Chow-Chow Sambar

Sambar is a dish that is eaten almost across all homes in south India for lunch. I would also say it is the most versatile one. Many veggies find their way into sambar. A combination of vegetables or a single most veggie dominates the sambar cooked in dal never fails to cure us of our hunger during lunch.

This chow chow sambar is almost made two or three times a week in my house hold. Here goes the recipe.


You'll Need:

Tur Dal - 1 cup
Chow Chow - 150 gms
Sambar Onions / shallots - 100 gms
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Sambar Powder - 2 tsp
Tomato, small - 1 medium
Tamarind - small lemon size
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to Taste
Coriander Leaves – for garnishing

For Seasoning / Tadka

Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Whole Red Chillies - 2
Fenugreek - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig


Peel and cut Chow Chow into big chunks. Wash the Tur Dal well. Place the chow chow in a small vessel and sprinkle some water. Place this vessel over the dal vessel and pressure cook the dal along with turmeric powder for 3 whistles. Release the pressure and mash the dal well with a mathu and keep aside.

Soak tamarind in some hot water and extract pulp from it. Peel and chop the shallots and tomato finely.


Heat oil in a pan, add the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned. Now add the chopped onions. Sauté till they turn color slightly and add the tomatoes and the Sambar powder and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy.

Now add the tamarind pulp, cooked tur dal, salt and bring to a boil. Cook on a medium flame with the lid closed for 5 – 10 minutes till the aroma of sambar rises and all gets well cooked. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice
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