Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe | How to make Sambar HSB Style!

>>  Saturday, August 3, 2013

Before anybody jumps the gun, let me confess that I was out of my mind thinking what Main course can I showcase. So there has to be something very dramatic right. Well a sambar claiming to be the exact as how it is made in Hotel Saravana Bhavan, can and will stir lot of rustle. Yes that's what you are going to read about.

Until couple of days back, I was still not clear what to decide on. So while I was browsing through some shared documents that led me to this site, which seems to be single point of reference to what's famously referred as the HSB Sambar. While it's been a quite sometime since I ate the sambar from this place, I knew my colleague is a great fan of this sambar, would be the apt person to say if this is indeed so or not. 
Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe
Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar
Hold your breath ok, well she said this surely doesn't taste exactly like that. Maybe mine differed with the thickness, as HSB sambar is supposed to be quite thick. Whatever the whole drama that acted out before I made this Sambar, ensured that this sees light and yes this is going to grace today's post as the first of the Main course I decided to blog on.

Welcome to the 31st Edition of BM friends, you are reading the first of the Main Course series. Now if you ask me what Main Course is, for a western menu, one can point out straight and say this is Main course. I even looked up dictionary and only thing that said was, it's the main course of the meal after the entrĂ©e. This is exactly the right formula to throw you out of your wits. I spent many days simply thinking what could possibly be suitable for this series. 

As somebody asked, if it was by sheer coincidence or planned act that all themes ended up starting with M in the BM# 31 Edition. I was boastful to say I had planned it all and one of the pitfall was this Main course. Who in their proper mind want to have such themes, well I did and here I am all confused yet happy that sambar, though tasted delicious, now has to take on the so called name. 

Do try it and cook it for a bit more. I was really in a hurry and this was done in flat 20 mins time, with a waiting time on the vegetables to reach me. I am sure you will enjoy it and as the Bard said, what's in a name!

Pls excuse the mess, I forgot and slipped out, while the sambar slipped out of the bowl!

Saravana Bhavan Hotel Sambar Recipe

Ingredients Needed

To Grind as paste

Roasted gram / Fried Gram / Pottu kadalai - 2 tsp
Tomato - 1 big
Shredded coconut - 1 tbsp
Sambar powder - 2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp

For the Sambar

Toor Dal - 3/4 cup
Brinjal / Kathirikkai  - 3 -4 small
Drumstick  - 1
Sambar Onions / Shallots - 5
Tomatoes - 1
Green chili - 2
Coriander leaves - handful
Salt to taste
Tamarind /Puli - 1 lemon size or paste 2 tablespoon (tbsp.)

For Tempering

Mustard seed, Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Round Dry Chillis - 2 - 3
Curry leaves - 5
Sambar Onions / Shallots - 5

How to make the Sambar

Wash and pressure cook the toor dal to a soft consistency by adding enough water.

Wash and soak the tamarind, extract the pulp, keep it aside.

Chop the vegetables and keep it aside. Slit the green chili into two pieces.

Grind to paste roasted gram, 1 Tomato, coconut, sambar powder, asafoetida to a smooth paste by adding water.

Once the dal is well cooked, add 4 cups of water,  add the cut vegetables, Shallots, chopped tomato, green chili and cook.

Now add ground paste to the cooking dal.

Now add the tamarind (puli) water and cook until the vegetables are cooked. Then remove from heat.

In a pan heat oil, add mustard seed, cumin seed, urad dal stir until the mustard splatter. Now add Shallots, dry chili, curry leaves until curry leaves splatter.

Now pour this over the simmering sambar, add coriander leaves and cook until sambar comes to boil and remove from heat.

Serve with Idlis


The more you cook the more thick the sambar will end up.
This can be made without the vegetables, with just the shallots as well.
The thickness and the difference in this recipe is because of the fried gram

Another first of sorts, I never add green chilies to my Sambar. Green Chilis don't come to mind when I conjure upon a sambar recipe. But then I added, I wonder who got those green chilies now!

Everybody at home loved it, but compliment was my other colleague who loved it, saying she can't stand HSB sambar, this however was very nice indeed. Thank God for good friends!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 31


Sandhya Ramakrishnan August 3, 2013 at 12:35 AM  

Yumm!! Interesting read and yes it is hard to decide what is a main course when it comes to different cuisines. I always wanted to make hotel style sambhar...let me try with your recipe soon :)Have some idli maavu fermented and ready for the weekend..

Sia August 3, 2013 at 12:53 AM  

That one looks fantastic Valli. I am soooo going to try this recipe.

Finla August 3, 2013 at 1:44 AM  

I love food from SB and the sambar looks so good.

Ramya Krishnamurthy August 3, 2013 at 5:49 AM  

fingerlicking sambhar akka and love the step pics

Denny August 3, 2013 at 5:56 AM  

Awesome recipe...I love recipes of famous restaurant dishes, and this one is one of my favorites.Bookmarking to try very soon.

Kalpana Sareesh August 3, 2013 at 11:36 AM  

yummy one..

Padmajha PJ August 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM  

I too was confused when it came to Indian main dishes, wondering if they would fit in.

And this sambar is looks way better than HSB sambar. Going to try this method soon..

Preetha Soumyan August 3, 2013 at 2:47 PM  

Good Recipe.. and i love Sambar,,,,,,,,

Rajani S August 3, 2013 at 4:51 PM  

The first day first show looks good :). I am bookmarking this to try out sometime.

