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Green Tomatoes Sambar- South Indian Recipe


Green tomatoes, lentil, eggplant and roasted ground coconut masala cooked together to make this finger licking sambar…

Harvest season has come to an end and I had to pick all the unripe green tomatoes form my veggie garden. I got a lot of green tomatoes sitting on my counter top, thought of letting them ripen in my kitchen. However, it seems there a lot of South Indian recipes that can be made with green tomatoes- sambar, theeyal, avial etc. Since, green tomatoes will impart the needed sourness to the dish, this can be used to replace tamarind or green mangoes. As my first dish, I tried this sambar using green tomatoes and I loved it.

I served with Oats Idli, tasted delicious…

Homegrown organic green tomatoes


Green Tomatoes Sambar


Cooking Video

Green Tomatoes Sambar- South Indian Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5 People
  • Toor Dal or Pigeon Peas or Sambar lentil- ½ cup
  • Green Tomatoes, diced- 3, large
  • Eggplant, diced- 1 cup
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  • Water- 1½ cups
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
To Roast and Grind to a coarse powder
  • Chana Dal- 3 tbsp
  • Urad Dal- 1 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds- 3 tbsp
  • Whole black peppercorns- 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds- ¾ tsp
  • Dry red chilies- 3
  • Grated coconut- ½ cup
For Tempering
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Dry red chilies- 2
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  1. In a pressure cooker, combine toor dal, green tomatoes, eggplant,, turmeric powder, salt and 1½ cups water.
  2. Place over medium heat and cook till 1 whistle or 20 minutes till dal and veggies have turned tender. Don't over cook the veggies.
  3. Place a non-stick pan over medium heat, add all the ingredients mentioned 'to roast and grind to a coarse powder' and roast till coconut turns golden brown.
  4. Let cool down and grind to a coarse powder.
  5. Open the pressure cooker, combine the cooked veggies and toor dal.
  6. Add turmeric powder and ground masala, combine well.
  7. Add ½ cup more water.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes and remove from the heat.
  9. Place a frying pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp oil and let oil turn hot.
  10. Add mustard seeds, let it splutter.
  11. Add dry red chilies and curry leaves, fry for a few seconds.
  12. Pour the tempering over the cooked sambar.
  13. Close the cooker with its lid and keep aside for 5 minutes.
  14. Serve sambar along with idli, dosa or rice, tastes delicious.
Roasted Ground Masala can be made ahead of time and refrigerated in an air tight container for a month.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...