Onion sambar recipe (Vengaya sambar)

Onion sambar recipe – Simple and EASY to make sambar made with small onions aka pearl onion or shallots. Onion known as Vengayam in Tamil language. Hence it is called vengaya sambar.

Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

At home, this sambar is most favorite. Hubby and I also do not like veggies in sambar when serving with idli or dosa. So I make this one almost all the time. Leftovers is usually served with plain steamed rice next day.

Here I have used shallots (baby onions) for making sambar. If you don’t have it, no worries make with regular onions. If using regular onions, use the sliced one instead of chopped.

This is simple sambar recipe where flavors come from sambar powder, tamarind and curry leaves. Green chili is the only ingredient which gives the spicy taste. No chili powder is added here. So adjust the quantity of green chilies accordingly.

Check out other sambar/rasam recipes
Dal rasam  //  Tradirional south Indian sambar  //  Rasam without dal and rasam powder  //  Pappu charu


How to make onion sambar recipe (Step by Step Photos):


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1) Take toor dal and wash under running cold water till water runs clear. Or you can rinse them 4-5 times or till water does not get cloudy.

2) Add turmeric powder.
Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

3) Also add a teaspoon of oil.

4) Also add water. Cover the pressure cooker with lid, put the weight on.
Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

5) Turn the heat on medium and let it cook for 5-6 whistles. Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.

6) Using whisk or hand blender, mash the dal make smooth puree. Keep it aside.
Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

7) Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add mustard seeds and let them pop.

8) Then add dried red chili and saute for 30 seconds. You will notice chilies will get darker in color.
Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

9) Now add curry leaves and slit green chili. Saute for about a minute.

10) Then add pearl onions. Add salt to speed up the process.
Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

11)  Cook for 6-7 minutes. They start to get soften and becomes translucent.

12) Now add tamarind paste.
Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

13) Also add sambar powder.

14) Mix well and cook for a minute.
Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

15) Add water. Bring it to a boil.

16) Then let it simmer for 8-10 minutes or till the onions are cooked all the way through.
Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

17) Now add cooked, mashed dal.

18) Stir well and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Then turn off the stove.
Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

Sambar onion is ready to serve. If not serving right away then keep it covered so it stays warm.

Serving suggestion: Serve this small onion sambar with plain steamed rice or idli, rava idlidosa, medu vada. Healthy meal would be sambar, steamed rice and side of veggie dish.

Onion sambar recipe | Vengaya sambar | Small onion sambar

Onion sambar recipe (Vengaya sambar) Small onion sambar

US measuring cups are used (1 cup = 240 ml)
Course Main Course
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 2 -3 servings
Author Kanan

Ingredients (1 cup = 240 ml)

For pressure cooking:

  • ½ cup Arhar dal (toor dal or split pigeon peas)
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Oil
  • 1 cup Water

For onion sambar:

  • 2 tablespoon Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 2 Dried red chilies
  • 1 sprig or 8-10 Curry leaves
  • 1 Green chili slit
  • 10-12 or ½ cup Shallots small onions or shallots
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Tamarind paste or ½ tablespoon of seedless tamarind soaked in warm water and pulp removed
  • 2-3 teaspoons Sambar powder
  • 1 ½ cups Water

Instructions

Pressure cooking the dal:

  1. Take toor dal and wash under running cold water till water runs clear. Or you can rinse them 4-5 times or till water does not get cloudy.
  2. Add turmeric powder and a teaspoon of oil.
  3. Also add water. Cover the pressure cooker with lid, put the weight on.
  4. Turn the heat on medium and let it cook for 5-6 whistles.
  5. Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.
  6. Using whisk or hand blender, mash the dal make smooth puree. Keep it aside.

Making onion sambar recipe:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add mustard seeds and let them pop.
  2. Then add dried red chili and saute for 30 seconds.
  3. Now add curry leaves and slit green chili. Saute for about a minute.
  4. Then add pearl onions. Add salt and cook for 6-7 minutes. They start to get soften.
  5. Now add tamarind paste and add sambar powder.
  6. Mix well and cook for a minute.
  7. Add water. Bring it to a boil.
  8. Then let it simmer for 8-10 minutes or till the onions are cooked all the way through.
  9. Now add cooked, mashed dal. Stir well
  10. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  11. Then turn off the stove.

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