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Tamil Nadu Style Bottle Gourd Sambar Recipe

Shwetha Bhat is passionate about food and cooking. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and share her recipes.

About Bottle gourd sambar

This is traditional Tamil Nadu style sambar which is very healthy, with the combination of lentils and bottle gourd. You can replace bottle gourd with other vegetables like brinjal, pumpkin, drumstick, beans, peas or can use mixture of these vegetables. So, the variations are countless. It's very simple, tasty and healthy dish which is quick to make. Mild recipe. So kids friendly and easy on tummy too. Heavenly sambar with easily available ingredients. Coconut paste used gives aromatic flavor to this recipe. Perfect combination with rice, but also goes well with dosa, chapati, idly.

Tamil Nadu style Bottle gourd sambar.

Tamil Nadu style Bottle gourd sambar.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

20 min

35 min

Serves 3 people 1 medium sized bottle gourd

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup moong dal, can replace with toor dal also
  • 1 bottle gourd, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh coconut, grated
  • 8-10 shallots or sambar onions, skin removed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, to grind and to temper
  • 2-3 teaspoons sambar powder, home made or store brought
  • salt according to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal or split black gram
  • 1-2 red chilies, broken
  • a spring of curry leaves
  • 1 cup water, or as required
  • 1-2 teaspoon oil or ghee

How to make Tamil Nadu style bottle gourd sambar

  1. Rinse 1/2 cup of moong dal in water for a couple of times. Take it in a pressure cooker, add water, close the lid and take 2-3 whistles or till it becomes soft.
  2. Wash and peel bottle gourd, cut them into equal sized cubes. Keep aside.
  3. Let the pressure release by itself, transfer the cooked lentil to a vessel, smash using ladle, add cubed bottle gourd and cook. (Add water if required).
  4. Cook in low to medium flame till bottle gourd turns soft.
  5. In the meantime, grate 1/2 cup of fresh coconut (or you can use store brought).
  6. Take grated coconut in mixer jar, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 7-8 sambar onions or shallots, add little water and grind coarsely.
  7. Then add 2-3 spoons sambar powder, grind them to smooth paste. Add water if required.
  8. Add this ground paste to cooked bottle gourd, add salt, stir well and let it boil for 3-4 minutes in medium flame. Switch off the flame.
  9. In another pan, heat oil or ghee, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, let it splutter.
  10. Add broken red chilies, urad dal, heat till urad dal turns golden brown.
  11. Add fresh curry leaves. Switch off the flame. Add this tempering to bottle gourd sambar, mix well and serve hot with rice, chapati, idli or dosa as side dish.

Pictorial

Rinse well 1/2 cup of moong dal in water for 2-3 times or till water clears.

Rinse well 1/2 cup of moong dal in water for 2-3 times or till water clears.

Take washed moong dal in pressure cooker. Add 3/4 cup of water. Close the lid and take 2-3 whistles on medium to high flame.

Take washed moong dal in pressure cooker. Add 3/4 cup of water. Close the lid and take 2-3 whistles on medium to high flame.

Wash and peel off the skin of bottle gourd.

Wash and peel off the skin of bottle gourd.

Cut the bottle gourd into equal sized cubes. Keep aside.

Cut the bottle gourd into equal sized cubes. Keep aside.

Let the pressure release by itself. Once the pressure settles down  open the lid of pressure cooker and check if lentil is cooked properly. With the help of spoon or ladle mash the dal properly.

Let the pressure release by itself. Once the pressure settles down open the lid of pressure cooker and check if lentil is cooked properly. With the help of spoon or ladle mash the dal properly.

Transfer cooked dal and cubed bottle gourd to vessel, pan or pot.

Transfer cooked dal and cubed bottle gourd to vessel, pan or pot.

Mix properly, add water if required. Cook in medium to low flame till bottle gourd turns soft. Stir at intervals.

Mix properly, add water if required. Cook in medium to low flame till bottle gourd turns soft. Stir at intervals.

Grate 3/4 cup of fresh coconut (or you can use store brought).

Grate 3/4 cup of fresh coconut (or you can use store brought).

In a small mixer jar take fresh grated coconut. To this add 8-10 shallots or sambar onions and 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.

In a small mixer jar take fresh grated coconut. To this add 8-10 shallots or sambar onions and 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.

Add 1/4 cup of water or as required and grind to paste.

Add 1/4 cup of water or as required and grind to paste.

To this paste add 2-3 spoons of sambar powder (home made or store brought).

To this paste add 2-3 spoons of sambar powder (home made or store brought).

Grind to smooth paste.

Grind to smooth paste.

Add this ground coconut paste to cooked bottle gourd-dal mixture. Add salt, mix properly and boil in low flame for 2-3 minutes. Add water if required.

Add this ground coconut paste to cooked bottle gourd-dal mixture. Add salt, mix properly and boil in low flame for 2-3 minutes. Add water if required.

In a pan heat oil or ghee, add mustard and cumin seeds, let them splutter.

In a pan heat oil or ghee, add mustard and cumin seeds, let them splutter.

Add broken red chilies and urad dal, wait till urad dal turns golden color. Add fresh curry leaves and fry till crisp.

Add broken red chilies and urad dal, wait till urad dal turns golden color. Add fresh curry leaves and fry till crisp.

Add this seasoning to sambar.

Add this seasoning to sambar.

Mix and serve hot with rice, idly, dosa or chapati.

Mix and serve hot with rice, idly, dosa or chapati.

More about the recipe

  1. Here I used moong dal which can be replaced with toor dal (pigeon pea). Both tastes very good.
  2. Same sambar can be done with mixed vegetables like beans, snake gourd, potato, cabbage, carrot, pumpkin,drumstick, green peas etc.
  3. Adding drumstick will give different flavor to this recipe.
  4. You can use big onions instead of shallots. But shallots tastes good.
  5. You can adjust the water according to consistency required. If you want thick sambar, then add less water.
  6. Using gingely oil will enhances the flavor of this recipe.
  7. Use fresh coconut to make the sambar more flavorful.
  8. Don't use tamarind for this recipe.