cauliflower sambar

Gobi sambar | South Indian cauliflower lentil stew

Delicious and easy to make, this Cauliflower sambar tastes awesome with rice or roti equally.
Course curry, Main Course
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Nupur @ The Veggie Indian


  • ½ cup Toor dal- preferably soaked for about 30 minutes
  • cup A small cauliflower floret- when chopped fills about 1
  • tsp A of tamarind paste
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • piece A small of ginger grated
  • 2 tsp freshly grated coconut or dessicated if not fresh
  • leaves A handful of curry
  • A generous pinch of heeng asafoetida


  • 1 tbsp Sambar powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt Or as per taste
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds methi dana
  • 1 tbsp Oil- I used coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1-2 dried red chilies
  • 1 tbsp oil


  1. Preparation
  2. Soak Toor dal in hot water for 20 minutes and pressure cook with 1 ½ cups of water for 3-4 whistles. Then turn off the gas and open when the pressure eases off. Mash it with the back of a ladle and keep aside.
  3. In the meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add grated ginger, heeng, curry leaves, red chili and fenugreek seeds. Fry for a minute at low gas
  4. Then add chopped onions and cook for about 5-7 minutes till they turn light pink in colour. Add in chopped cauliflower now along with salt, turmeric and sambhar powder. Mix and cook covered for about 15-20 minutes, stirring in between. Add a few drops of water if it gets too dry
  5. Once the cauliflower bits are almost cooked (not completely cooked or raw), add 1 cup of water, coconut and tamarind paste. ** Read notes- if you are using tamarind pulp, then add the whole 1 ½ cups of water.
  6. Let it boil until the raw smell of the tamarind and the sambar powder goes away. It would take around 8-10 minutes. Then add the cooked dal and mix.
  7. Check the seasoning and consistency and add more water or salt if required. Simmer for a 8-10 minutes until the sambar thickens a bit.
  8. Garnish with cilantro (coriander leaves) if required and serve hot with rice or dosa.

Recipe Notes

If using fresh tamarind: Use a small scoop sized one. Soak it in hot water for some time, then extract about 1 ½ cups of tamarind juice and discard the pulp.