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Sambar Powder | Homemade Sambar Masala

Unlock the Secret to Perfect South Indian Flavors with this easy homemade Sambar Powder! Lightly roasted whole spices are ground to make an aromatic spice mix to achieve an authentic South Indian taste.

homemade sambar powder in a black jar
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What is Sambar Powder

Sambar Powder is a quintessential spice blend used in South Indian cuisine, particularly in the preparation of Sambar, a flavorful lentil stew. This aromatic powder is made by roasting and grinding a combination of whole spices to create a balanced and distinct flavor profile. The key to an exceptional Sambar Powder lies in the quality and proportion of spices used.

Indira Aunty’s Recipe

When I was working on The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook, I got the opportunity to learn many authentic Tamil Recipes from my friend’s mother-in-law. In addition to how to make the best Sambar, Rassam, and Pongal, I also learned how to make fresh spice blends like Sambar Powder and Rassam Powder at home. If you love South Indian food you have to try the Ven Pongal, Vegetable Kurma, Bisi Bele Bhath, and Curd Rice recipes I have shared.

sambar powder in a spoon next to a jar and whole spices

Ingredients For Sambar Powder

Here are the ingredients used to make sambar powder. Use good quality and fresh spices for the best taste and aroma.

  • Coriander Seeds – for that light and bright citrusy flavor and aroma
  • Lentils – toor dal, chana dal, and urad dal are what I use in this recipe. You can substitute one for the other in case you are allergic to one of them
  • Cumin Seeds – savory and nutty, cumin seeds add earthy warm flavors
  • Fenugreek Seeds – just a little bit of fenugreek seeds go a long way. Make sure not to overroast them as they will get bitter
  • Black Peppercorn – a robust spice for that perfect heat and fresh aroma
  • Whole dried Kashmiri Chiles  – Kashmiri chilies are mild with low heat. They add a beautiful orange hue to the curry powder and the sambar without adding a lot of heat. If you like spicy sambar powder you can also use a hotter variety of dry red chiles. Just make sure to reduce the quantity so the dish is not overly spicy.
ingredients to make sambar powder

How to Make Authentic Sambar Powder

  • Add all the spices to a pan. Dry roast for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly. Spices will start to release the aromas and should be hot to the touch.
  • Take the spices out in a bowl and allow them to cool.
  • Grind in a spice jar to make a fine powder.
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
photos one through four showing how to roast and grind spices for sambar masala

How to use the Sambar Powder in your cooking

  1. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of powder to your sambar during cooking. You can add more or less depending on the desired level of spiciness.
  2. Stir well to ensure the powder is evenly distributed.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  4. Continue cooking the sambar as per your recipe.


Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. When stored properly, it can last for up to six months.

sambar powder in a black cup with a gold spoon

More Indian Spice Mixes

Indian cooking uses many different spice blends that are available in Indian grocery stores. If they are on the shelf for a long time, it affects their flavor, aroma, and potency. They can get expensive especially if you do not end up using the entire package before the expiry date. If you love Indian food, you may already have the whole spices in your pantry. Here are spice blends for popular dishes like Pav Bhaji, Chana Masala, and Vindaloo that are easy to make at home:


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sambar masala in a black bowl

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Sambar Powder

Authentic Homemade Sambar Powder Recipe To Unlock the Secret to Perfect South Indian Flavors – Makes ¾ cup.

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time5 minutes

Cooling Time10 minutes

Total Time20 minutes

Course: Cooking101, Spice Blend

Cuisine: Indian

Servings: 12

Calories: 31kcal



  • Add all the spices to a pan and dry roast for 2-3 minutes or until the spices start to release the aromas and are hot to the touch.

  • Take the spices out in a bowl and allow them to cool.

  • Grind in a spice jar to make a fine powder. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Makes ¾ cup.


Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Author: Archana

Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live in New Jersey with my husband and two sons.

Source: Ministry of Curry


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