Idli sambar recipe / Tiffin sambar / hotel style idli sambar recipe


Idli sambar is a South Indian breakfast meal where soft fluffy steamed Soft idli are served with sambar, a vegetable lentil broth. Make this amazingly delicious and easy idli sambar at home for a hearty, protein packed and flavorsome meal. Usually, we like to prepare hotel style food in our home, in those list Idli sambar is my favorite. This sambar can prepare with both moong dal and toor dal and some veggies. can be served with South Indian tiffin snacks like idli, dosa, medu vada, rava idli, rava dosa, uthappam and Pongal etc.  I usually pressure cook lentils first. Then roast the spices and make the sambar powder freshly. Then cook the vegetables and add sambar powder. For serving idli sambar, you can make small mini idli with ghee it’ll attract kids and also taste delicious. every hotel has their secret ingredients and their own style of taste. This sambar can mimic the Rethna café tiffin sambar. Idli sambar recipe | tiffin sambar | hotel style idli sambar recipe with step-by-step photo and video recipe.

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Idli sambar recipe / Tiffin sambar / hotel style idli sambar recipe

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 30 mins
Servings: 6
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Idli sambar is a South Indian breakfast meal where soft fluffy steamed Soft idli are served with sambar, a vegetable lentil broth.



Tiffin Sambar powder

To Temper

How to make Idli Sambar Recipe

  1. First wash and pressure cook both moong and toor dal with chopped yellow pumpkin.

  2. Add water to immerse lentils and pumpkins and add turmeric powder and gingelly oil.

  3. Mix well and pressure cook about 3-4 whistles in medium flame.

  4. For sambar powder preparation, heat the pan with oil, add fenugreek seeds, urad dal, chana dal, coriander seeds and few curry leaves.

  5. Add rock asafetida sauté 2-3mins and add grated coconut.

  6. Toss till coconut becomes dry then add dry red chilies.

  7. Roast about 3-4 mins. Then allow them to cool.

  8. Transfer in to mixie jar grind like a fine powder without adding water.

  9. To prepare an onion-tomato paste in mixie jar put small onion and tomato and blend.

  10. Mash the pressure-cooked lentils and pumpkin.

  11. To prepare Sambar, heat the pan with oil and add chopped onions, tomato, onion-tomato paste toss well till onion raw smell goes and the mixture become mushy.

  12. Add diced carrots and drumsticks sauté well and add salt.

  13. Allow them to cook in medium flame till turns little thick.

  14. Add required water and cook about 4-5mins.

  15. Add tamarind water. Allow to boil about 2-3mins.

  16. Now add freshly ground sambar powder and cooked dal.

  17. Add enough water depends upon your required consistency.

  18. Add table salt and jaggery powder.

  19. Cook another 4-5 mins in medium flame.

  20. For tempering add items listed under “To Temper” section.

  21. For garnishing add chopped coriander leaves.

  22. Yummy Hotel style tiffin sambar is ready to serve.


While serving make sure idli sambar and idli is the is hot.

Add ghee, just before serving, is another secret of getting of Restaurant style Tiffin sambar at home.

Cook the vegetables before adding tamarind water. vegetables won't cook in the tamarind water. 

If you do not have  rock asafetida you can use asafetida powder while tempering. 


Keywords: Idli sambar recipe, tiffin sambar, hotel style idli sambar recipe, Rethna Café Tiffin sambar

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Gomathi Ramesh

Food Blogger

Hi there! I am Gomathi Ramesh, a full-time food blogger, mother of 2 beautiful daughters and a lovely wife. I come from a family of fantastic cooks and I’m here to share generations of recipes that are homey, fresh, healthy, family-friendly, authentic, and adventurous. Most importantly, our recipes taste great and you can trust that they actually work.

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