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Cooking Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Sambar Powder

Running out of sambar powder can feel like a mini kitchen crisis, right?

Good news—we’ve got you covered with some genius swaps.

Sure, sambar powder has its unique magic, but these substitutes are about to save your dish and maybe even add a new twist.

From homemade mixes to single-ingredient heroes, we are about to dive into a treasure trove of alternatives.

Each option is kitchen-tested and flavor-approved.

Stick with us to turn that “oops” into a “wow” moment in your next meal. Ready to rescue your sambar and impress yourself? Let’s get into it.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sambar Powder

If you don’t have sambar powder on hand or can’t find it at your local grocery store, there are a few good substitutes that will work in a pinch.

Here are the 5 best substitutes for sambar powder.

1 – Rasam Powder

Rasam powder is a key ingredient in South Indian cuisine.

It is made from a blend of roasted spices, including cumin, coriander, black pepper, and chili peppers.

The powder is used to flavor soups and stews, and it can also be used as a dry rub for meats.

Rasam powder has a complex flavor that is simultaneously earthy, spicy, and acidic.

The texture of the powder is coarse and sandy.

Rasam powder can be used as a substitute for sambar powder in any recipe.

Sambar powder is similar to rasam powder, but it also contains lentils and other legumes.

As a result, it has a slightly sweeter flavor and a more moist texture.

When substituting rasam powder for sambar powder, use 1 tablespoon of rasam powder for every 2 tablespoons of sambar powder called for in the recipe.

2 – Curry Powder

Curry powder is a blend of spices that originates from India.

It typically includes turmeric, coriander, cumin, and chili pepper, among other spices.

The exact proportions of each spice vary depending on the region where the curry powder is made.

As a result, curry powders can range in taste from mild to spicy.

Additionally, they can vary in texture, depending on whether or not they include ground ginger or other fibrous spices.

If you cannot find sambar powder, you can substitute curry powder in its place.

Just keep in mind that curry powder is usually more finely ground than sambar powder, so you may need to adjust the amount you use.

You should also be aware that curry powder will add a bit of heat to your dish, so use it sparingly if you are sensitive to spice.

Overall, though, curry powder is a good substitute for sambar powder and can help you create a similar flavor profile in your dishes.

3 – Garam Masala

Garam masala is a spice blend that originates from India.

It is typically made with a combination of cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, and black pepper.

The spices are ground into a powder, which can be used to flavor both savory and sweet dishes.

Garam masala has a strong, robust flavor that is often described as being ” warming”.

When used in cooking, it can help to add depth and richness to a dish.

Additionally, garam masala can be used as a substitute for sambar powder.

Sambar powder is another Indian spice blend that is similar in taste and texture.

However, it also contains fenugreek seeds, which gives it a slight bitterness flavor.

If you do not have sambar powder on hand, you can easily create a substitute by mixing together equal parts garam masala and fenugreek powder.

4 – Chaat Masala

Chaat Masala is a powder used as a seasoning in Indian cuisine, typically sprinkled on top of fruit or savory snacks.

It is composed of a mixture of dry spices, such as cumin, coriander, cloves, ginger, and black salt.

The spices are roasted and then ground into a powder.

The actual proportions of each spice vary depending on the region and personal preferences.

The flavor of Chaat Masala is salty, sour, and spicy with a hint of sweetness.

The texture is slightly coarse due to the presence of the whole spices.

For those who are unfamiliar with Indian cuisine, Chaat Masala can be used as a substitute for Sambar powder.

It can be used in any dish where you would like to add a bit of savory spice.

Simply sprinkle it on top of the dish before serving.

5 – Vindaloo Curry Powder

Vindaloo curry powder is a popular Indian spice blend that gets its name from the Portuguese dish it is based on.

Vindaloo is typically made with a combination of chili peppers, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garlic, which gives it a unique taste and texture.

Because of its powerful flavor, Vindaloo curry powder can be used as a substitute for Sambar powder in many recipes.

When substituting Vindaloo for Sambar, it is important to use half the amount of Vindaloo spice blend as you would Sambar powder.

This will help to prevent the dish from becoming too spicy.

With its bold flavor and versatile uses, Vindaloo curry powder is a staple in many Indian kitchens.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sambar Powder

Discover the ultimate substitutes for sambar powder with our curated list of the 5 best alternatives. Elevate your culinary experience by exploring these perfect replacements for sambar powder in your recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Rasam Powder
  • Curry Powder
  • Garam Masala
  • Chaat Masala
  • Vindaloo Curry Powder


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Sambar Powder
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