Mullangi Sambar (Radish Sambar)

4.75 from 4 votes

Mullangi Sambar (Radish Sambar) is a traditional South Indian curry made using radish, lentils, and spices. You can serve it with steamed rice, idli, or dosa. Here is how to make it (vegan).

Mullangi sambar served in a bowl.
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About Mullangi Sambar

Mullangi Sambar (Radish Sambar) is a variation of the traditional South Indian sambar preparation, where instead of adding vegetables like carrots, drumsticks, and potatoes, radish is added, giving it a unique taste and flavor.

Although mullangi sambar is prepared in almost all of South India, it is particularly popular in Tamil Nadu.

Radish, also called mooli, muli, or daikon, adds a unique flavor to radish sambar and a nice bite, which tastes great when paired with idli, dosa, or just simple steamed rice.

Make it with or without coconut; it tastes delicious in both versions.

This Radish sambar recipe is vegan and you can easily make it gluten-free.

Here are a few more easy and comforting South Indian recipes for your everyday meals

Ingredients

Mullangi sambar ingredients list 1
Mullangi sambar ingredients list 2
Mullangi sambar ingredients list 3
Mullangi sambar ingredients list 4

Lentils – This comforting and wholesome radish sambar is prepared with yellow pigeon peas lentils (arhar dal, toor dal). You can replace toor dal with yellow moong dal to make a lighter version. You can also use half and half arhar and moong dal.

Radish (Mooli, Daikon) – This sambar uses only one vegetable: radish. This is the ingredient that makes this sambar different from others.

Tamarind – This is one of the most important ingredients in sambar. It adds a perfect amount of tanginess that you can’t miss.

Sambar Powder – Make sambar powder at home or buy a packet.

Oil – Use any cooking oil of your choice.

Others – You will also need onions, fresh tomatoes, fenugreek seeds (methi dana), curry leaves, salt, brown mustard seeds, asafetida (hing), dry red chilies, and turmeric powder.

If you want the radish sambar to be gluten-free, avoid adding asafetida.

For The Tempering – Give the sambar a simple tadka with oil, brown mustard seeds, and curry leaves. Tempering adds a great flavor, so do not miss it.

You can also add a little jaggery if you like that little hint of sweetness in your sambar.

How To Make Mullangi Sambar

Preparation

Start by soaking a lime-sized ball of tamarind in ½ cup water. Try to use seedless tamarind as it is easier to use. To save time, you can use 2 tablespoon of ready-made tamarind paste.

Wash 8.8 oz (250 g) radish and peel it using a vegetable peeler. Discard ½ inch from the top and bottom and slice it into ¼-inch thick slices.

Cook The Lentils

In An Instant Pot

Wash 1 cup yellow pigeon peas lentils (toor dal) and soak it in water for 20 minutes.

Soaked dal.

Drain the dal and add them to an instant pot along with

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Dal added to instant pot along with water, salt and turmeric powder.

Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.

Lid of the instant pot closed.

Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 12 minutes.

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.

Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.

Cooked dal.

In A Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Wash 1 cup yellow pigeon peas lentils (toor dal) and soak it in water for 20 minutes.

Drain the dal and add them to a pressure cooker along with

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Pressure cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Reduce the heat and cook for 12 minutes.

Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.

Make The Masala

Meanwhile, the dal is cooking; heat 3 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add

  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • 15-20 whole curry leaves
  • 5-6 whole dry red chilies

and let them crackle for 5-6 seconds.

Mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves and dry red chilies added to hot oil.

Add 1 cup chopped onions and cook on medium heat until they turn pinkish (3-4 minutes), stirring frequently.

Onions added to the pan.

Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Tomatoes added to the pan.

Now add 3 tablespoon sambar powder and ½ cup of water and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Sambar powder and water added to the pan.
Ready masala.

Make The Sambar

Open the lid of the instant pot (or pressure cooker) and add the masala paste.

Masala added to instant pot.

Add 8.8 oz (250 g) sliced radish to the cooker and mix well. 

Radish added to instant pot.
Mixed well.

Close the lid again and press PRESSURE COOK again. Set the timer for 4 minutes at high pressure.

Lid closed again.

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.

Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.

Note – If using stove top pressure cook, cook for 3 whistles on high heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.

