Mini Sambar Idlis

Makes: 4 Serves


To make Idlis:

Idli batter – 2 cups

Sesame oil – 2 teaspoons

To make Sambar:

Sambar powder – 1 teaspoon

Small onions – 15 to 20

Carrot – 1 small (finely chopped)

Brinjal – 1 small (finely chopped)

Tomato – 1 big (roughly chopped)

Curry leaves – 10

Tuar dal – ¼ cup

Moong dal – ¼ cup

Salt – 1 ½ teaspoons

Hing – ¼ teaspoon

Thick tamarind extract – ½ cup (100 ml)

Ghee – 1 teaspoon

Special masala powder – 2 teaspoons

Coriander leaves – 2 teaspoons (finely chopped)


Sesame oil – 2 teaspoons

Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon

Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoon


Idli preparation:

  1. Grease 4 idli plates (one for mini idlis) with sesame oil and pour idli batter onto them.
  2. Steam in idli cooker until whistle (If using pressure cooker allow steaming for 15 minutes in low flame without the weight)

Sambar Preparation:

  1. Cook both dals along with tomato pieces in pressure cooker for 3 to 4 whistles.
  2. Once cooled mash the dal mixture nicely and keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in deep pan and add mustard seeds, allow spluttering.
  4. Add fenugreek seeds and fry until golden brown.
  5. Add curry leaves and small onions and fry till onions turn transparent.
  6. Add finely chopped carrots and brinjal along with sambar powder and salt, mix well.
  7. After a couple of minutes add tamarind extract along with 1 ½ cups of water.
  8. Let this mixture boil until raw smell vanishes.
  9. Add rice flour, hing, special masala powder along with one cup of water to the dal mixture and mix well without lumps.
  10. Add the dal mixture to the boiling sambar and allow boiling for 3 to 5 mins, garnish with coriander leaves. (sambar must be in drinking consistency – add ½ to 1 cup of water if desired)
  11. Arrange one plate of steamed idlis in a bowl and add piping hot sambar, repeat the same for the other 3 bowls - let this sit for 15 minutes.
  12. Add a teaspoon of ghee on top for each bowl and serve hot.