This is something my mother made and we all love this so much, we’ve never made Sambar for Idli/ Dosa/ Medu Vada after this. This is one of her creations and thankfully my brother knows all her recipes. Thank you Aai & Dada for experimenting with food and passing on the expertise.

1/2 Cup Toor Dal
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
3 Cloves (Lavang)
6 Peppercorns (Kali Mirch)
1 inch Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini)
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Green Chilli Paste
2 Medium sized Onions
2 Medium sized Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 Tbsp Garam Masala Powder
2-3 CupsWater
Coriander Leaves
Salt to taste


  • Wash & soak Toor Dal in enough water for 10 minutes.
  • Pressure cook with enough water and salt. 1 whistle on high flame. 2 whistles on low-medium flame. Set aside for the steam to escape.
  • In the meantime, heat some oil in a deep pan.
  • Splutter Cumin seeds.
  • Add Cloves, Peppercorns & Cinnamon Stick and stir for a few seconds.
  • Add freshly ground Ginger – Garlic – Green Chilli paste and stir for around 30 seconds .
  • Add finely chopped Onion and sauté until light brown and translucent.
  • Add finely chopped Tomatoes.
  • Add salt, mix well and cook until the Tomatoes seem mushy.
  • Add the spice powders – Turmeric, Red Chilli & Garam Masala Powder. Increase or reduce the quantity as per taste. Mix everything well. Stir & cook for a minute. Reduce or switch off flame and keep the masala aside while we check on the dal.
  • Once the steam from the pressure cooker seems to have escaped, safely release the whistle and the lid.
  • The dal should be completely cooked. If not, you can give a couple more whistles after adding water if necessary.
  • With the help of a wooden hand blender or any other blender, smoothen the dal.
  • Pour this dal over the spiced masala, switch the flame back on and combine everything.
  • Add water depending on the consistency you prefer. Check salt. Add if necessary.
  • Also add finely chopped Coriander Leaves.
  • For Medu Vada and Idlis I prefer a medium consistency. I break down the Idlis and Vadas into small bite sized portions and dip them in a big bowl filled with this stew! One happy bowl with a side of thick coconut chutney is a breakfast you’ll enjoy with this spiced stew!
Onions sautéed to light brown & translucent
Mushy Spiced Onion – Tomato masala
Spiced Stew with Rava Idli
Garnished with Coriander
Hot Stew
Stew served with Dosa & Paneer Chilly
Stew served with Sautéed Veggies & Dosa
Stew served with Cheesy Uttapam
Idlis dunked in Spiced Stew
Big bowls of Stew!


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