Sambar / Kolmbo

This is my favorite dish. Sambar is called as Kolmbo in Konkani. I prepare this dish atleast once in a week. Very simple, tasty and easy recipe. It goes well with plain rice, idli, dosa and ragi balls.

I use sambar powder prepared by my mother-in-law. Before I used to make it from MTR or Ganesh sambar powder. I will post someday the recipe for my mother-in-law's sambar powder. Who ever has tasted my mother-in-law's kolmbo has become a fan of it and I too belong to that group. So my mother-in-law gets me a bottle of sambar powder every time.


  • We are adding turmeric powder and oil while boiling toor dal as it helps to boil fast.
  • I am not cooking toor dal and vegetables together because toor dal will take more time to cook by then all the vegetables will get over-cooked.
  • Better to dissolve sambar / kolmbo powder in water or tamarind water.
Time Taken : 20-25 Minutes

Yield : 3-4 servings

Sambar / Kolmbo
Sambar / Kolmbo


Seasoning :
Red Chillies3-4
Coconut Oil / Normal Oil2 tbsp
Curry Leaves7-8
Mustard Seeds / Saasama1 tbsp
Green Chilly2-3 splitted vertically
Cumin Seeds / Jeera1 tbsp

Others :
Toor Dal / Tori Dali1 glass
Drum Stick1-2 chopped
Beans6-7 chopped
Carrot1 small chopped
Potato1 small  cubes
Onions2 small cut into half or quaters
Brinjal4-5 small vertically splitted
Tamarind water3 tbsp
Sambar / Kolmbo Powder2 tbsp
Ghee1-2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder / Haldi1 Small in size
Asafoetida1/2 tsp
Coconut Oil / Normal Oil1 tbsp
Salt as needed

Wash and Soak Toor Dal for 20-30 minutes so as to take less time to boil. 

Method :

  1. In a cooker, add toor dal, turmeric powder, oil and 3 glasses of water. Wait for 2 whistles and switch off the flame and wait until it cools. 
  2. Transfer the cooker content into a bowl and in the same cooker, add ghee and fry all the vegetables in it for 2 minutes. This will give a nice flavor.
  3. Now add the dal content that was transferred to the bowl again into the cooker and add little water and wait for 1 whistle. Let the flame be high so that vegetables will not get over-cooked.
  4. In a small bowl, take the tamarind water and sambar / Kolmbo powder and mix them well.
  5. After 1 whistle and on cooling, open the lid and start to boil again. While it is boiling add the tamarind water and sambar powder which is in the bowl.
  6. Add  salt and asafoetida.
  7. While it is boiling, heat the normal oil / coconut oil in the spatula for seasoning. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, green chilies, red chilies and curry leaves. Wait until it's color changes to brown. 
  8. When it starts to boil add this seasoning to it and serve hot with plain rice, idli, dosa or ragi balls.


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