Hotel Style Idli Sambar - Idli Sambar Diaries!

Most morning breakfasts are incomplete without the humble yet wholesome idli sambar meal. This south Indian preparation is not only savored in its region of origin but also enjoyed in various other states all over India. The goodness of vegetables & daal of sambar perfectly compliments the piping hot steamed rice puffed idlis to make a meal that is irresistibly good. Craving a hot plate of idli already? Why wait to order from a hotel, when you can make it at home? We have put together a step-by-step hotel style idli sambar recipe for you to try your hands at. You will be amazed at how this simple idli sambar recipe will soon become a daily preparation ritual in your households.

Hotel Idli Sambar Info:

Prep Time

10 Mins

Cook Time

30 Mins

Total Time

40 Mins




Main course

Hotel Style Idli Sambar Ingredients (1 serving):

For Sambar Powder:

  • 1/4 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1/4 Tablespoon Chana Dal
  • 1/4 Tablespoon Urad Dal
  • 1/4 Tablespoon Cumin/Jeera
  • 2-3 Curry Leaves
  • 2-3 Dried Red Chilli
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1/10 Tablespoon Hing/Asafoetida

For Sambar:

  • 1 Shallot [halves]
  • 1/2 chill [slit]
  • 1/4 Tomato [chopped]
  • 1/5 Carrot [chopped]
  • 1/4 Potato [cubed]
  • 1.25 Beans [chopped]
  • 1.25 Pieces Drumstick
  • 1/5 Brinjal [cubed]
  • 1/10 Tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1/6 Tablespoon Jaggery
  • 1/4 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/5 Cup Tamarind Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Toor Dal [boiled]
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Coriander [finely chopped]
  • 1.5- 2 Tablespoons of Sambar Powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sunflower Oil
  • 1/4 Tablespoon Mustard
  • 1/10 Tablespoon Fenugreek

Step-by-Step Instructions:

To prepare Sambar Powder:

Any south Indian household is incomplete without sambar. A variety of their lunch and snack items are savored along with sambar. The first step to preparing this lentil-based stew is to get all the spices integrated into a sambar powder. There are a number of readymade sambar powder masalas available in the market, but Indian households prefer to make their own sambar powder at home.

  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add chana dal, urad dal and red chilies to it. Allow the dal and chilies to roast on a low flame till they turn golden brown in color.
  • Add the coriander seeds to the pan and let it roast until it turns crunchy.
  • Now add the curry leaves and let them fry until they become crisp.
  • Add cumin seeds and wait until it starts to leave its aroma.
  • Lastly, add the hing powder to the pan. Hing is added to increase the shelf-life of the sambar powder.
  • Transfer the roasted ingredients onto a plate and let it cool down completely.
  • Once cooled, add the mix into a grinder until it turns into a fine powder consistency.
  • The sambar powder is ready and can be stored in tight lid containers for as long as 3 months.

To prepare Sambar:

A good sambar is one that has a balanced flavor. The flavor coming through should be spicy, tangy, and sweet all at once to accentuate the taste of the bland idli accompanying it to make your perfect Hotel Style idli sambar recipe. To make the sambar from the homemade sambar powder, you need to:

  • Add 1/4th tablespoon of sunflower oil in a pan and heat it a bit before spluttering a bit of the homemade sambar powder.
  • Add the shallots in the pan and sauté it till it turns translucent.
  • Throw in the chilies and let it rest till the flavor of it is released into the pan.
  • At this stage, add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a while till the water is released.
  • Now add in the rest of the chopped veggies and let them cook well for 3-5 minutes.
  • It is time to add turmeric, salt, jaggery, and water to the pan. Mix all the ingredients well, cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer for 10 minutes on medium flame.
  • Uncover the lid and add tamarind extract while giving it a stir. Put on the lid again and let it all aimer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the boiled toor dal with 1/4 cups of water to continue the cooking process.
  • It is now time to add the homemade sambar powder and allow the ingredients to boil for a bit.
  • Once the flavors start leaving the pan, add some curry leaves and cook for 2 minutes before turning off the flame.

It’s time to enjoy steaming hot idlis with a bowl full of the finely spiced sambar made with your own homemade special sambar mix powder. Just dip the soft white idlis in the flavourful idli sambar and enjoy delectable hotel style idlis at home.