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SAMBHAR - The Spicy Soup

This delicious soup is good on moist, rainy days – the kind we’ve been having in the northeast this month!  Ingredients are available in both Indian grocery stores and many well-stocked health food stores.


½ cup Toor Dal 2 Tbsp. Ghee (clarified butter)
½ cup Mung Dal  ½ tsp. Mustard Seeds
¾ cup Carrot, peel & cube ¾ cup Onion, finely chopped
½ cup Red Pumpkin, peel & cube 2-3 Tbsp. Sambhar Masala
3 cups Water to cook the dal add
salt to your taste                    
¼ tsp. Turmeric
2 ½ Tbsp. Jaggery – Raw Sugar           5 to 6 Curry Leaves
½ tsp. Kokum Extract ¼ tsp. Chili Powder*
3 cups Water to make soup  

*NOTE: Sambhar is quite spicy, so you may want to use less of the suggested amount of chili powder or leave it out completely — to your taste.


  1. Combine the Toor and Mung dal and rinse them in water until the water stays clear — and then drain the entire mixture. 
  2. Next you can wash and peel carrots and pumpkin.   Cut both into half inch square pieces.
  3. Put dal and 3 cups water in a covered dish or inside the pressure cooker. If you don’t use the pressure cooker, cook the dal and vegetables separately.  The dal will take more time — so allow for that.
  4. Add the vegetables, but not more water!  
  5. Cook dal and vegetables until tender, roughly 20 minutes.
  6. Cut the onion very well into chopped pieces.
  7. In a large saucepan, heat the ghee.   Add mustard seed and asafoetida.
  8. When mustard seeds pop, add your onion and cook until they turn clear.
  9. Add sambhar masala, turmeric, curry leaves, chili powder (if you want it HOT!), and cooked vegetable and dal.   Mix well.
  10. Add 3 cups water, and season with salt, raw sugar and kokum extract.
  11. Allow the soup mixture to boil as the entire ingredients blend for about 5 more minutes. 

Sambhar is served in India either on its own as a soup or with idlis, rice or dosas as a dipping sauce.  Delicious!

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