Tiffin Sambar with Moong dal – South Indian side dish

Tiffin SambarTiffin sambar is made in many ways. The receipe below is a simple sambar made with Moong dal.  At our house, we usually have meals in the morning and tiffin is in the afternoon.  Moong dal cooks faster and saves time in cooking.

This sambar is slightly more watery and bland than the toor dal variant and is best suited for Idly and Pongal.

Do let me know your feedback on this recipe.

Tiffin Sambar with Moong dal

Recipe Cuisine:  Indian | Recipe Category:  Side dish
Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 min | Serves: 4


Moong dal – 4 Table spoon

Small onion – 10 nos

Tomato – 3 Nos

Potato (peeled)  – 1 Nos

Turmeric powder – 1 generous pinch

Sambar powder – 1 Tablespoon

Coriander stem  – 1 Tablespoon

Asafoetida – A generous pinch/sprinkle

Salt – As per taste


To temper:

Oil –  1 Tablespoon

Mustard – ½ tsp

Dry chili – 2 nos

Curry leaves – A spring


  1. Peel small onion and slit them vertically. Cut coriander stem into tiny pieces using scissor or knife. Grind tomatoes in a mixer and keep aside.
  2. Pressure cook the moong dal and potato, coriander stem with turmeric powder. Once pressure releases, mash well.
  3. In a kadai, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil and temper mustard, curry leaves, dry chillies. Keep aside.
  4. In the same kadai, add remaining oil and fry small onion till onion gets cooked.
  5. Once onion changes color, add the ground tomato paste, sambar powder, salt. Cook till raw smell disappears.
  6. Add mashed dal and cook till all ingredients blend well. Add water to get desired consistency.
  7. Add asefoetida and add the tempered items.



  1. Coriander stem is an often ignored ingredient in our cooking. Stems provide good aroma. Cut coriander stem adds to the aroma of the sambar. Stem cooks fast, but cooking it with dal helps it to blend well. For any sambar or kootu, add the stem. It will give unique flavor.
  2. Cooking the dal into mashing consistency is the key to the texture of the sambar.
  3. Adding salt to onion, helps it cook faster.
  4. There is no tamarind in this recipe, instead tomato is added.
  5. Adding potato will give good base and texture to the sambar. So do not skip potato.
  6. Asefoetida is a story by itself. If you are adding powder, add it at the end. If you are using the cake variety, add along with Onion.

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