Keerai Sambar or Spinach Sambar

Everyone knows how healthy spinach is. A low calorie vegetable, the spinach is consiidered a superfood and green vegetables like the spinach are very good for skin, hair and bone health. Spinach is a great source of iron and one cup of raw spinach contains as much as 0.81 gm of iron. Spinach is low in carbs but high in insoluble fiber. Spinach also packs high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.

I usually make Spinach Dal, Mor Keerai or even Spinach Rice, but never really tried trying spinach as a sambar. Earlier this week, when making lunch where the other dishes were south Indian, I decided to make spinach sambar as opposed to a dal which was what the children were asking for just so all the dishes were south Indian. The resultant sambar was super yum and it even cooked faster than the usual sambar.

Spinach or Keerai Sambar


  • 2 cups spinach, washed and chopped roughly
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped into big pieces
  • 1 gooseberry size tamarind, soaked in hot water for 20-30 minutes
  • 1 cup toor dar, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • 2 tsp sambar powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil


  • Cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker or on the stove top till it is cooked and mushy. Beat it well till it becomes a homogenous mass, adding water if it is too thick. Keep aside.
  • Mash and seive the soaked tamarind and thin it till it is at the sourness you like. Keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and when warm, add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Then add the asafoetida and stir for a few seconds.
  • Now add the chopped onions and stir until they are translucent.
  • When the onions are translucent and soft, add the chopped spinach and let them wilt.
  • When the spinach is wilted, add in the prepared tamarind water and then add the salt, sambar powder and jaggery and let it cook for around 5-7 minutes.
  • When the spinach and onions and completely cooked and the raw smell of tamarind goes away, add the cooked dal to the sambar.
  • Check for seasoning and add what needs to be added. Let the sambar cook for another five minutes and then switch off the flame.
  • Serve hot with a south Indian meal of rice and a stir fry curry.


  • If you don’t have access to tamarind pulp, you can also buy tamarind paste which you should get in any Indian store. Use 1-2 tsp (as per your taste)
  • Instead of spinach, you can use any greens for this recipe

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