Thursday, November 17, 2016

Keerai Thandu Podi Sambar Recipe-Keerai Thandu Sambar with Instant Sambar Podi

Amaranth or thandu keerai is a rich source of fiber and many nutrients. According to Wikipedia- Amaranth grain is particularly high in lysine, an amino acid found in low quantities in other grains. Whenever I buy thandu keerai, I use the leaves to make keerai poriyal and reserve the stems to make either South Indian style keerai thandu kootu or this sambar or gravy for chapati.  I have made this sambar using  keerai thandu and instant sambar podi. If you run out of sambar podi and do not want to buy ready made ones, you can make this podi and use it to make any sambar. There is not much difference in the taste of the sambar. Today we will learn how to make keerai thandu podi sambar following this easy recipe with step wise pictures.

Keerai thandu sambar with instant sambar podi

Keerai Thandu Sambar with Instant Sambar Podi

Keerai Thandu Sambar with Instant Sambar Podi

 Prep Time : 15 mins
 Cook Time : 20 mins 
 Serves: 3-4
 Recipe CategorySide Dish-Sambar
 Recipe CuisineSouth Indian

   Ingredients needed

   Tender keerai thandu (stems) -2 cups
   Tur Dal - 1/3 cup
   Tamarind -Gooseberry sized ball
   Pearl onion -5-6
   Tomato - 1
   Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
   Salt needed

   For Instant Sambar Podi

   Oil - 1/2 tsp
   Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
   Dry Red Chillies - 3

   For the Seasoning

   Oil - 2 tsp
   Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
   Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
   Asafoetida/hing - a pinch
   Red Chilli - 1
   Curry leaves - a sprig

   For Garnishing

   Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp finely chopped


Peel the skin and chop pearl onion into 2-3 pieces.

Wash and pressure cook tur dal with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder for 3 whistles or until mushy. Mash it well and keep it aside. Refer how to cook dal  if you are new to cooking dal.

Soak tamarind in a cup of hot water for 20 minutes. Extract its juice adding water if needed and discard the pulp. We need 1 cup of tamarind extract.

preparations for sambar

Choose tender stems. I have used amaranth (mulai keerai/thandu keerai) stems. Break and scrap/peel the fibrous part of the stem. Then cut it into 2 inch pieces and keep it aside (refer picture below).

Instant sambar podi 

Heat 1/2 tsp of oil and fry coriander seeds and red chillies on medium heat. Leave it to cool. Then powder it finely. This is the instant sambar podi, we are going to use for this keerai thandu sambar.

ingredients for keerai thandu sambar


Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, when it sputters, add fenugreek seeds, hing, red chilli and curry leaves.

Add pearl onions and saute until it turns transparent.

Then add chopped tomatoes and saute for a few more minutes.

sauteing shallots and tomato

Add keerai thandu, 1/4 cup of water and cook on medium heat.

Then add salt needed, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and the instant sambar podi.

Keerai Thandu Sambar with Instant Sambar Podi

Mix well and add tamarind extract. Cook until the raw flavor of the tamarind goes. It may take 10 minutes on medium heat.

Keerai Thandu Podi Sambar

Once the raw flavor of the tamarind goes, add cooked dal, 1/2 cup of water and cook on low heat stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until the sambar thickens slightly.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice. Nutritious, delicious and fiber rich keerai thandu sambar is ready.

Keerai thandu sambar recipe

My Lunch - Fiber Galore
South Indian Lunch
Keerai thandu sambar-Vazhaithandu curry-Curd-Rice
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  1. Dear padhu, please also write Hindi or marathi translation of "Keerai Thandu". I am still unable to guess the vegetable even after viewing. Looks like drum sticks, but I know, its not. Is it "Patra" or "Alu" what we call in Marathi ? Your recipes are always great. Thanks and have a great day.

    1. It is called chaulaee/cholai in Hindi. It is the stem of amaranth.

    2. Kiran - It is very common in India. If you cannot get it, try using tender spinach stems.

    3. Thanks Padhu, now I know, its "Chawli" in Marathi.
      Have a good evening.

  2. Dear padhu, pls post some recipes with corn

  3. Hai padhu Akka your cooking is super iam rathy my pasnion-cooking neyyappam&kalavanadai

  4. Hi padhu
    Thanks for the recipe...
    Can I use the stems of palak? Will it taste good? Kindly suggest..

    1. Palak stems will not taste that good but you can try.


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