Carrot Sambar

Carrot Sambar is an easy to make sambar that goes well with both rice and idli or dosa. Carrot Sambar tastes delicious with the blend of sweetness from carrots, tanginess from tamarind and tomato and spiciness from sambar powder. It goes well with rice as well as any South Indian tiffin dishes.


Carrot Sambar


Carrot being the favorite veggie of our family, Carrot Sambar is one recipe that is frequently made at my mom-in-law’s place. They love carrots so much that it finds its appearance in almost all the dishes made at my mom-in-law’s place – sambar, poriyal, kootu, paratha, sandwich and the list goes on. Amongst all sambar varieties that I make, my daughter and husband’s favorite is also Carrot Sambar.

My mom and mom-in-law’s method of making sambar is to boil dal and veggies + sambar powder separately. Once done, they add tamarind extract, cook it until it comes to a boil and give the tempering. I mostly follow a one pot one dish method to make Sambar as I find it easier and can be whipped quickly. I follow their method while making Ladies Finger, Drumstick or Mixed Veggies Sambar.


Tur dal or Thuvaram paruppu – ½ cup or 100 gms
Carrot – 1 big or 2 medium sized
Onion – 1 medium sized
Tomato – 1 medium sized
Sambar powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Hing – 2 or 3 big pinches
Salt to taste
Tamarind – little less than a small lemon sized ball
Water as needed

To temper
Oil – 1 ½ tsps
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds or methi seeds or vendhiyam – ½ tsp
Hing – a big pinch (Optional)
Curry leaves – one sprig
Coriander leaves as needed


Preparation time – 10 mins
Cooking time – 20 mins
Total time – 30 mins
Serves 4

  1. Wash, peel and cut carrots into thin roundels. Roughly chop onion and tomato and finely chop coriander leaves. Soak tamarind in ½ cup of water for 5 mins. Extract juice and discard pulp.
  2. Wash the tur dal, add carrot roundels, sliced onion and tomato along with turmeric powder, hing and around 1 ½ cups of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  3. Once pressure releases and the dal and veggies are cooked, heat oil in a pan.
  4. Add mustard seeds, let it splutter. Add fenugreek seeds, hing (if using) and curry leaves. Saute for 30 secs.
  5. Add tamarind juice and sambar powder and let it cook until the raw smell of tamarind goes off. Take off from the flame.
  6. Add this to the cooked dal and carrot. Add salt to taste and water to get the desired sambar consistency. Cook this for 4-5 mins until everything blends and comes to a rolling boil. Switch off the flame and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Serve this delicious carrot sambar with rice and any vegetable of your choice. It goes well with idlis and dosas too. We enjoyed our lunch with rice, carrot sambar and kovakkai stir fry.

Carrot Sambar


  1. I pressure cooked the dal and veggies for up to three whistles. Adjust the timings as per your cooker make. You can also cook in an open pan.
  2. Instead of sambar powder, you can use chilli powder and coriander powder mixed in equal quantity. Adjust the spice level depending on your family’s preference.
  3. As I like the aroma of hing, I have added it again while tempering. You can omit it if you do not like the strong flavor of hing.