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Hotel style sambar secret recipe | south Indian hotel style sambar | coconut chutney recipe | sambar-chutney recipe

Sambar and coconut chutney is a popular south Indian dish served with idli, vada, and dosa. Hotel-style sambar is made with a unique spice blend called masala paste along with a tangy tamarind flavor and occasionally sweetened with jaggery. I share quick sambar recipes using toor dal and sambar masala, also made hotel-style coconut chutney with perfect taste and longer shelf-life. Do try this!

The key to making restaurant-style sambar and coconut chutney at home are

For sambar

  • I prepare special masala paste for sambar, which gives perfect color and taste to sambar also, add tamarind water and jaggery to give a balanced flavor and original taste to sambar.
  • in terms of adding veggies to sambar, it is completely open-ended and you can experiment with your choice of veggies. apart from the veggies, I have in this recipe, you can add eggplant, gobi, radish, and okra.
  • In hotels instead of toor dal, they used gram flour (besan) paste to give thickness to sambar. But at home, if you want to use toor dal then use it in lesser quantities for the perfect consistency of sambar.
  • Cook sambar on low-medium flame for 25-30 minutes, increasing its taste and color.

For coconut chutney

  • I add roasted peanuts and chana dal for the hotel-style taste, thickness, and creamy texture of the chutney.
  • Use freshly coconut chutney but if you do not have access to it you can also use the frozen coconut which you should be able to get it from a local indian store.
  • Hotel-style chutney recipes can be prepared as thick or watery. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
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Recipe video

Hotel style sambar secret recipe | south Indian hotel style sambar | coconut chutney recipe | sambar-chutney recipe

Author Nehas Cook Book
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Curry
Cuisine Indian, south indian
Servings 6


For sambar

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 big size onion square
  • 1 medium size tomato pieces
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1.5 liter water
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup medium size lauki - dudhi pieces
  • ½ cup medium size pumpkin pieces
  • 2 drumsticks
  • 4-5 small size onion

Masala paste

  • 6 tbsp jaggery - as per your taste
  • ½ cup tamarind water
  • 2 tbsp besan + ¼ cup water
  • For special masala paste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small size hing pieces
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp methi dana
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 7-8 kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh coconut pieces
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • water to grind paste

For sambar tempering

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • ¼ tsp methi dana
  • Pinch of hing
  • 3 dry red chilli
  • Some curry leaves

For coconut chutney

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp curry leaves
  • 2 chopped green chilli
  • 1 inch ginger
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 1 tsp tamarind
  • ½ cup coconut pieces

For chutney tempering

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Pinch of hing
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • Some curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chilli


Making hotel-style sambar

  • In a vessel, add 2 tbsp oil, mustard seeds, and cumin seed. Sauté it.
  • Then add onion pieces and sauté till it is slightly transparent.
  • Now add tomato pieces and sauté till it becomes soft.
  • Then lower the flame and add turmeric powder and red chili powder. Mix well.
  • Now add 1.5-liter water, salt, lauki (dudhi) pieces, pumpkin pieces, drumsticks, and small size onion. Mix and boil for 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in another pan, add oil, piece of hing, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, chana dal, black pepper, methi dana, coriander seeds, kashmiri dry red chili, coconut pieces, ginger, and garlic cloves. Sauté it
  • Cool down the mixture and grind it with 1 cup of water. masala paste is ready.
  • Add masala paste into sambar, also add tamarind water and jaggery. Mix well.
  • Cover and boil sambar for 25-30 minutes on medium flame.
  • Then in a bowl, take 2 tbsp besan and ¼ cup water. mix well and add into sambar. boil for 5-7 minutes.
  • now for sambar tempering, in a tadka pan, add oil, mustard seeds, chana da, methi dana, hing, dry red chili, and curry leaves. Sauté it
  • Add terming into boiling sambar and mix well.
  • Garnish sambar with coriander leaves and serve with idli and dosa.

Making coconut chutney

  • In a pan, add oil and chana dal. sauté it.
  • Then add curry leaves, green chili, ginger, peanut, and tamarind. Sauté it.
  • Now add coconut pieces into the pan. sauté it.
  • Switch off the gas Cool down the chutney mixture and add it to the mixture jar.
  • Then add 1 cup of water and grind it into a smooth paste.
  • Now in a tadka pan, add oil, mustard seeds, and urad dal. sauté it.
  • Switch off the gas, and add curry leaves, and dry red chili. Sauté it
  • Then add tadka into the chutney mixture. Mix well.
  • Serve coconut chutney with medu vada or idli.


For Sambar
  • dry kashmiri red chilli gives good color to sambar masala. 
  • Roast masala on low flame.
  • cover and boil sambar on medium-low flame
  • In hotel, add gram flour (besan) give thickness to sambar
  • Add lesser quantity of boiled tuvar dal, instead of besan.
For coconut Chutney
  • Chana dal gives thickness to chutney.
  • Peanut gives creaminess and taste to chutney.
  • Roast coconut slightly into mixture to increase chutney self-life
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