South Indian Sambar with Zucchini

South Indian Sambar with Zucchini

Honestly, I had eaten Zucchini only as a sautéed vegetable until I decided to make sambar with it – so delicious!

If you are a south Indian, this recipe is your regular sambar recipe but uses Zucchini. For others, this recipe is simple. Cook toor dal and keep aside. Sauté mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, dried red chili, curry leaves, Hing, and onion until onion translucent. Then add tomatoes plus Zucchini with salt and cook it up to 70%. Add tamarind extract and sambar powder and cooked dal into the pot along with salt and cook until the dal starts to boil and becomes frothy.

I used homemade sambar powder in this, but MTR sambar powder is good if you don’t have a homemade one.

We love eating this sambar with plain white rice with a dollop of ghee on top and pickles on the side. If you are not a rice person, you could pair it with quinoa, millet, or Idly.

I hope you try this recipe and like it as much as we did!

Check out these sambar recipes here – Radish sambar , Parsnip sambar , Avarekalu huli

Zucchini Sambar

South Indian Sambar made with toor dal, zucchini, spices and herbs.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Sambar, Sambhar Recipe, South Indian Food, Zucchini Indian Recipe, Zucchini Recipes, Zucchini Sambar Recipe
Servings: 4 adults


  • Pressure cooker
  • Cooking pan with lid


For Pressure cooking

  • 1 cup (200g) toor dal washed
  • 2 cups water

For Sambar

  • 2 medium zucchini chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • curry leaves
  • a pinch of Hing
  • 2 dried red chilies broken into halves
  • ¼ tsp minced ginger root optional
  • 1 clove crushed garlic optional
  • ½ medium red onion sliced
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamarind extract
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp sambar powder
  • cilantro finely chopped
  • water as per consistency


  • Add toor dal and water into the pressure cooker, and cook until dal soft and well-cooked. Allow the pressure to release naturally, then mash the dal and keep aside.
    1 cup (200g) toor dal, 2 cups water
    Cooked toor dal
  • Heat oil in a cooking pot on medium heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds, allow them to pop and sizzle.
    3 tbsp cooking oil, ¼ tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp cumin seeds
    Mustard and cumin seeds
  • Add ginger, garlic, dried red chilies, curry leaves and hing.
    curry leaves, a pinch of Hing, 2 dried red chilies
    Curry leaves, red chilies, hing
  • Add onion and sauté on low-medium heat until onion translucent.
    ¼ tsp minced ginger root, 1 clove crushed garlic, ½ medium red onion
    Saute onion, ginger and garlic
  • Add zucchini, tomatoes and salt and sauté for a minute. Cover and cook zucchini on low-medium heat until 70% cooked. (If you feel the zucchini needs water to cook, add about 50 ml)
    2 medium zucchini, 1 medium tomato, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, salt to taste
    Tomatoes and Zucchini
  • On low heat, add the sambar powder and tamarind extract and mix well.
    1 tbsp sambar powder
    Add sambar powder
  • Immediately transfer cooked dal, pour water as per desired consistency and combine well.
    Add cooked dal
  • Cover and cook the sambar on low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts boiling and becomes frothy.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and turn the heat off.
  • Serve delicious Zucchini Sambar with rice, quinoa, millets or Idly. Enjoy!
    Zucchini Sambar

Let me know if you tried this recipe by tagging a picture of your preparation on my Instagram @swaadista and using #swaadistarecipes.

Happy cooking, happy eating!

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