And there is a typo Valli. I think you meant the sambar is thick and not think :D.

Sapana Behl August 3, 2013 at 5:17 PM  

Lovely post ! I just love Saranya Bhavan sambhar , it's superb!! Bookmarking it..

Kalyani August 3, 2013 at 5:23 PM  

saravana bhavan and chennaiites have a special reln right Valli ? the sambhar looks good ! I actually liked the chutneys that they serve and the pongal from HSB is out of this world!

vaishali sabnani August 3, 2013 at 7:23 PM  

I have had sambar at SB but may be 3-4 years back...but what I can recall is that I has enjoyed each and everything...any way a new sambar is welcome..I am loving those spongy Idlis too.

Jayashree August 3, 2013 at 8:03 PM  

Thick or not, that looks wonderful, Valli.

divya August 3, 2013 at 8:48 PM  

looks super yummy :) lovely clicks dear :)

Priya Suresh August 4, 2013 at 1:12 AM  

Love SB's sambar, thats definitely fingerlicking sambar, can have two more idlies with this chutney.

Saraswathi Tharagaram August 4, 2013 at 4:20 AM  

Love Saravana Bavan Sambar,Makes wonderful and comforting combo with idly.

Razina Javed August 4, 2013 at 7:53 AM  

yummy meal,....

The Pumpkin Farm August 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM  

Valli, I will indebted for life thanks to you sharing this husband is a huge fan of this sambhar, although I never had the chance to taste it myelf, I can imagine it must be very delicious

Gayathri Kumar August 5, 2013 at 8:49 AM  

Awesome recipe and nice write up. Enjoyed it a lot. The addition of the spice paste is very interesting...

Harini-Jaya R August 5, 2013 at 10:47 AM  

Wow! Addition of fried gram is interesting. Shall try this variation the next time. I was wondering what version of sambar powder you used for this.

Nivedhanams Sowmya August 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM  

could you also share your recipe of the sambar powder used for this??????


Preeti Garg August 5, 2013 at 10:05 PM  

Look delicious and tasty

Sreevalli E August 6, 2013 at 12:23 AM  

Wow.. I'm gonna try this recipe valli.. My hubby loves this particular sambar.. Thanks for sharing ..

Pavani N August 6, 2013 at 3:30 AM  

I love to try different sambar recipes, the masala sounds yummy. Will definitely try this soon.
Saravana bhavan in New Jersey is super bad. They serve microwaved frozen food, so the food is served as soon as you order it.

Pallavi Purani August 6, 2013 at 6:21 PM  

I absolutely love this style of Sambhar. The recipe is by far the best I have seen. Thanks for sharing.

Kaushalya Bashyam January 26, 2014 at 3:16 PM  

Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!! This variation tasted superb!!! Ive made this couple of times and its become one of my family's favorite sambhar!!!

Saraswathy Mathevan March 8, 2014 at 9:42 PM  

Hi... I tried this and it came out really well..!!!
Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

khot.deepak14 March 16, 2014 at 1:06 AM  

fantastic sambhar, today i made it at night its came superb with rice,i will reheat the sambhar in the morning for eating with idlis.thanks&gud night

Bharat Kesheorey April 23, 2014 at 6:10 AM  

Excellent recepie!! Thanks so much sharing. Tried it out and loved it!

Bharat Kesheorey April 23, 2014 at 6:11 AM  

Excellent recipe!!! Tried it out and loved it. Thanks so much for sharing.

bhuvanya raj June 6, 2014 at 5:04 PM  

SB recipes will be good to taste I love it gonna try this soon

bhuvanya raj June 6, 2014 at 5:05 PM  

Awesome recipe n yummy tooo

azeeskitchen January 14, 2015 at 1:47 AM  

Hi Valli....yes...after a very long time logging in here :-) you are doing a great job! Thanks a bunch for sharing this fabulous recipe...keep rocking:-) !!!

Veena K B August 5, 2015 at 9:47 PM  

I tried it today. This doesn't taste like Saravana Bhavan Sambar.

meenakshi August 21, 2015 at 10:09 AM  

I am not getting shallots where i live. can i use regular onion , does it make any difference to the sambar taste ? can i use MDH brand
sambar powder?

please reply soon as i want to make this for today's dinner.

thanks in anticipation.

Srivalli August 21, 2015 at 10:32 AM  

Veena Sorry to hear that it didn't work out for you, when I did, it was almost the similar. I say almost as this recipe is not from HSB secret recipe

Meenakshi Yes Shallots or sambar onion is a must for that unique taste. I am not sure abt Sambar powder, any good brand should work out. Still if you don't have shallots, try with regular ones for today.

kiran April 26, 2016 at 2:36 PM  

wow it came out very nice, The only thing I missed was tomato's but still came out great, Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe. By the way I have not tasted the Saravana Bhavan sambar. But I can say 100%, the sambar which I prepared today is so unique , I have not tasted in my life..........

Unknown July 21, 2016 at 7:26 PM  

Tried the Sambhar kept out really well, thanks for sharing this recipe. folks at home loved it. ...

Sasha de'Sunshyne July 26, 2016 at 5:40 AM  

Hello there, thanks for the nice recipe.

For the tamarind measurement, I thought it was the size of (Yellow) lemon. Then, I realized what you meant was the green LIME. Haha.

Srivalli July 26, 2016 at 10:09 AM  

Sasha de Sunshyne I guess we have that lemon lime interchanged so often! Glad you got it right.

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