Arachuvitta Sambar – South Indian Recipe


               Arachuvitta sambar is a traditional south Indian dish. The word “Arachuvitta” means “to grind “. Sambar means vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with pigeon peas(toor dal), tamarind and other seasonings. This sambar is prepared with freshly ground masala, they are made of coriander seeds, coconut, bengal gram, fenugreek, red chillies and rice. The usual sambar is made with pre-prepared sambar powder. Preparation wise, this sambar takes more time than the usual one because of roasting and grinding part. This sambar has a fresh, flavorful aroma because of addition of freshly ground spice powder, that makes more appetizing to eat. Best accompaniment is white rice, papad and potato fry.


     To Pressure Cook

            1/2 Cup of Toor Dal

            1/2 Tsp of Turmeric Powder        
            1 Tsp of Salt
            1/2 Tsp of Oil
            Pinch of Asafoetida/ Hing
            2.5 Cups of Water
     To Roast and Grind

             2 Tsp of Oil

             5 -6 Red Chillies
             1/2 Tsp of Fenugreek
             1/2 Tsp of Rice
             2-3 Tsp of Bengal Gram/ Chenna Dal
             4 Tsp of Coriander Seeds
             1 Tbsp of  Grated Coconut

     To Saute

              6 Small Onions

              1 Large Onion, Finely Chopped
              1 Medium Size Tomato, Finely Chopped
              2  Medium Size Radish, Sliced
              Salt to Taste
     To Temper

              2 Tsp of Ghee

              1 Tsp of Oil
              1 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
              1 Tsp of Urad Dal
              1 Small Red chilly
              2 Sprigs of Curry Leaves

     Other Ingredients

              Gooseberry Size of Tamarind
              3 Tbsp of Coriander Leaves, Finely Chopped


  • In a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients listed under ” To pressure cook” and cook it for 5 whistles. Turn off the stove.
  • Extract the tamarind juice by placing tamarind in hot water for 15 min, squeeze the juice from the tamarind. Keep this aside.
  • In a pan, oil roast all the ingredients listed under ” To roast and grind”, fry until the nice aroma comes and changes color. Let it cool down for 5 mins. In a blender(Mixie), add all the roasted ingredients to a fine powder.
  • Heat oil and ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilly and curry leaves, after it splutter, add small onion, chopped large onion and salt, fry until it turn golden brown, add chopped tomato, saute for 2 mins until it turns soft. 
  • Add sliced radish and 1 tbsp of roasted spice powdeer, saute this for 2 mins, sprinkle some water, cover the pan with a lid, cook it for 5 mins.
  • Add tamarind extract, allow it cook for another 2 mins.
  • Now add the dal and remaining roasted spice powder, mix well with a laddle. If you find any spice powder lumps, mash it with a laddle/spoon. Cover and cook it for another 7 mins. Check the salt and add water if necessary. Turn off the flame
  • Finally add the chopped coriander leaves, mix well. Keep it covered to retain the aroma.
  • Serve with potato fry and appalam / papad.


  • Adjust the number of red chillies according to your taste.
  • You can use any vegetables like drum sticks, brinjal, potato lady’s finger(okra) or carrot.
  • Adding ghee boosts the flavor to the sambar.
  • You may also add 2 tbsp of grated coconut instead of 1 Tbsp.
  • You may also add the tempering at the end, just to retain the tempering flavor.

   Health Benefits of Radish

  • Prevents cancer.
  • Good for digestive system, lungs and heart.
  • Helps to purify the blood and raise the oxygen levels.
  • Controls the blood pressure and sugar level.
  • Good for weight loss.


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  1. Chitz says:

    Wow.. Looks awesome dear.. I too make in similar lines, but little ingredients differ & the order of addition also differs.. The pics are very tempting 🙂

  2. Amy says:

    Such a beautiful and flavorful dish. I love how easy it is that you can prepare it in the pressure cooker. 🙂

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