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Poondu Sambar Recipe - Garlic Sambar

Poondu Sambar recipe made using raw garlic pods that is served for lunch along with rice.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Lunch, Main
Cuisine: South Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Radhika


  • Poondu or Garlic - pods from 2 medium sized bulbs
  • Tur dal - 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind – 1 small lemon size ball
  • Sambar powder – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Vengaya Kari Vadagam – 1/2 tsp
  • Whole dry red chillies – 2
  • Asafetida – 1/8 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 2 tsp


  • Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 mins. Extract pulp and keep aside.
  • Wash and soak tur dal for 10 mins. In a pressure cooker, place the dal, turmeric powder, enough water and cook for 2-3 whistles till the dal is soft. Mash well and keep aside.
  • Place the peeled garlic in a mortar and just pound them once with the pestle. The garlic should just have a crack, just enough to let out its aroma. You can do them individually too if you do not mind the time it takes. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle add vengaya kari vadagam, asafetida, broken whole dry red chilies and sauté for 1/2 minute.
  • Add the tamarind pulp, salt and the garlic pods. Let it come to a bubbling boil.
  • Add sambar powder, mix well and cook over medium flame for 2 minutes till the raw smell goes off.
  • Add the mashed tur dal, mix well, simmer the flame, close with a lid and cook for 5-7 mins. The flavors would have merged by now.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, add fresh curry leaves, mix well, close with a lid and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Poondu Sambar is ready to be served with hot steamed rice.