Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Style Tiffin Sambar

Do you get food cravings? Is it specific or general? Let me elaborate on that question… do you get a craving for any deep-fried snack or craving for something specific like Ethakkappam or Beef Cutlet?

I do get food cravings every now and then… sometimes it’s general and sometimes it’s very specific. Recently, I had a craving for Sambar Idli. I thought it was kinda weird since I’m not a big fan of it and I’ve had it only once! The funny thing is I used to get that craving at a particular place. Yeah, the whole thing was weird!

So, I try to take steps to our apartment whenever possible. Sometime back, when I was taking steps and when I reached the Mezzanine floor, I got the smell of Sambar and that’s what started this whole craving. I thought it was just a one-time thing, I was wrong! Every time I reached that particular floor, I started getting the smell of Sambar and I started craving for Sambar Idli and that too it was very specific, I wanted the sambar idli just like the restaurant ones, but I didn’t want it from the restaurant.

Yeah, that’s how things work with me, I’ve got a very special knack to make super simple things super complicated. 

Anyhow, the whole thing resulted in this recipe. As the saying goes, all’s well that ends well and this definitely ended very well. Once I decided to go ahead with it, I went to Suguna’s site, got the recipe for this fabulous Sambar and also had my homemade restaurant-style sambar Idli!

Honestly, before I started cooking, I thought there was just one sambar recipe and boy how wrong can I be? Yeah, sometimes I’m astonished at my own ignorance and some “supposedly” wise man (read my husband) says it’s ok as long as I’m aware of my own ignorance… hmmm.

So, here goes Tamilnadu style and to be specific Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Sambar recipe. Suguna, got the recipe from one of the chef’s who used to work there. I blindly followed her recipe. I haven’t had Annapoorna Hotel Sambar, so I cannot comment on that part. However, the Sambar tasted great, if I say so myself. Also, it reminded me of the Sambar that we get in South Indian Idli/Dosa restaurants. 

If you are a Sambar fan, this is a MUST-try recipe, no two ways about it. Also, I do recommend you to have some Sambar Idlis too ;) Refer notes for that.

Tiffin Sambar 1
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Tiffin Sambar

Tamilnadu style sambar recipe. How to make Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Style Tiffin Sambar at home. Easy recipe with detailed pictures.
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Course: Breakafst, Lunch
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian, Tamilnadu
Keyword: Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Style Tiffin Sambar recipe, Sambar, Tiffin sambar, Annapoorna Hotel Sambar, South Indian Sambar, Tamilnadu Sambar recipe,
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • For Dal
  • 1/2 cup Toor dal
  • 2 cups Water
  • For Veggies
  • 2 large Drumsticks (cut lengthwise)
  • 1 medium Onion (diced)
  • 10 Shallots (small / pearl onion) (diced)
  • 1 big Tomato (diced)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • For Sambar Masala
  • 2 tsp 2 teaspoon sesame oil (gingely oil)
  • 2 tsp 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 black pepper corn
  • 5 fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 Dry red chillies (gundu variety) (I used regular ones)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 tbsp coconut
  • 1.5 tsp jaggery
  • gooseberry size tamarind
  • Other ingredients
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 stalks coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • For Tempering
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (gingely oil) (I used coconut oil)
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder


  • For Dal: Wash and soak ½ a cup of toor dal in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with the water for 6 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside.
    Step 1 Tiffin Sambar
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  • For Veggies: In another cooker add in the drumsticks, diced onion, diced shallots (small onion) and tomatoes. Add one cup of water, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of turmeric. Cook for 4 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside.
    Step 2 Tiffin sambar
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  • For Sambar Masala: Heat oil in a pan and add in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, chana dal, urad dal. Fry for a minute. Once the chana dal is brown, add in the curry leaves, dry red chilies, asafoetida, coconut, jaggery, and the tamarind. Fry for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
    Step 3 Tiffin Sambar
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  • Grind the mixture with half a cup of water to a paste. Let the paste be very slightly coarse. Set aside.
    Step 4 Tiffin Sambar
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  • For the Sambar: Take a heavy-bottomed pan and add in the ground masala and one cup of water. Let it come to a boil on medium flame.
    Step 5 Tiffin sambar
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  • Once it's boiling, add in the cooked vegetables along with the water used for cooking. Add in the salt. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
    Step 6 Tiffin sambar
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  • Add in the cooked dal and let it continue to boil for 2-3 minutes.
    Step 7 Tiffin Sambar
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  • For Tempering: Heat oil in a Kadai and add in the mustard seeds when the oil is hot. Add in the curry leaves and switch off the flame. Add in ½ teaspoon of red chilli powder and immediately pour it on the sambar. The red chilli powder might burn if kept in the oil for too long. So have an eye on the Kadai.
    Step 8 Tiffin sambar
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  • Add in the coriander leaves and a tablespoon of ghee. Switch off the flame.
    Step 9 Tiffin Sambar
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To make Sambar Idli – Make mini idis, if you've that pan, otherwise cut regular size idlis to small pieces. Spread it over a depp dish. Pour hot sambar over it and make sure, Idlis are covered in sambar. Add a dollop of ghee or more ;)
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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2 thoughts on “Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Style Tiffin Sambar”

  1. Hi,
    For some reason my question was deleted so I am asking it again. You have 55 black peppercorns and 55 fenugreek seeds. Is this accurate? Thanks.


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