Sunday, January 25, 2009

Traditional Tanjavur Type ''Sambar Podi''

Rums asked me to give the sambar podi recipe here. My mom makes excellent sambar and it always was a hit with all my school and college friends. When i moved to the Gulf after my marriage I carried my mom's sambar podi with me and during our decade long stay there my mom used to pack me the ''sambar podi'' always,and not to mention the sambar became a huge hit with all our friends there too mostly all the northies. they just used to fill the ''catory'' with sambar and add one idli and they used to relish it. Almost always during potluck dinners i used to end up making sambar and poories and my pots and pans were always empty when we return home:)

My Sambar has been a big hit with Rums' and Raja's friends too. And now, I am carrying forward the tradition like my mother - I have sent packets and packets of Sambar Podi to Rums now, and she says it is a huge hit there too. She uses the Sambar podi for various recipes too, sometimes she makes Rasam with the same (I do too), and she uses it in some curries too.

Let me share that method of making our super hit sambar podi here.

We usually grind the sambar podi in mills(chakki) so i will give those measurements first.

1. Gundu red chillies - 1/2 kg - the picture shows long chillis as Rums doesn't have the fat ones.

2. Dhania seeds(if you can manage to get indore dhania it wl be all the more special) 1/2 kg

3. Channa dal(kadalai paruppu) - 1/2 azhaku

4. Thoor dal 1/2 azhaku( azhaku is the age old measure we use on a daily basis. one azhaku approximately may measure 225 to 250 gms)

5. Milagu(black pepper)- 100gms

6. Vendayam(fenugreek)- 50 gms

7. Jeeragam(jeera)- 50 gms

Just keep all the ingredients in the sun for a few hours(make sure that you cover the trays with a thin cloth) and grind it in the mill to a smooth fine powder.

if you cant sundry them its all right you can just grind them as such too. the reason to sundry them is to make them last long as we always make huge amounts of it in one go.

When you bring the podi from the mill it might be still hot , so ensure that you keep the powder with out the lid on the vessel(otherwise it could sweat and the podi will get spoiled soon)

Once the podi is cooled then pack it in a tight clean dry container. You must pack the podi tightly into the container. This is done by scooping the podi into the container and it has to be pressed down using the back of the karandi(the reason for this is to avoid air mix which might spoil the podi ) and as and when you need it for daily use youcan refill a smaller container.

For those who are staying in places where you dont have the facilities like mills you may have to try out in a smaller quantity using the mixie, but the consistency of the powder may not be like the one we get from mill.

We can use this podi for making sambar, vatha kozambu and at times ramya likes to use this podi for some curries and rasam too.


  1. Oh wow, indeed this is an awesome Sambar powder. I'm dreading the day my stock will get over!

  2. My mum-in-law makes araicha sambar on a daily basis. Perhaps one day I'll put that recipe in too. That's also an Iyengar specialty largely. My version has half the measure of raw ingredients, half measure of mum's sambar podi and coconut.

  3. ialso do the same like use half measure of sambar podi and use fresh ingredients and grind the paste and use ittoo espwhen we make sambar on a large scale it will be very useful and will taste very nice

  4. Yeah I know, obviously, I learned it from you :)

  5. Amma, how much podi does these measures yield?

  6. if we use 1/2 kg each of chillies and dhania and the rest of the items as given, we will easily get 1.25 to 1.35 kg powder