Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe | How to make Sambar HSB Style!

Before anybody jumps the gun, let me confess that I was out of my mind thinking what Main course can I showcase. So there has to be something very dramatic right. Well a sambar claiming to be exact as for how it is made in Hotel Saravana Bhavan, can and will stir a lot of rustles. Yes, that’s what you are going to read about.
Until a couple of days back, I was still not clear what to decide on. So while I was browsing through some shared documents that led me to this site, which seems to be the single point of reference to what’s famously referred as the HSB Sambar. While it’s been a quite some time since I ate the sambar from this place, I knew my colleague is a great fan of this sambar, would be the apt person to say if this is indeed so or not.
Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe
Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar

Hold your breath ok, well she said this surely doesn’t taste exactly like that. Maybe mine differed with the thickness, as HSB sambar is supposed to be quite thick. Whatever the whole drama that acted out before I made this Sambar, ensured that this sees light and yes this is going to grace today’s post as the first of the Main course I decided to blog on.

Welcome to the 31st Edition of BM friends, you are reading the first of the Main Course series. Now if you ask me what Main Course is, for a western menu, one can point out straight and say this is Main course. I even looked up the dictionary and the only thing that said was, it’s the main course of the meal after the entrΓ©e. This is exactly the right formula to throw you out of your wits. I spent many days simply thinking what could possibly be suitable for this series.

As somebody asked if it was by sheer coincidence or planned act that all themes ended up starting with M in the BM# 31 Edition. I was boastful to say I had planned it all and one of the pitfall was this Main course. Who in their proper mind want to have such themes, well I did and here I am all confused yet happy that sambar, though tasted delicious, now has to take on the so-called name.

Do try it and cook it for a bit more. I was really in a hurry and this was done in flat 20 mins time, with a waiting time on the vegetables to reach me. I am sure you will enjoy it and as the Bard said, what’s in a name!

Step by Step Pictures for making the recipe

Pls excuse the mess, I forgot and covered with lid, the sambar slipped out of the bowl!

Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe

Ingredients

To Grind as paste

2 tsp Fried Gram / Roasted gram/Pottu kadalai
3/4 cup Tomato or 1 Big
1 tbsp Coconut Shredded
2 tsp Sambar powder
1/4 tsp Asafoetida / Hing

For the Sambar

3/4 cup Toor Dal
1 cup Brinjal / Kathirikkai (3 to 4 small)
1 Drumstick chopped into 2 inch pieces makes appr. 1 cup
5 Shallots / Sambar Onions
1 Tomato medium
2 Green Chilli
Coriander leaves handful
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Tamarind paste / Puli 1 lemon size

For Tempering

1/4 tsp Mustard seed
1/4 tsp Urad dal
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
3 Dry Red Chillis Round variety
Curry leaves handful
5 Shallots / Sambar Onions

How to make Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe

Wash and pressure cook the toor dal to a soft consistency by adding enough water.
Wash and soak the tamarind, extract the pulp, keep it aside.
Chop the vegetables and keep it aside. Slit the green chili into two pieces.
Grind to paste roasted gram, 1 Tomato, coconut, sambar powder, asafoetida to a smooth paste by adding water.
Once the dal is well cooked, add 4 cups of water, add the cut vegetables, Shallots, chopped tomato, green chilli and cook.
Now add the ground paste to the cooking dal.
Next, add the tamarind (puli) water and cook until the vegetables are cooked. Then remove from heat.
In a pan heat oil, add mustard seed, cumin seed, urad dal stir until the mustard splatter. Now add Shallots, dry chili, curry leaves until curry leaves splatter.
Now pour this over the simmering sambar, add coriander leaves and cook until sambar comes to a boil and remove from heat.
RECIPE NOTES
The more you cook the thicker the sambar will end up.

This can be made without the vegetables, with just the shallots as well.

