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What is sambar rice/sadham?
Sambar Rice/Sadham is a protein packed, delicious, nutrient rich, healthy dish popular in South India. This favorite comfort dish is made with rice, lentils, mixed vegetables, spices and herbs.
Also known as Bisibelebath in some southern states of India, which when translated means “hot lentil rice”.
What is sambar?
Sambar, is a lentil-based vegetable stew or chowder, cooked with lentils/dhal and tamarind broth. It is popular in South India especially in the state of Tamil-Nadu and is also popular among Sri Lankan cuisines.
Is it healthy?
High fibre foods are good for heart and cholesterol. The dhal based stew is high in vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, folate and magnesium. In addition to the lentils and vegetables, the eclectic mix of herbs and spices add to the many health benefits of sambar too
What is sadham?
‘Sadham’ is a Tamil (South Indian language) word for cooked rice.
Cooked rice refers to rice that has been cooked either by steaming or boiling. The terms steamed rice or boiled rice are also commonly used to represent sadham or cooked rice..
What do you eat with sambar rice?
Lace the Sambar Rice generously with ghee, and serve it piping hot with crisp papadam/Indian Rice crackers. You can also serve it with coconut chutney. Butter milk or lassi goes well with spicy sambar rice as as a side drink/beverage.
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You can learn all about the 25 essential Indian Spices commonly used in cooking, their names, origin, appearance, flavors and their health benefits in my E-book ,” A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Indian Spices” here.
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Helpful Tips for making the best sambar rice
- Rice : The popular choice of rice used in making sambar rice is the short grain white rice. However, if you prefer a healthier version brown rice could also be used to make sambar rice. Millets, quinoa, oats have also been used by some for the same health reasons. Soaking the grains prior to cooking, adds to their nutritious value.
- Lentils : you could use just one type of lentil like Toor Dhal or use a mix of lentils like Toor and Moong dhal since they each add their nutritional value to the dish.
- Sambar powder : One can use a homemade sambar powder or a good store bought one to make this aromatic and flavorful rice.
- Vegetables : The most common vegetables used for sambar rice is drumsticks in South India.If using drumsticks, please cut them into 1 inch size pieces and pressure cook them with the dhal, so they are soft and absorb the flavors easily. Since drumsticks take a long time to cook, pressure cooking them with the lentils will make them easy to chew on .However, you may also use mixed vegetables like carrots, beans, tomatoes, onions for making sambar rice.
- Tempering the curry leaves with ghee and then adding it to the sambar rice adds to the flavor.
- If you have precooked rice and sambar, just add them together and Voila you have instant sambar rice ready to go!
Sambar Rice/Sadham Recipe
4 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories1821
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 33g 51%
- Saturated Fat 20g 100%
- Cholesterol 77mg 26%
- Sodium 165mg 7%
- Potassium 1322mg 38%
- Total Carbohydrate 341g 114%
- Dietary Fiber 16g 64%
- Sugars 11g
- Protein 35g 70%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
List of variety rice from South India
- Pineapple Fried rice
- Zucchini Rice/Pulao
- Spinach Rice
- Coriander Rice/Pulao
- Jeera/Cumin seed Rice
- Sambar Rice
- Methi/Fenugreek Rice
- Lemon Rice
- Curd Rice/Thayir Sadham
- Coconut Rice/ Thenga sadham
- Tomato Rice/Thakkali Sadham
- Vegetable Pulao
- Mushroom Biryani
The Bottom Line
Now that you know how to make yourself a delicious plate of South Indian sambar rice/sadham are you going to give it a try? Believe me, it is the best comfort food if you are someone who leans to the spicy side of food.
Share your feedback, if you give my recipe a try in the comments section below.