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Pumpkin sambar.JPG
TypeSpiced curry stew
Place of originIndia
Region or stateSouth India
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsTamarind broth, lentils, vegetables
Food energy
(per serving)
139 kcal (582 kJ)

Sambar (Tamil: [saːmbaːɾ] (listen), romanized: Sāmbār) is a lentil-based vegetable stew, cooked with pigeon pea and tamarind broth.[1] It is popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines. The stew has been adapted into Burmese cuisine as a popular accompaniment to Burmese curries.[2]


According to food historian K. T. Achaya, the earliest extant mention of sambar in literature can be dated to the 17th century in Tamilakam.[3]

The word sambar (சாம்பார்) stems from the Tamil word champāram (சம்பாரம்).[4]

A Tamil inscription of 1530 CE,[5][6] evidences the use of the word champāram, in the sense of meaning a dish of rice accompanying other rice dishes or spice ingredients with which a dish of vegetable rice is cooked:

அமுதுபடி கறியமுது பல சம்பாரம் நெய்யமுதுள்ப்பட தளிகை ஒன்றுக்கு பணம் ஒன்றாக

Amutupaṭi kaṟiyamutu pala campāram neyyamutuḷppaṭa taḷikai oṉṟukku paṇam oṉṟāka.

Cooked rice offerings, including curry rice (pepper rice or vegetable rice), many types of spiced rice (pala champaaram) and ghee rice, at the rate of one pa’nam (a denomination of money) per one portion.

Regional variations

Sambar is variously called thizone chinyay hin (သီးစုံချဉ်ရည်ဟင်း; lit.'assorted vegetables sour soup'), thizone pe kala hin (သီးစုံပဲကလားဟင်း, lit.'assorted vegetables chickpea soup'), or derivatives like thizone hin or pe kala hin in the Burmese language. The Burmese version incorporates dried salted fish and a variety of vegetables including eggplants, okra, moringa, gourd, green beans, and potatoes in a soup base of pureed chickpeas, which is seasoned with ripe tamarind, curry leaf, pyindawthein leaf, masala, cumin, chilies, onions and garlic.[2][7]

See also


  1. ^ Mathai, Kamini (26 September 2014). "Sambar: the great Tamil dish of Maharashtrians". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b "သီးစုံပဲကုလားဟင်း၊ ငါးခြောက်မွှကြော် ၊ငရုတ်သီးဆားထောင်း". Mizzima (in Burmese). 3 December 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ G. J. V. Prasad (2017). "Idli, Dosai, Sambar, Coffee: Consuming Tamil Identity". In Shweta Rao Garg; Deepti Gupta (eds.). The English Paradigm in India: Essays in Language, Literature and Culture. Springer Singapore. pp. 98–99. ISBN 978-981-10-5332-0.
  4. ^ Velswamy, Jayalekshmy (2 April 2015). 53 Healthy Lunch Box Recipes for Babies,Toddlers and Kids. Bumps n Baby.
  5. ^ South Indian Inscriptions vol.4. New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India. 1986.
  6. ^ "South Indian Inscriptions Vol 04 1923".
  7. ^ duwunkyal (30 June 2021). "ပဲကုလား ဟင်းချက်နည်းလေးပါ". Duwunkyal Blog (in Burmese). Retrieved 29 December 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)