Tamil Nadu Style Vengaya Sambar Recipe - Pearl Onion Sambar

Tamil Nadu Style Vengaya Sambar is a comforting onion sambar recipe which is a delicious combination of toor dal, Pearl onions and a traditional sambar masala. Serve the Vengaya Sambar along with Steamed Rice and Thoran for a south indian lunch or dinner.

Archana's Kitchen
Tamil Nadu Style Vengaya Sambar Recipe - Pearl Onion Sambar
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Tamil Nadu Style Vengaya Sambar Recipe also known as the Pearl Onion Sambar Recipe is a simple and yet delicious sambar recipe that is made authentic with a homemade sambar powder.

This Onion Sambar is famous among most of the South Indian houses and restaurants. Especially in restaurants like Saravana Bhavana and Adyar Ananda Bhavan where they serve steamed idlis dunk in these piping hot flavorful sambar.

The sambar is a key dish to most of the South Indian people at their house. This is what binds a perfectly made soft idlis and crispy dosa. The Sambar dal contains just the right amount of sambar powder which is a perfect balance of flavor.

Serve the Tamil Nadu Style Vengaya Sambar Recipe/ Onion sambar along withHomemade Soft Idli, Ghee Roast Dosa and Coconut Chutney for a weekend breakfast.

You can also serve the Onion Sambar with Steamed Rice and Beetroot Thoran for a weekday lunch.

If you are looking for more Sambar recipes, here are some recipes for your Vegetarian dinner recipes such as

  1. Thakkali Vengayam Sambar Recipe (Tomato Onion Sambar)
  2. Kerala Style Varutharachu Sambar (Lentils Cooked in Tamarind, Spices and Roasted Coconut)
  3. Manjal Poosanikai Sambar (Pumpkin) Sambar Recipe


Cuisine: Tamil Nadu
Course: South Indian Breakfast
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep in

10 M

Cooks in

30 M

Total in

40 M


4 Servings


  • 1 cup Arhar dal (Split Toor Dal)
  • 1 cup Pearl onions (Sambar Onions)
  • 1 Tomatoes , chopped
  • 1 cup Tamarind Water
  • 2 tablespoons Sambar Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
  • Salt , to taste
  • For tempering
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu)
  • 1 teaspoon Methi Seeds (Fenugreek Seeds)
  • 2 Dry Red Chilli
  • Asafoetida (hing) , a pinch
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves , roughly torn

How to make Tamil Nadu Style Vengaya Sambar Recipe - Pearl Onion Sambar

  1. To begin making the Tamil Nadu Style Vengaya Sambar / Onion Sambar Recipe, pressure cook the dal with turmeric powder, salt and 2 cups water for about 5 whistles until the dal is done. Once done, mash the toor dal and keep aside.

  2. Into a pressure cooker, add a teaspoon of oil and add the pearl onions to it. Roast the pearl onions for about 4 to 5 minutes until you get a roasted aroma. Once the onions are roasted, add the tomatoes and the homemade sambar powder, salt , turmeric powder the the tamarind water.

  3. Cover the pressure cooker and allow the Vengaya Sambar Masala to pressure cook for 2 whistles and turn off the heat. Allow the pressure to release naturally.

  4. Open the cooker, add the mashed toor dal and combine the Onion Sambar well. Check the salt and adjust accordingly.

  5. To season, heat a small tadka pan with oil add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilli and pinch of hing and let it crackle. Add the curry leaves and turn off the heat.

  6. Pour the tempering over the onion sambar and give the sambar a brisk boil. Once done, stir in the chopped coriander leaves and transfer the Onion Sambar to a serving bowl.

  7. Serve the Tamil Nadu Style Vengaya Sambar Recipe along withHomemade Soft IdliGhee Roast Dosa and Coconut Chutney for a weekend breakfast.

  8. You can also the Onion Sambar along with with Steamed Rice and Beetroot Thoran for a weekday lunch.