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Zucchini Sambar

South Indian Sambar made with toor dal, zucchini, spices and herbs.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 adults


  • Pressure cooker
  • Cooking pan with lid


For Pressure cooking

  • 120 gm toor dal washed
  • 250 ml water

For Sambar

  • 2 medium zucchini chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • curry leaves
  • Hing a pinch
  • 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
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • water as needed for 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 until used.
    120 gm toor dal, 250 ml 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 sunflower oil, ¼ tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp cumin seeds
    Mustard and cumin seeds
  • Add
    curry leaves, Hing, 2 dried red chilies
    Curry leaves, red chilies, hing
  • Add 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 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
  • Add and combine.
    1 tbsp tamarind extract
    zucchini and tamarind extract
  • On low heat, add the sambar powder 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.
    2 tbsp cilantro
  • Serve delicious Zucchini Sambar with rice, quinoa, millets or Idly. Enjoy!
    Zucchini Sambar


  • Add salt, tamarind extract and sambar powder according to your taste and preference.
  • With zucchini, you can include other veggies like carrot, potato, beans, etc.
Keyword Sambar, Sambhar Recipe, South Indian Food, Zucchini Indian Recipe, Zucchini Recipes, Zucchini Sambar Recipe