Radish Sambar | Moolangi Sambar

Radish Sambar | Moolangi Sambar

Ever thought you could use salad radish in a south Indian sambar?

Being a south Indian, I was used to eating radish sambar frequently at my parent’s home back in Bangalore. But when I tried making the same with the salad radishes available here in the US, I was pleasantly surprised! It tasted exactly like the sambar my mother used to make using white radishes, except that this was slightly sweeter – which my husband and I enjoyed! So ever since then, I have been regularly using these for making sambar.

This recipe is straightforward. Unlike the white radishes, you could use these salad radishes directly without peeling their skin. And I like including potatoes too as it adds to the taste. But you could give it a pass and use only radish.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3-4 adult servings


For pressure cooking:
1 cup of Toor dal, washed
2 cups of water
5-6 red salad radishes, sliced into medium-sized rounds
1 small potato, skin-peeled and diced

For tempering:
3 tablespoons of cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2-3 dried red chilies, broken into half
8-10 curry leaves
A pinch of hing
1 small onion, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons of Kashmiri red chili powder
1 tbsp tamarind pulp(optional)
Salt to taste
Cilantro, chopped


Add toor dal and water into a pressure cooker. Add chopped radishes, potatoes, water, and salt into a separate (smaller) bowl in the cooker and pressure cook until the dal and veggies are well-cooked. (The intent of keeping dal and veggies separate is to be able to easily mash the cooked dal later on). Allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove and keep the cooked veggies separately along with water, then mash the dal and keep aside.

Heat oil in a separate cooking pot. Add mustard seeds, and cumin seeds and allow them to pop and sizzle. Add minced ginger & garlic and sauté on low heat for 20 seconds until aromatic. Add dried red chilies, curry leaves, Hing, and onion, and sauté until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, sprinkle some salt over them, cover and cook on low heat until tomatoes are soft and mushy.
Add turmeric powder and red chili powder, and sauté for 30 seconds then add tamarind extract.

Transfer the cooked vegetables along with water into the cooking pot, followed by the mashed dal, and gently combine. Add more water if you need to adjust consistency. Continue cooking and allow the sambar to come to a boil and become frothy. Taste for salt and adjust. Lastly, garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve delicious radish sambar with white rice and ghee or pickle. Enjoy!


  • Add salt and spices according to your taste and preference.
  • Do not overcook vegetables – they should be just well-cooked, not mushy.

Rating: 0 out of 5.

If you tried this recipe, tag your food recreation on my Instagram @swaadista and let me know how you liked it!

Happy cooking and happy eating <3

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