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Murungaikkai Sambar | Drumstick Sambar

Sambar is a regular fare in most South Indian homes. I sometimes can't make my mind as to what curry to make for rice and I mostly end up making sambar. Also I can finish off the leftover with idli or dosa for dinner and don't worry about making chutney! I have already posted few other sambar recipes before - ladies finger sambar, pumpkin sambar, vendhaya keerai sambar, radish sambar etc, today I am posting another simple sambar with drumstick / murungaikkai.

Drumstick is available only in a particular season in Indian markets, but after trying the frozen ones I am quite happy that there are good as the fresh ones and I don't have to wait for the drumstick season in markets. This is a simple and quite easy sambar recipe that beginners and bachelors can try. The sambar goes well with rice and any thoran/poriyal and also with dosa and idli. I served with kothavarangai (cluster beans) fry, rice and papadam. Let's see how to make this drumstick sambar.


{ South Indian style curry with lentils, drumstick and spices }
Serves 3


½ cup toor dal / yellow pigeon peas
1 tsp oil
2 murungaikkai / drumstick, cut into 3-inch pieces
10-12 shallots / chinna vengayam
1 medium tomato, cut into cubes
½ tbsp tamarind paste / gooseberry-sized tamarind
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp sambar powder
Salt to taste

To temper:
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
Pinch of asafoetida / hing
Few curry leaves


1. Wash and pressure cook the dal with 1 ½ cup water and a pinch of turmeric powder for 3 whistles. Mash well and set aside.

2. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup warm water and extract the tamarind juice. If using tamarind paste, dissolve in 1 cup warm water.

3. Heat a kadai and add oil. Add the shallots and fry till they turn pink. Then add tomato and fry for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add drumstick, turmeric powder, sambar powder, salt and saute for 1-2 minutes. Then add ½ - ¾ cup water and cook the drumstick.

5. Once the drumstick is cooked, add the tamarind extract. Bring to boil and boil till raw smell of tamarind goes. Add dal, required water and simmer for for 4-5 minutes.

6. In a small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add dry chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Pour over the sambar.

Serving Suggestion ~ Rice and thoran/poriyal or idli/dosa.

Notes and Tips
  • Make sure the drumstick is cooked well before adding the tamarind extract.
  • Instead of shallots, you can also use 1 medium onion, cut into quarters.


  1. this looks yum! perfect color and consistency

  2. Super sambar,looks yumm

  3. Delicious murungaikkai sambar, I couldn't get the fresh one here.

  4. Delicious sambar..looks yummy..

  5. My favorite sambar, looks superb..

  6. Sambar looks delicious.. I like drumsticks in sambar.

  7. my all time favorite, love it...

  8. Lovely pics dear and the sambar looks delicious. The color is perfect, mine turns dark color. What sambar powder do you use?

    1. Thanks Nithya. I use Brahmins brand sambar powder.

  9. Love murungaikkai sambar with idli and dosa.. Delicious and tasty sambar..

  10. I love drumstick sambar.. it really gives a nice taste to the curries and dals.. Miss it a lot as we don't get it here.

  11. All time comforting sambar!! Looks yumm!!

  12. Drumsticks are so healthy for you. I tend to buy them fresh, wash and cut into small pieces and then freeze them to use in dalls. This sambhar with drumsticks and tamarind must be so tasty. I love the little bucket you have served your sambhar in.

  13. Love the blue bg and the sambar looks appetizing and delicious dear..

  14. Like the drumstick flavour in any Sambar. Yours looks so nice and appetizing.


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