sambar masala

Common name: sambar podi

Sambar masala, or sambar podi, is a spice mix used to flavour thick, lentil-based soups. These soups are an integral part of south Indian cuisine and feature in everyday meals. Our recipe for sambar is typical of how this mixture is used. These sambars are served at breakfast, lunch and dinner and accompany snacks such as dosa.

It is considered a staple in south Indian kitchens, where it is always on hand and is continually made in small batches.

Sambar masala varies by region, village and household, as do all the masala recipes discussed in this book. Street vendors earn their reputation for the masala they use to make the sambar they serve at their stalls.

This spice mix is readily available from Indian grocers, but is so much better made freshly at home.

You could make it from scratch every time you make the dish, but many Indian households will prepare their various masala mixes in advance. It is important not to make too much, or it will be tasteless by the time you get to use it all. In fact, it will become just like the store-bought one unless you use it all quickly.

A link to our recipe is below.

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