Pasi Paruppu Sambar|Tiffin Sambar With Moong Dal

Pasi Paruppu Sambar is a variation of the sambar that is regularly made in Tamilian households. While the regular sambar is usually made with toor dal, this version is made using moong dal (‘pasi paruppu‘ in Tamil). It tastes absolutely delicious, and makes for a great accompaniment with ‘tiffin’ dishes like idlis, dosas, vada and pongal. It can also be served with plain rice, but we especially love it with our tiffin.

In today’s post, I am sharing with you all the way we make Pasi Paruppu Sambar at home.

Pasi Paruppu Sambar or Tiffin Sambar With Moong Dal

A closer look at Pasi Paruppu Sambar

As stated above, moong dal is the major component of this sambar. All the other ingredients used in a regular sambar go in as well – vegetables, tamarind extract, sambar powder, curry leaves, coriander and the likes. You can use any vegetables of your preference.

Along with home-made sambar powder, we also use some jaggery in this sambar, which makes it all the more delicious.

This Pasi Paruppu Sambar is an easier and faster version of the regular sambar. Moong dal cooks faster than the toor dal used in regular sambar, due to which making this Pasi Paruppu Sambar is quicker. Speaking of sambar, I am loving my fellow food blogger Priya Vijaykrishnan’s recipe for Potato & Capsicum Sambarsounds so delicious I can’t wait to try it out!

How to make Pasi Paruppu Sambar

Here is how to go about it.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

1. 3/4 cup moong dal

2. A lemon-sized ball of tamarind

3. 1 medium-sized onion

4. 1 medium-sized carrot

5. 10-12 beans

6. 2 medium-sized tomatoes

7. 3/4 tablespoon oil

8. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

9. 2 pinches of asafoetida

10. 1 sprig curry leaves

11. 2 pinches of fenugreek seeds

13. Salt to taste

14. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

15. About 3 tablespoons sambar powder or to taste

16. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)

17. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder (optional)

18. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander


Top left, centre and right: Steps 1, 2 and 3, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 4, 5 and 6

1. Wash the moong dal thoroughly under running water. Drain out all the water from it, then transfer to a wide vessel. Add in enough fresh water to cover the moong dal completely.

2. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 4-5 whistles or till the dal is well cooked and soft. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling water for 15-20 minutes, for it to soften. Let it cool down completely.

4. Peel the onion and chop finely. Peel the carrot and chop into large pieces. Remove strings from the beans and chop into large pieces. Keep ready.

5. Chop the tomatoes finely. Keep ready.

6. When the tamarind has cooled down completely, extract all the juice from it. Use some more water to help with the process of extraction, if needed. Keep ready.

Top left: Step 7, Top right and centre left: Step 8, Centre right: Step 9, Bottom left and right: Steps 10 and 11

7. Take the chopped carrot and beans in a wide vessel and add in about 2 tablespoons of water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Allow 2 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

8. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked moong dal out. Mash it well and keep it ready. Similarly, get the cooked vegetables out and keep them ready – do not discard the water they were cooked in, if any remains.

9. Now, we will start making the Pasi Paruppu Sambar. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Then, add in the asafoetida, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. Allow them to stay in for a few seconds.

10. Add the chopped onion to the pan. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame for 2-3 minutes or till the onions start browning.

11. Now, add the chopped tomato to the pan, along with a little salt and water. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes or till the tomatoes turn mushy.

Top left: The tomatoes have turned mushy (Step 11), Bottom left and topmost right: Step 12, Right centre and right bottom: Steps 13 and 14

12. At this stage, add in the turmeric powder and the tamarind extract. Mix well, then cook on medium flame for 2 minutes.

13. Add the cooked vegetables to the pan, along with the water they were cooked in. Cook for 2 minutes on medium flame or till the raw smell of the tamarind has gone completely.

14. Now, add the cooked and mashed moong dal to the pan. Also add in 1 cup of water or as needed to adjust consistency.

Top left and right: Step 15, Bottom left: Step 16, Bottom right: Step 17

15. Add in sambar powder, salt to taste, red chilli powder (if using) and jaggery powder (if using). Mix well.

16. Let the mixture cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till everything is well integrated together. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas when the mixture has thickened but is still quite runny. It will thicken up further with time.

17. Mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Pasi Paruppu Sambar is ready. Serve it hot with idlis, dosas or rice.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of water depending upon the consistency of the sambar you require. We prefer it thicker than the regular sambar, not too runny but not overly thick either.

2. Remember to switch off the gas when the sambar is still on the runnier side. It thickens up further with time.

3. You can use any veggies of your choice. Here, I have used the vegetables I had at home. You can steam the vegetables in a steamer instead of pressure-cooking them the way I have.

4. Adding the jaggery powder is purely optional. I prefer using it as my family prefers it that way.

5. The home-made sambar powder we use is moderately spicy. So, I usually add a dash of red chilli powder to my sambar too. If the sambar powder you are using is spicy, you can skip the red chilli powder completely.

6. Make sure all seeds and impurities are removed from the tamarind extract, before adding it to the pan.

7. This is a completely vegetarian recipe, one that is vegan as well. It is perfectly suited to those following a plant-based diet.

8. To make this sambar gluten-free, skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour to a lesser or greater extent and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you could definitely use it.

9. This Pasi Paruppu Sambar tastes best with a generous amount of tomatoes. So, do not reduce the quantity of tomatoes used here.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


12 thoughts on “Pasi Paruppu Sambar|Tiffin Sambar With Moong Dal

  1. Pasi parappu sambar is always so light and delightful. One of my favourite sambar varieties. We make it the same way except for adding jaggery. Will try adding jaggery next time . Beautifully presented.


  2. Tiffin sambar or paasi paruppu sambar is loved at my home .we all love to have it with piping hot Pongal and vadai .. it is a super bliss to dunk crispy vadais into this sambar and enjoy… jaggery is definitely the taste enhancer ..I too add it


  3. Always used toor dal for sambhar. Never tasted with moong dal. This tiffin Sambhar with vegetables and moong dal sounds light flavorful and extremely delicious. A soul satisfying dish for this chilled weather. I would love to have a bowlful of this hot sambhar on it’s own.


  4. We love pasi paruppu sambar a lot and I make it at least once a week for tiffin items. Will surely try your way when I am making it next time. Looks so delicious.


  5. Wow we can make Sāmbhar with moong dal also.. so good to know as I can use it to make Sāmbhar if toor dal is out of stock. Wonderful share Priya. Thanks for the recipe.Looks so comforting and delicious


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