Sambar is a popular South Indian recipe. It could be served with rice, idly, dosa, pongal, vada and many other recipes. I have already shared a Drumstick sambar recipe and Paruppu Kadayal recipe using Toor dal. Today I am sharing Milagai Killi potta sambar which is quite easy and very quick sambar which tastes delicious. The name describes the recipe well. Milagai (Red Chilli) killi potta means breaking and adding it to the Sambar.

Milagai Killi Sambar

You do not need Sambar powder for this sambar. We are going to use only shallots(small onions) and red chillies for this recipe. My hubby use to address this as Bachelor Sambar. Less ingredients and less time. Let us see the procedure.


AUTHOR : Dimple                           CUISINE : South Indian
COURSE : Main Course                   YIELD : 2-3 Servings


  • Tamarind – small lemon size
  • Water – as needed
  • Salt – as needed
  • Oil – 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 Tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 Tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 Tsp
  • Hing / Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Curry leaves – 1 string
  • Red chillies – 10 – 12
  • Shallots / Baby onions – 10 or 12

For Cooking Dal :

  • Toor dal – 1/4 cup
  • Water – as needed
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves
  • Castor oil – 1 Tsp
  • Turmeric – 1/4 Tsp
  • Asafoetida / Hing – a pinch


  • Soak tamarind in water for 20 min. Extract juice and remove the pulp.
  • Break red chillies into two halves.
  • Peel the onion skin.


  1. Wash and pressure cook the dal for 2 whistles. Add enough water, turmeric, garlic, hing and castor oil with dal.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai / pan. Add mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter add urad dal and cumin seeds.
  3. Saute  until golden brown. Add curry leaves and hing.
  4. Add red chillies and saute for a minute or less until it starts to become dark.
  5. Add onions and cook for about 2 min or until soft.
  6. Add tamarind water and salt.
  7. Cook for few min. Add cooked dal. (No need to mash the dal)
  8. Combine well and adjust the consistency with water(if needed). Cook until it starts to boil.
  9. Turn off the heat when it is done.


  • No need to soak the dal. Also you can cook 1 whistle less than your regular cooking time. We do not need completely mashed dal. You should feel the dal while eating the sambar.
  • Also this sambar should be little watery in consistency.
  • Make sure you add shallots / baby onions / Small onions only. This gives the exact taste of the sambar. Do not use regular onions.
  • If you do not like whole onions you can chop it and use it. But whole onions gives wonderful taste for this recipe.

Do try this recipe at home and let me know how it turned out for you. Share your comments down below in the comment section.

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Step by Step Procedure with pictures :



15 thoughts on “MILAGAI KILLI POTTA SAMBAR – Onion Sambar

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