, Adjust the quantity according the spice level.
  4. You can alternatively use coriander powder and Kashmiri Red chilli powder too ( about 1 and 1/2 tsp each)
  5. Coconut , this is another ingredient like the jaggary that is unique to tiffin sambar (Highly recommend)

Serve soft MEDU VADA ( URAD DAL FRITTERS) with Tiffin Sambar

Step by step Pictorial for easy understanding.

Hotel Style sambar Arachu Vitta sambar

The secret to this aromatic recipe is the freshly ground sambar masala paste. I have used a specific proportion of coriander seeds, channa dal, urad dal, cumin, red chillies ( Kashmiri Red chillies bring a lovely red color) curry leaves and fenugreek seeds for the unique flavour. This mixture is ground with coconut and water to a smooth paste.

Sambar sambar

Boil the vegetables, onion, tomato in salt, sugar, turmeric, salt and jaggary until cooked and the add the boiled toor dal. Add the freshly ground masala and tamarind juice and add the tadka for the sambar. And it is ready to serve.


Hotel Style Sambar

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 10 people


To Roast and grind

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp Urad dal
  • 1.2 tbsp Channa dal
  • 10 no.s Curry leaves
  • 8-10 no.s dry Kashmiri Red chillies Add lesser if using regular dry red chillies
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsp Dry coconut powder Or Fresh Grated Coconut (4 tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup Water

For sambar

  • 1/2 cup Toor dal 100 gms – Boiled and mashed
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Jaggary or sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 medium onion or 5-6 small onions
  • Mixed vegetables of your choice drumsticks, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, brinjal
  • 1/4 cup Tamarind extract

For tadka

  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • A pinch Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • A few Curry leaves


  • Take a pan, roast, all the ingredients mentioned under to roast in the same order until aromatic (Except the coconut and water) Cool the ingredients, and grind it with water and coconut to a smooth paste.
  • Take a large pot, add the water, all the vegetables, chopped tomatoes, onions, salt, turmeric, Jaggary or sugar and bring to to a boil. Keep it covered and cook until the vegetables are cooked through.
  • Next add the cooked and mashed toor dal and the ground sambar masala to it and bring it to a boil for 5 minutes until it is frothy on the top. (You can adjust the thickness at this stage by adding more water)
  • Next add the tamarind extract and let it simmer for a few more minutes. 
  • Finally add the tadka on top and turn off the heat. To make the tadka, take a small kadai, add oil, once hot, add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle, then add curry leaves, cumin seeds and asafoetida and turn off the flame. Pour the tadka over the prepared sambar and mix well. Serve it hot with idli or dosa or pour it over menu vadais.
Keyword Hotel Style sambar, sambar, Tiffin Sambar


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