Sambar podi masala – medium (Serves 4-6)

A southern Indian dish combining lentils and vegetables (of your choice) in a fiery hot, spiced tomatoey sauce. Our family version has cut down on the heat, exchanging it for a pleasant tingle to concentrate on the wonderful, authentic ‘sambar podi’ (sambar powder) blend of spices. Based on a recipe given to me by my Northern Indian cousin, the ‘powder’ is a pungent, fragrant blend perfect for this recipe or for use in stir frys and vegetable dishes. Sambar Podi can be likened to Garam Masala; each region and each family in India has their own version. Hope you enjoy ours!

What you need


Lentils,                      120g/4oz, red lentils are great, washed in cold water

Sunflower oil                           30g/1oz

1 packet of GREEN SAFFRON Sambar Podi Masala Spice Mix

Carrots                     2 medium scrubbed and diced

Onions                                        250g/½lb


Vegetable stock    250ml/½ pint

Tomatoes                                  1 tin (400g)

Potatoes                                    200g/7oz scrubbed and diced (same size as the carrots)

Peas                                             100g/3½oz frozen, (green beans, spinach, chard or cauliflower are perfect, just chop them into shreds or florets respectively)

Tamarind paste     level tsp (OR juice of ½ lime)

Fresh coriander,   good handful, roughly chopped

How to make it

This is really quick and simple…

  1. Take a heavy-bottomed pan or casserole, add the oil, place onto a medium flame and heat for a moment
  2. Add the onions and sweat down until soft
  3. Add the lentils, stir thoroughly then, turn the heat to high, immediately pour in the vegetable stock, tomatoes and your packet of GREEN SAFFRON Sambar Podi Masala Spice Mix
  4. Stir the contents of the pan, bring to the boil then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, lid on.
  5. Then, add the carrots, potatoes, replace the lid and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are soft
  6. Add the peas, tamarind paste, stir to combine all ingredients and serve immediately….simple!

Serving suggestions:

Serve with mounds of Green Saffron’s fluffy Aged Basmati rice or Naan OR serve a side dish to accompany another of your favourite Green Saffron dishes…

Why not try

This recipe has been tried and tested by the Green Saffron Masaalchi and is pretty much guaranteed, but if you want to change the quantities of a couple of ingredients, or add others, go for it….experiment and enjoy your cooking. With Green Saffron spices you can’t go wrong!!!