Do you want to give your dishes an extra boost of flavor? Sambar powder is a great way to do just that.
But what is sambar powder, and how do you use it? Sambar powder is a type of Indian spice blend that is typically made with chili peppers, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and black pepper.
It has a bold and savory flavor that can liven up any dish.
Plus, it’s easy to make at home.
Here’s a quick guide on how to cook with sambar powder and the 5 best substitutes for sambar powder.
What is Sambar Powder?
Sambar powder is a traditional South Indian spice blend made from roasted spices.
It is typically used to flavor sambar, a popular lentil-based soup.
The powder can also be used to season other dishes, such as curries and rice.
Sambar powder typically contains a blend of chili peppers, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and black pepper.
The exact mix of spices varies depending on the region and the individual cook.
The powder is usually red or brown in color and has a mildly spicy taste.
Sambar powder can be purchased at Indian grocery stores or online.
It can also be made at home by grinding whole spices together.
To use sambar powder, simply add it to the dish during cooking.
It can also be sprinkled on top of finished dishes for extra flavor.
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.
In conclusion, there are a few different spices and spice blends that can be used as a substitute for sambar powder.
These include curry powder, garam masala, chaat masala, and Vindaloo curry powder.
Each of these spices has a unique flavor that can help to enhance the taste of your dish.
When substituting one spice for another, it is important to use the correct amount so that the dish does not become too spicy or bitter.
With a little experimentation, you can find the perfect spice blend to suit your taste buds.