Herbie Makes Vegetarian Sambar in Cochin

One of Herbie’s favourite places in India is Brunton’s Boatyard in Cochin

In this video, he makes a Vegetarian Sambar

(From Spice Notes & Recipes by Ian Hemphill published by Macmillan)



  • 2 cups vegetables, such as eggplant, potato, okra and carrot, chopped into 1cm pieces*
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • steamed rice and coriander leaves, to serve
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and stir in the sambar powder.  Stir for one minute and then add the vegetables and stir-fry for a further two minutes.  Pour in the water and salt, cover and simmer until vegetables are cooked.  Add the mushy lentils or peas and simmer for another five minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves and serve hot over rice.  Serves 4 as a meal.
  • When two or three vegetables are used there is a subtle blending of flavours.  For a more distinctive flavour, make the sambar with only one type of vegetable.