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Simple Tomato and Onion Sambar for Rice and Dosa

Updated on July 21, 2020
Shwetha raashi profile image

Shwetha Bhat is passionate about food and cooking. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and share her recipes.

Simple tomato - onion sambar recipe

This is easy and quick sambar prepared with ripe tomatoes, onions, ginger - garlic and spices. Ideal side dish for rice, dosa and even for idli. Spicy and no lentil, authentic South Indian style sambar recipe. Extremely simple without any fancy vegetables in it and with different type of home ground spice mix. Can be done in a jiffy but tastes divine.

Use of onions and garlic makes this dish more flavorful.

Simple Tomato - Onion Sambar
Simple Tomato - Onion Sambar

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: Serves 3 people 2 tomatoes and 1 onion

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon methi or fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons white rice, sona masoori or dosa rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper, adjust as per your spice level
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing or asafoetida
  • 2-3 ripe tomatoes, medium sized, chopped
  • 1-2 onions, sliced
  • 1 inch long fresh ginger, crushed
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1-2 strings fresh curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons red chili powder, adjust as per taste
  • 2-3 cups water, or as required
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons cooking oil

How to make simple tomato and onion sambar

  1. In a frying pan dry roast 1/4 teaspoon of methi or fenugreek seeds, 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 2 teaspoons of rice (you can use sona masoori or dosa rice).
  2. Fry in low flame for 3-4 minutes or until cumin seeds starts to splutter.
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppers and 1/4 teaspoon of hing or asafoetida.
  4. Fry in low flame for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it cool down completely.
  5. After cooling down, transfer them to mixer jar and grind finely. Your spice powder for sambar is ready.
  6. Wash and chop 2-3 medium sized tomatoes and slice 1-2 onions. Peel the skin of 4-5 cloves of garlic, crush 1 inch long fresh ginger and keep aside.
  7. In a frying pan or vessel, heat 2-3 teaspoons of cooking oil. Add chopped onions, crushed ginger and peeled garlic cloves. Fry in medium flame till onion turns golden brown and raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes, 1-2 strings of fresh curry leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Mix and fry in medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add 1-2 teaspoons of red chili powder and salt to taste. Mix and saute for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of water (or as required). Close the lid and cook till tomatoes turns mushy.
  10. After tomatoes are cooked properly, add prepared ground spice powder, mix and cook for 1 minute. Stir in between to avoid burning.
  11. Add 1-2 cups of water or as required to get the consistency of sambar you need. Boil in low flame for 4-5 minutes or till you get the desired consistency. Switch off the flame.
  12. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.
  13. Serve hot with rice, dosa or with idli.

How to make tomato and onion sambar with step by step photos

In a frying pan add 1/4 teaspoon of fenugreek or methi seeds, 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 2 teaspoons of white rice (sonamasoori or dosa rice).
In a frying pan add 1/4 teaspoon of fenugreek or methi seeds, 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 2 teaspoons of white rice (sonamasoori or dosa rice).
Dry roast in low flame for 3-4 minutes or until cumin seeds starts to splutter.
Dry roast in low flame for 3-4 minutes or until cumin seeds starts to splutter.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of whole black pepper (or more if you want more spicy sambar) and 1/4 teaspoon of hing or asafoetida.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of whole black pepper (or more if you want more spicy sambar) and 1/4 teaspoon of hing or asafoetida.
Fry for 2-3 minutes in low flame. Switch off the flame and let it cool down completely.
Fry for 2-3 minutes in low flame. Switch off the flame and let it cool down completely.
After cooling down transfer them to the mixer jar and grind them to fine powder.
After cooling down transfer them to the mixer jar and grind them to fine powder.
Your homemade spice powder for sambar is ready. Keep it aside.
Your homemade spice powder for sambar is ready. Keep it aside.
Wash and chop 2-3 medium sized  ripe tomatoes, slice 1-2 onions, peel the skin of 4-5 cloves of garlic and crush ginger. Keep aside.
Wash and chop 2-3 medium sized ripe tomatoes, slice 1-2 onions, peel the skin of 4-5 cloves of garlic and crush ginger. Keep aside.
In a frying pan or vessel heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil. Add sliced onions, cloves of garlic and crushed ginger.
In a frying pan or vessel heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil. Add sliced onions, cloves of garlic and crushed ginger.
Fry till onions turns golden brown and raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away.
Fry till onions turns golden brown and raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away.
Add chopped tomatoes, 1-2 strings of fresh curry leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
Add chopped tomatoes, 1-2 strings of fresh curry leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
Mix and fry in medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
Mix and fry in medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of red chili powder and salt to taste.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of red chili powder and salt to taste.
Add 1/2 cup of water.
Add 1/2 cup of water.
Close the lid and cook in medium flame till tomatoes turns mushy.
Close the lid and cook in medium flame till tomatoes turns mushy.
Once the tomatoes are cooked completely add prepared ground spice powder.
Once the tomatoes are cooked completely add prepared ground spice powder.
Mix and cook for 1 minute. Stir in between to avoid burning.
Mix and cook for 1 minute. Stir in between to avoid burning.
Add 1-2 cups of water or as required to get the consistency of sambar you need.
Add 1-2 cups of water or as required to get the consistency of sambar you need.
Boil in low flame for 4-5 minutes or till you get the required consistency. Add more water and boil if you feel your sambar is thick. Adjust the salt and switch off the flame.
Boil in low flame for 4-5 minutes or till you get the required consistency. Add more water and boil if you feel your sambar is thick. Adjust the salt and switch off the flame.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice, dosa or idli.
Serve hot with rice, dosa or idli.

Notes

  1. Ghee can be used for tempering instead of oil.
  2. You can add tamarind juice for extra sourness. If using, cook it well else the rawness of the tamarind will remains in the sambar. But don't use tamarind if your tomatoes are too sour.
  3. Adjust the consistency of sambar as per your choice.
  4. You can use big red, white onions or shallots for this recipe.

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Comments

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    • Shwetha raashi profile imageAUTHOR

      Shwetha bhat 

      12 months ago from Bengaluru

      Thanks madam. Please do try. It really goes well with rice and dosa.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      12 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This dish looks delicious. Thank you for this recipe, Shweha.

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