Squeeze the soaked tamarind to remove the pulp, and discard the seeds and the fiber, if there are any. 

Squeezed tamarind pulp.
Tamarind water.

Add the tamarind water to the sambar and mix well.

Press the SAUTE button, bring the sambar to a boil, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Note – If using a stovetop pressure cooker, bring the sambar to a boil over high heat.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Tamarind water added to ready sambar.

Temper The Radish Sambar

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan over medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add

  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida

and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds. 

Mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafetida added to hot oil.

Pour the tempering over the sambar and mix well. Serve hot.

Tempering poured over ready mullangi sambar.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this delicious radish sambar with steamed rice, a dollop of ghee, and papad.

You can also serve a thoran or Poriyal on the side. 

This sambar also tastes great along with idli, dosa, uttapam, Ven Pongal, and Paniyaram.

Storage Suggestions

Mullangi sambar will last in the fridge for about 4 to 5 days when stored correctly in an airtight container.

Reheat it in a pan or microwave until nice and warm. If you feel it has become thick, add a little water and adjust the consistency.

Reheat only the amount you want to serve, as reheating again and again can decrease its shelf life.

You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw, reheat and serve.

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Mullangi Sambar (Radish Sambar) is a traditional South Indian curry made using radish, lentils, and a few spices. You can serve it with steamed rice, idli, or dosa. Here is how to make it (vegan).
4.75 from 4 votes

Mullangi Sambar Recipe (Radish Sambar)

Mullangi Sambar (Radish Sambar) is a traditional South Indian curry made using radish, lentils, and a few spices. You can serve it with steamed rice, idli, or dosa. Here is how to make it.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 lime size seedless tamarind ball
  • 8.8 ounces radish (mooli) (250 g)
  • 1 cup yellow pigeon peas lentils (toor dal)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing)
  • 15-20 curry leaves
  • 5-6 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon sambhar powder

For The Tempering

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing)
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Instructions 

Preparation

  • Start by soaking a tamarind in ½ cup water.
  • Wash the radish and peel it using a vegetable peeler. Discard ½ inch from the top and bottom and slice it into ¼-inch thick slices.
  • Wash 1 cup yellow pigeon peas lentils (toor dal) and soak it in water for 20 minutes.

Cook The Lentils

    In An Instant Pot

    • Drain the toor dal and add them to an instant pot along with 3 cups of water, salt, and turmeric powder. 
    • Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
    • Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 12 minutes.
    • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
    • Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.

    In A Stovetop Pressure Cooker

    • Drain toor dal and add them to a pressure cooker along with 4 cups of water, salt, and turmeric powder. 
    • Pressure cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Reduce the heat and cook for 12 minutes.
    • Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.

    Make The Masala

    • Meanwhile, the dal is cooking, heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
    • Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves, and dry red chilies and let them crackle for 5-6 seconds.
    • Add onions and cook on medium heat until they turn pinkish (3-4 minutes), stirring frequently.
    • Add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    • Now add sambar powder and ½ cup of water and cook for 3-4 minutes.

    Make The Sambar

    • Open the lid of the instant pot (or pressure cooker) and add the masala paste.
    • Add sliced radish to the cooker and mix well. 
    • Close the lid again and press PRESSURE COOK again. Set the timer for 4 minutes at high pressure.
    • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
    • Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
    • Note – If using stove top pressure cook, then cook for 3 whistles on high heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.
    • Squeeze the soaked tamarind to take out the pulp and discard the seeds and the fiber if there are any. 
    • Add the tamarind water to the sambar and mix well.
    • Press the SAUTE button and bring the sambar to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    • Note – If using a stovetop pressure cooker, then bring the sambar to a boil over high heat.
    • Check for salt and add more if needed.

    Temper The Radish Sambar

    • Heat oil in a small pan over medium-high heat.
    • Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and asafetida and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds. 
    • Pour the tempering over the sambar and mix well. Serve hot.

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Skip asafetida for a gluten-free recipe.
    To save time, you can use 2 tablespoon of ready-made tamarind paste in place of seedless tamarind.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 214kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 24mg, Potassium: 621mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 735IU, Vitamin C: 150.2mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 3.2mg
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