Madras Rathna Cafe Sambar / Vellore Palace Cafe Sambar:

Madras Rathna Cafe Sambar / Vellore Palace Cafe Sambar:

Vellore Palace Cafe Style Sambar/Madras Rathna Cafe Style Sambar:

Idly & Sambar is a popular breakfast food in Tamil Nadu! Though lot of restaurants perefected this recipe…Few really mastered it to the core. They really stand out of the crowd. The legendary places are 1. Madras – Rathna Cafe, Triplicane and 2. Vellore – Palace Cafe, near CMC Hospital. Now don’t expect that these places to be high end restaurants or star hotels, they are just regualr non-A/C ones (pretty much like a bigger version of mess). They make it really unique and mouth watering sambar to go with their idlies. Maybe they are very particular about the coriander seeds, chilies, chana dal…all roasted to perfection and blended, who knows!! The addition of right amount of jaggery brings upt he real good flavour and nice color to the sambar. This is always said, two idlies and a bucket sambhar here, yummm! Even the idlies look very flat and lot coarse than the usual ones! Next time when you visit Madras, sorry Chennai…please try this recipe!:)


Thoor dal 1 cup
Small Onions 1 cup/Red onions sliced
Country Tomatoes 2-3 diced
Garlic 5 cloves crushed
White pumpkin diced 1/2 cup
Drumstick 1 chopped to the same size of pumpkin
Jaggery 2 spoons
Curry leaves few
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Mustard 1/2 spoon
Tamarind paste 1/4 spoon
Coriander leaves finely chopped 1/2 cup
Ghee 1/2 cup

To Be Roasted Each Separately And Powdered Together:

Coriander seeds 2-4 spoons
Chana dal 2-4 spoons
Curry leaves few
Fenugreek seeds 1 spoon
Dry red chilies 3-5
Asafoetida 1 spoon.


In a pressure cooker, heat few spoons of ghee. Add 2-3 cups of water to this. Further add thoor dal to this. Pressure cook till 5-6 whistles or till the dal is soft.

In a separate non-stick cook- ware, heat ghee. Add mustard, asafoetida and curry leaves to this. Let them splutter.

Now add onions and garlic to this and fry for a while. Add tomatoes and fry till they loose their water content and oil shows up on sides.

Add vegetables and fry them for awhile. Add turmeric powder, salt, chili powder, jaggery and 1 spoon of freshly prepared sambar powder to this. Toss them well to all sides.

Now add cooked dal along with water to this. Cover and cook over medium flame.

Once the vegetables are done add tamarind paste, remaining sambar powder and freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Run a few spoons of ghee, before serving.


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