Milagai Killi Pota Sambar

Milagai Killi Potta Sambar is a very easy and delicious sambar that you can make when you run out of sambar powder.

Milagai Killi Potta Sambar

This is a recipe that I learnt from my Grandmother. Whenever I prepare this Sambar, I am taken back to my childhood days. This recipe uses red chillies or green chillies and the ingredients are also minimal yet the end resulting sambar is yummy. You can either make it by cooking the tur dal first and adding to the tempered and sautéed onion tomato or make it as a one pot dish too in a small pressure cooker. I follow the pressure cooker method as it gets done in a jiffy. Milagai killi potta sambar, hot steamed rice, and appalam/homemade vathal, or a potato fry; you can relish your lunch in less than 30 minutes. Now, let’s move on to the recipe.


Tur dal – 100 gms or ½ cup
Onion – 1 big
Tomato – 1 big
Green or red chillies – 6 to 7 or as needed
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Tamarind – a big gooseberry sized ball
Water – as needed
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)
To temper
Oil – 3 tsps
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Methi or fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Hing or asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – one sprig


Prep time – 5-7 mins
Cook time – 20 mins
Total time – 25 mins
Serves 4

  1. Wash the tur dal well in water until clear. Soak in 2 cups of water until you finish the chopping work.
  2. Soak the tamarind in ½ cup of water. Slice the onion, chop the tomato and slit or tear the green chillies into two or three pieces (optional). You can add whole chillies too.
  3. In a small pressure cooker, heat oil and add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the methi seeds and sauté for 10 secs.
  4. Add the sliced onion, slit or whole green chillies and curry leaves. Saute until the onions turn translucent.
  5. Add the chopped tomato and sauté till the tomatoes turn slightly mushy.
  6. Add turmeric powder, salt to taste, soaked tur dal along with 2 ½ to 3 cups of water.
  7. Pressure cook until done. I lowered the flame after one whistle and pressure cooked for 8 mins.
  8. Once the pressure releases, add the tamarind juice and let it come to a rolling boil. At this stage, check for salt and add more, if required.
  9. Heat oil in a tadka pan, add mustard seeds to it and let it splutter. Add hing, red chillies and curry leaves. When the curry leaves start to turn crisp, immediately pour it over the dal and stir.

Serve this easy and delicious Milagai Killi Potta Sambar with hot steamed rice, potato fry or yam fry or appalam. This sambar also goes well with idli, dosa or pongal.


  1. Alternatively, you can first cook tur dal by adding 2 cups of water and turmeric powder. Once done, mash it well, add one more cup of water and mix well. Heat oil in pan, add the tempering ingredients, onions, green chillies, and curry leaves. Saute till translucent. Add the tomato and sauté till mushy. Now add the mashed dal, tamarind juice and salt to taste. Let it come to a rolling boil. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
  2. You can also add 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic to the tempering.
  3. If using red chillies, add it along with the tempering ingredients.
  4. You can prepare this sambar slightly runny or thick. Adjust the water added to get the desired sambar consistency.

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2 comments for “Milagai Killi Pota Sambar

  1. Sep 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

    sir thanks for sharing this information.

  2. Dec 12, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Wow very nice cooking article.

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