The thickness and the difference in this recipe is because of the fried gram
I have two different sambar podis, This Sambar podi is what Amma has been making for a long time. Second Sambar powder is something she developed recently. Both the versions work well with this recipe
Serve with Idlis

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Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe
Votes: 7
Rating: 4.29
You:
Rate this recipe!
Cuisine Tamil Nadu
By Cook Method Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Occasion Weekend Special
By Diet Vegan
Dish Type Sambar Varieties
Servings
Ingredients
To Grind as paste
For the Sambar
For Tempering
Cuisine Tamil Nadu
By Cook Method Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Occasion Weekend Special
By Diet Vegan
Dish Type Sambar Varieties
Servings
Ingredients
To Grind as paste
For the Sambar
For Tempering
Votes: 7
Rating: 4.29
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Wash and pressure cook the toor dal to a soft consistency by adding enough water.
  2. Wash and soak the tamarind, extract the pulp, keep it aside.
  3. Chop the vegetables and keep it aside. Slit the green chili into two pieces.
  4. Grind to paste roasted gram, 1 Tomato, coconut, sambar powder, asafoetida to a smooth paste by adding water.
  5. Once the dal is well cooked, add 4 cups of water, add the cut vegetables, Shallots, chopped tomato, green chilli and cook.
  6. Now add ground paste to the cooking dal.
  7. Next add the tamarind (puli) water and cook until the vegetables are cooked. Then remove from heat.
  8. In a pan heat oil, add mustard seed, cumin seed, urad dal stir until the mustard splatter. Now add Shallots, dry chili, curry leaves until curry leaves splatter.
  9. Now pour this over the simmering sambar, add coriander leaves and cook until sambar comes to a boil and remove from heat.
Recipe Notes

The more you cook the thicker the sambar will end up.

This can be made without the vegetables, with just the shallots as well.

The thickness and the difference in this recipe is because of the fried gram

I have two different sambar podis, This Sambar podi is what Amma has been making for a long time. Second Sambar powder is something she developed recently. Both the versions work well with this recipe

Share this Recipe

Another first of sorts, I never add green chilies to my Sambar. Green Chilis don’t come to mind when I conjure upon a sambar recipe. But then I added, I wonder who got those green chilies now!

Everybody at home loved it, but the compliment was my other colleague who loved it, saying she can’t stand HSB sambar, this, however, was very nice indeed. Thank God for good friends!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 31

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42 comments

  1. Yumm!! Interesting read and yes it is hard to decide what is a main course when it comes to different cuisines. I always wanted to make hotel style sambhar…let me try with your recipe soon :)Have some idli maavu fermented and ready for the weekend..

  2. I too was confused when it came to Indian main dishes, wondering if they would fit in.

    And this sambar is looks way better than HSB sambar. Going to try this method soon..

  3. The first day first show looks good :). I am bookmarking this to try out sometime.

    And there is a typo Valli. I think you meant the sambar is thick and not think :D.

  4. saravana bhavan and chennaiites have a special reln right Valli ? the sambhar looks good ! I actually liked the chutneys that they serve and the pongal from HSB is out of this world!

  5. I have had sambar at SB but may be 3-4 years back…but what I can recall is that I has enjoyed each and everything…any way a new sambar is welcome..I am loving those spongy Idlis too.

  6. Valli, I will indebted for life thanks to you sharing this recipe…my husband is a huge fan of this sambhar, although I never had the chance to taste it myelf, I can imagine it must be very delicious

  7. I love to try different sambar recipes, the masala sounds yummy. Will definitely try this soon.
    Saravana bhavan in New Jersey is super bad. They serve microwaved frozen food, so the food is served as soon as you order it.

  8. I am not getting shallots where i live. can i use regular onion , does it make any difference to the sambar taste ? can i use MDH brand
    sambar powder?

    please reply soon as i want to make this for today's dinner.

    thanks in anticipation.

  9. Veena Sorry to hear that it didn't work out for you, when I did, it was almost the similar. I say almost as this recipe is not from HSB secret recipe

    Meenakshi Yes Shallots or sambar onion is a must for that unique taste. I am not sure abt Sambar powder, any good brand should work out. Still if you don't have shallots, try with regular ones for today.

  10. wow it came out very nice, The only thing I missed was tomato's but still came out great, Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe. By the way I have not tasted the Saravana Bhavan sambar. But I can say 100%, the sambar which I prepared today is so unique , I have not tasted in my life……….

  11. Can you tell the secret sambar powder which brand of sambar powder did you use in this recipe so that we can get the same taste like restaurant style.You gave the recipe so much in details but the key ingredient is sambar powder which you have not mentioned it any where.Waiting for your quick reply.

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