Munakkada Sambar | Munkkaya sambar | Drumstick Sambar | Munakkada Sambar | Vismai Food

Munakkada Sambar This excellent Sambhar is made by boiling Drumstick pieces in Tamarind water. Then cooked Tur Dal is added to it and boiled till soft and mushy. This Sambar is very special in taste and flavours!!

The simple but super hit Tamil Nadu variety of Sambar leaves a long-lasting after-taste on the tongue due to its unique taste and flavourful seasoning!!!

Of all the southern states, the Tamils cook the sambar in a number of ways. They prepare the Sambar with almost any vegetable. The Drumstick Sambar is one of the varieties.

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Some details about the Sambar:

  • We can make the Sambar using the Sambar powder available in the market.

*Alternately, you can prepare Sambar spice as shown in the recipe. The ready-made powder is yellowish in colour and not so flavourful! Let me tell you, the Sambar spice mix made on the spot is of course great in its complex flavours.

*The flavour of the Sambar comes out very well depending on how well we let the gravy cook. The tastes of the spices will not infuse well if we take down the Sambar after a mere boil or two. So let the Sambar boil up really well if you want to enjoy the real flavours!

Tur Dal (Red Gram/ Pigeon Peas):

*Dal should be always soaked at least half an hour before cooking in order to get the soft consistency.

Other options for Toor Dal:

*Moong Dal (Green gram split) or whole Moong (Greem gram whole) can be used in place of Toor Dal as per our choice. These however should be soaked overnight and the rest of the recipe can followed as given in order to get good results.

Drumstick and Onion:

*Special Sambar onions are abundantly available in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Hyderabad you can just get small onions which are sold under the name of Sambar Onion (Ulli). I have used this variety. If you can get hold of the authentic Sambar Ulli you will be able to get the true flavours. Else, take a medium sized Onion and cut into quarters.

*Take care not to peel the Drumstick too clean. Let the peel remain except where it sit too hard at the nodes. This will prevent the Drumstick pieces from mashing up and disintegrating while cooking.


*Jaggery helps to balance the tastes of Tamarind, Chilli and Salt; and brings out the real flavours.

Munakkada Sambar | Munkkaya sambar | Drumstick Sambar | Munakkada Sambar | Vismai Food - Recipe Video

Munakkada Sambar | Munkkaya sambar | Drumstick Sambar | Munakkada Sambar | Vismai Food

Sambar - Rasam Recipes | vegetarian
  • Prep Time 5 mins
  • Soaking Time 30 mins
  • Cook Time 30 mins
  • Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
  • Servings 6


  • For the Spice Ball:
  • ¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds (Methidana)
  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds (Dhaniya Sabut)
  • ½ tbsp Bengal Gram (Chana Dal)
  • 1 tsp Black Gram (Urad Dal)
  • ¼ tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Dry Red Chillies
  • ¼ cup Fresh Coconut
  • 1 tsp Khuskhus
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • Sour Gravy (Pulusu):
  • Juice extracted from a lemon sized ball of Tamarind
  • Ingredients for boiling the Dal:
  • ½ cup Toor Dal
  • 7 - 8 cloves Garlic
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric (Haldi)
  • 2 cups Water
  • Ingredients for Sambar:
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 20 Sambar Onion
  • 2 Drumstick (Cut into 2” pieces)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 2 slit Green Chillies
  • ¼ cup Tomato Pieces
  • Salt - to taste
  • 1 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Jaggery
  • Coriander Leaves Chopped- A little
  • 1 litre Water
  • Ingredients for Seasoning:
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds (Rai)
  • 10 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Dry Red Chillies
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida (Heeng)
  • ¼ tsp Cumin (Zeera)
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves chopped


  1. Wash the Dal well and soak for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Boil the Dal along with the other ingredients in that section. Mash well.
  3. Heat the oil and fry all the ingredients (except Khuskhus and Coconut) in the Spice Ball section. Let the spices roast well to a brown colour.
  4. Add Khuskhus and fresh coconut at the end and take down the pan. Grind this mixture (with a little water) into a fine spice ball.
  5. Heat oil and fry the Sambar onions, Drumstick pieces, and Green Chillies for 10- 12 minutes. Add water and boil till the vegetable is cooked to 80%.
  6. Add the Tomato pieces to the vegetables. When the tomatoes are well blended, add Tamarind water and Salt. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Now add the Sambar Spice Ball, mashed Dal, Chilli Powder, Turmeric, Jaggery, Kothmir and water to the boiling mixture. Let it cook for another 10 -12 minutes. Keep stirring time to time.
  8. Heat the oil in a seasoning pan. Fry all the items for seasoning to a rich brown colour and add to the sambar. Add a little Kothmir. Let the Sambar cook on for another 5 minutes before taking off the fire.

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