Keerai sambar or amaranth leaves and toor dal curry is a flavourful, healthy and delicious curry that is made in most homes in Tamil Nadu. This curry can be served with rice, fried fish and prawn gravy. This is an ideal curry for your daily menu as it is healthy and good for the entire family. Do try this keerai sambar at home and I am sure everyone at your home would like it.

Related recipes:

Moong dal sambar
Saravana bhavan style hotel sambar
Toor dal curry
Sambar rice

Keerai sambar/ Amaranth leaves and toor dal curry

You can half the recipe if you are making in small quantity

Serves: 8

3 cups Toor dal washed and soaked in water for about ½ an hour
3 big tomatoes washed, deseeded and roughly chopped
3 tsp red chilli powder
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp cumin seeds
1 bunch of sirukeerai/ amaranth leaves
7 to 8 large cloves of garlic
1 medium size ball of tamarind (slightly smaller than orange)
3 tbsp ghee

For tempering

6 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
7 to 8 dry red chillies
20 curry leaves
1 large onion finely sliced
4 tsp sambar powder
¼ tsp asafoetida powder
3 and 1/2 tsp Salt (or to taste)


  • Take the bunch of amaranth leaves/ sirukeerai and remove the leaves from the stalk one by one. Wash the leaves well at least 3 or 4 times with water to remove all mud and dirt. Keep ready.

  • Take dal, tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, and garlic cloves in a pressure cooker. Add the leaves as well along with 6 to 8 cups of water, close the lid and pressure cook for 6 to 7 whistles. 
  • Meanwhile wash the tamarind a few times with running water to remove the dirt. Then take the tamarind in a pan and add 1 cup of water to it and heat the pan in medium flame.When the water turns warm, switch off the gas and allow it to cool down a little. 
  • Then mash the tamarind nicely and strain using a strainer to extract the tamarind pulp. Keep ready.
  • Once the dal is cooked and steam has escaped, remove the lid and and gently mash the dal and amaranth leaves with a masher till they are coarsely mashed. 
  • Now heat oil in a large pan or vessel and add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Then add onions, red chillies and sauté for some time till onions turns dark golden. 
  • Then add salt and sambar powder and mix well. 
  • Next add tamarind pulp and asafoetida, and bring to a boil.
  • Then add the dal mix and mix everything well.
  • Add water as necessary and bring to a boil.
  • When the sambar starts boiling, add ghee and switch off the gas. 
  • Serve hot with Idli, Dosa, rice or Vada.

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