Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sambar Powder / Huli Pudi

In my opinion, Sambar powder/Huli Pudi came into existence because of women starting to work in India. My mother never made this powder. She always roasted and ground the spices and lentils with coconut and made sambar using it. But I did see my aunts making this powder since they were working women and they had to cook and leave the house early in the morning. There was no concept of eating left overs or cooking at the night time and using it the next day in either my home or my relatives' homes. To be honest, I was very surprised when my in-laws didn't mind eating the left overs. After having started my life as the main cook and having a full time job, I do feel this powder saves a lot of time during the week days. So, I keep it handy. Let me warn you though. The recipe varies from one person to another widely. Some people put a lot of other spices but I like to keep them simple. After all, there should be something different between sambar and bisibelebhath or Vangibhath. If you use all the spices here, then those dishes don't make any sense flavor wise.

One Year Back - How to make Garam Masala
Two Years Back - Magic of Cake Mix
Chana dal / bengal gram dal / Dehusked split chickpeas - 1 1/2 cups
Coriander seeds / Dhaniya - 3/4 cup
Red chillies - 60 - 70 (approximately 2 cups loosely packed and yes it is not too much)
Fenugreek - 1 TBSP
Cumin - 1 TBSP
Cinnamon - 3 - 4 1" pieces
Oil - 1 TBSP
Optional - dry coconut gratings about 1 cup (I don't add it most of the times)

Roast all the ingredients on medium flame except dry coconut gratings if using. Keep stirring to make sure the whole mixture gets toasted evenly. When they are golden and nice aroma comes, turn off the heat. Powder when cool with dry coconut gratings if using. Store in an air tight container and use within 3 months. For longer storage, store in a freezer safe container in the freezer. Use about 2 - 3 TBSP of powder or as per taste for every cup of toor dal to make sambar.

You get better color if you use part Byadagi chillies which give a bright red color.

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  1. I love making my own spices too:)) My mami used to make such masala with the coconut bowl ..which she used to roat directly on gas.

  2. homemade powder is more flavorful that store bought. nice

  3. Our version is almost the same, Champs... except we add a bit of urad dal also... I agree... it should be different from other powders!


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