Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam

Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam with Ghee on Top!
Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam with Ghee on Top!

Kadamba Sadam (popularly called Sambar Rice) is one of my absolute favourite comfort foods. It is so delicious and comforting, and oh-so-easy to make! Serve it with some crispy potato curry and vadiyalu/vadams or appadams/papad, and you have a hands-down winner. 🙂

There is something about the wonderful aroma of sambar masala as it is being fried. The moment you add the coriander seeds, your kitchen and home will be filled with a mouth-watering aroma that makes it difficult to wait for the sambar rice to be ready!

If you do not want to go through the elaborate process of making the masala, grind 1 tbsp Sambar Podi with 3 tbsp Coconut and a little water. Voila! Instant Sambar Sadam Masala is ready.

Also try Bisi Bele Bhat (Bisi Bele Huli Anna) from Karnataka.

How to Make Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam

Time: 60 Minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients for the Rice

  1. Rice – 1 Cup
  2. Tuvar Dal – 3/4 Cup
  3. Drumstick – 1
  4. Small Brinjal – 1
  5. Tomato – 1
  6. Carrot – 1 Small
  7. Red Pumpkin – 100 gms
  8. White Pumpkin/Ash Gourd – 100 gms
  9. French Beans – 50 gms
  10. Shallots/Madras Onions – 10-12
  11. Peanuts – 3 tbsp
  12. Tamarind Pulp – 3 tbsp
  13. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  14. Red Chillies – 2
  15. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  16. Asafoetida/hing – 1/2 tsp
  17. Curry Leaves – A few
  18. Ghee – 1 tsp
  19. Oil – 2 tsp
  20. Salt to taste

Ingredients for Sambar Masala

  1. Chana Dal – 1 tsp
  2. Udad Dal – 1 tsp
  3. Tuvar Dal -1 tsp
  4. Raw Rice – 1/4 tsp
  5. Black Pepper Corns – 1/2 tsp
  6. Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
  7. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/8 tsp
  8. Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  9. Grated Coconut – 3 tbsp
  10. Ghee or Oil – 2 tbsp

To Make the Sambar Masala:

  1. Heat the oil.
  2. Add tur dal, udad and chana dal.
  3. Fry till the dals are golden brown.
  4. Add the raw rice and methi, and fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the pepper corns and split red chillies, and fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the coriander seeds and fry for about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Add the coconut and saute for about a minute.
  9. Let the ingredients cool.
  10. Grind to a smooth paste with a little water.

To Make the Sambar Rice:

  1. Wash the rice and tur dal together. Soak in about 4 cups of water for about 30 mins.
  2. Pressure cook till well done and of mashable consistency.
  3. Cut the drumstick into 2″ pieces.
  4. Dice the tomato and brinjal.
  5. Peel the shallots.
  6. Heat the oil.
  7. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  8. Add the shallots.
  9. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add the split red chillies and fry for a minute.
  11. Add the asafoetida, turmeric, and curry leaves, peanuts, and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add the tomato pieces and fry till the tomato pieces are soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  13. Add the carrot, pumpkin, drumstick and brinjal pieces.
  14. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  15. Add the ground sambar masala and about 1/2 cup water.
  16. Cook covered till the vegetables and peanuts are cooked. Add more water, if required.
  17. Add the tamarind pulp and mix well.
  18. Mash the dal-rice mix, and add to the cooked masala and vegetables.
  19. Mix well.
  20. Add a little water, if required.
  21. Cook for about 6-7 minutes.
  22. Serve Kadamba hot with appadam, vaidyams, and/or fried potato curry.


  • Do not be intimidated by the number of steps or stages in this recipe. I have just broken the recipe down to bite-sized portions. 🙂
  • I soak the dal and rice for 30 to 60 mins to get a mashable consistency easily.
  • Wait for about an hour before eating.
  • When I make Kadamba Sadam for religious occassions, I leave out the shallots or onions.
Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam
Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam


  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I tried the recipe with little modifications as per my taste and it came out really very well . We all enjoyed our lunch so much and had the satisfaction of having temple Kadamba sadham (with abundant ghee).will definitely save this recipe for my future attempts. Thank you so much 🙂 Wish you a great year 2018

  2. Ingredients for Sambar Masala

    Chana Dal – 1 tsp
    Udad Dal – 1 tsp

    Make the Sambar Masala:

    Heat the oil.
    Add tur dal and chana dal.

    I am a bit confused. The ingredients say udad dal. But in make the masala it’s the dal.

    So which is correct?

    I am following this navarathri lust to make naivedhyam. So I need the correct ingredients for tomorrow.


  3. Hello. I’m an Australian who loves to cook Indian, but I don’t use a pressure cooker which often comes into your recipes. Is there a general guide for not using one as to timing and so on, or is it a question of using one’s own cooking experience to figure out something sensible. Thank you!

    1. Hello Cathy,

      Sambar Rice would probably need 30 to 45 minutes. It is essentially experience and checking at regular intervals.

      If you don’t use a pressure cooker, cook covered in a heavy-bottomed vessel on medium high flame. Keep stirring and checking to see if the rice or dish is cooked.

      Avoid the temptation to add more water, unless the dish is really raw. If you need to add water, add hot water:-)

  4. My go to recipe when I am lazy to make two dishes. I put everything into the cooker after seasoning with mustard and add sambar powder to make it easier. Such a delight to eat it with ghee and papadom!

  5. Aruna,
    Ooh … I am just imaging that i drizzle some ghee on this sambar rice and have some right now:)….and I have just had a huge dinner but the sambar rice looks amazingly yummy!

  6. I had always wanted to know the secret of making awesome sambaar rice…and preferably from a South Indian! How much ever I have tried to find out the secret behind making nice sambaar, have never succeeded in my attempts. 🙁
    I am delighted to see this secret being shared…:) Thanks a ton!

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.