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Poondu Sambar Recipe - Garlic Sambar

Poondu Sambar recipe with video. This sambar is made using raw garlic pods that is served for lunch along with rice.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Lunch, Main
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4


  • 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.