• Preeth C.Vijay

Pachamilagai Sambar/Vella Sambar

Pachamilagai Sambar or Vella sambar is a traditional dish from Tanjore area. The highlight of this sambar is there is no chilli powder or sambar powder used. The green chillies fried with shallots gives all the heat needed for the recipe.

I have used raw mango and drumstick for the sambar. You can also use potato, brinjal or ladies finger. The consistency of the sambar comes mainly from the ground paste and dal. So adjust it according to your taste. The main spice used in this sambar is green chilly. Increase or decrease the amount of green chilly as per your spice level.


Toor dal 1/2 cup (100 grams)

Shallots 12 to 15

Green Chillies 7

Raw Mango 1

Drumstick 1 cut into 2 inch length

Tomato 1

Tamarind - small gooseberry size

Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon

Salt as needed

Coriander leaves 1 tablespoon chopped

To Grind

Coconut 3 tablespoon

Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon

Garlic 2 cloves

To Temper

Mustard 1 teaspoon

Cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon

Fenugreek 1/2 teaspoon

Asafoetida 1 teaspoon

Curry leaves 2 sprig

Oil 2 tablespoons

How to Start?

Cut Mango and Drumstick. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes. Grind the coconut, garlic cloves and cumin seeds into a smooth paste. Pressure cook the dal for 5 to 6 whistles. Allow the pressure to settle down.

Extract the tamarind juice with 2 cups of water and keep it ready. In a kadai add a teaspoon of oil, fry shallots and green chillies. Now add tamarind extract, drumstick and tomatoes. Add turmeric powder and salt. Cover it with a lid for 5 minutes.

Once the drumstick is half cooked add the cooked dal, ground paste and Raw mango. Allow it to cook for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile in another kadai, add oil. Once the oil gets hot add mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Now add cumin seeds and fenugreek. Finally add asafoetida and curry leaves. Add this tempering to the sambar.

Add coriander leaves at the end and give it a mix.

Note: I added raw mango at the end because it cooks faster than drumstick.

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