sambar the name of the soupy dish or stew which (with many variations) is eaten all over the south of India, using sambar podi/masala as the spice mixture, see masala. It is usually fiery hot, because of the presence of red chilli pepper in this. It also contains black pepper, turmeric, coriander seeds, fenugreek, cumin seeds, and also—an unexpected touch in a spice mixture—small amounts of dal (split pea), e.g. chana, urd, and arhar dal.
© the Estate of Alan Davidson 1999, 2006, 2014 © in the Editor’s contribution to the second and third editions, Oxford University Press 2006, 2014.