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Chinna Vengayam Araichu Vitta Sambhar in a Bowl
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Chinna Vengayam Araichu Vitta Sambhar | Pearl Onion Sambhar

It is very typical in the South Indian family to make Chinna Vengayam Araichu Vitta Sambhar the day before the Diwali/Deepavali festival. I make it usually when I am expecting visitors or for a weekend special spread.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Appetizer, dinner
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 145kcal


  • Pressure Cooker
  • Spoon


  • 2 cups Chinna Vengayam / pearl onion peeled fresh or frozen
  • large Tamarind A large Marble size piecesoaked in about 2 cups of hot water
  • ½ cup Tuvaram paruppu / toor dal
  • ½ tsp Sambhar powder optional
  • few Curry leaves
  • to taste Salt
  • 1 tsp Jaggery / brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Oil

Fry and grind together –

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Kothamalli vidhai / Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp Kadalai paruppu / Channa dal
  • 1 tsp Ullutham paruppu / urad dal
  • 5 Red chilies
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • ¼ cup Coconut grated

For seasoning –

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Ullutham paruppu
  • Few Curry leaves


  • Soak the tamarind in hot water for about 15 minutes and then squeeze out the extract.
  • Cook the tuvaram paruppu in a pressure cooker until very soft and mushy. Once cooked, mash it well with a ladle and keep it aside.
  • Peel the pearl onions are using fresh ones. I used frozen ones and all I had to do was drop it into the pan.
  • In a pot, add about 2 tsp of oil (preferably gingelly oil) and sauté the onions for about 5-7 minutes, until aromatic.
  • Now add the tamarind extract, sambhar powder, and salt and let it boil for about 10-15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, in a small pan, fry all the ingredients (except coconut) mentioned under grind together to about golden brown. Then add the grated coconut and fry for a minute more until it is lightly golden.
  • Let it cool down a bit and then grind to a coarse paste using very little water. Keep it aside.
  • Check and see if the vegetable is cooked and then add the ground paste. Let it come to a quick boil and then add the cooked paruppu/dal. Mix well and add a little more water (if needed) to adjust the consistency. Also add the curry leaves now and let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Stir it often in between since the sambhar tends to settle down in the bottom.
  • Heat oil for seasoning and then add the ingredients mentioned above. Add the seasoning to the sambhar and then turn off the flame.
  • Serve hot with rice and ghee!


Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 60mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg