Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kolmbo (Konkani Sambhar)

Kolmbo is a popular konkani sambhar. I learnt to make this from amma. It is a healthy dish (be it the dal or the veggies or the spices. Each one adds some goodness to the sambhar). I always prefer making a dish from scratch. Preparing from scratch always demands more effort but the end product is always very tasty.  
Try making this sambhar and enjoy the freshness of the spices!!

  • Chopped Vegetables- 2-3 cups
  • Toordal- 1/2 cup
  • Coriander leaves/Cilantro- 5-6 sprigs
  • Oil- 2-3 Tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves- few
  • Salt- To taste
Masala for Kolmbo :
  • Coriander seeds- 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Chana dal/Split chickpeas- 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Asafoetida- A pinch
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin/Jeera seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Grated coconut, fresh/frozen- 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Roasted Red Chilli- 4
  • Tamarind- A small ball (goose berry sized)
Vegetables which I used was- Ivy gourd, suran (Indian yam), beans, onion and carrot. You can also use brinjal (green colored), drumstick or any vegetable of your choice.


Wash the vegetables and cut them into desired shape.

Now take a cooker and add washed toordal and chopped vegetables. Add salt to taste and sufficient water. Cook this for 2-3 whistles.
To make Masala- All the spices needs to be roasted but the frying time for each spice is different. First add 1/2 Tbsp oil in a small pan. When it gets heated add chana dal. Fry for 1/2 a minute and then add coriander seeds. Fry till the two spices turn slight brown in color. Now add asafoetida, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Fry until everything looks fried. Now turn off the heat. Allow these spices to cool on a plate. 

Now in the same pan start frying the grated coconut without adding oil. Once it starts turning slight brown, add turmeric powder. Continue frying for half a minute. Turn off the heat.

Now grind the spices, fried coconut, roasted red chilli and tamarind with little amount of water (you should get a fine paste). Add this masala to the cooked vegetable and dal mixture. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Check for salt and adjust the consistency of Sambhar  by adding water. Once it comes to boil, continue heating for 5-6 minutes. Add Chopped cilantro and turn off the heat.
For seasoning- Heat 1 Tbsp oil. To this add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering, add curry leaves. Fry for few seconds and turn off the heat. Add this to the sambhar. Mix well. Kolmbo is ready!!

Serve it hot with idlis, rice, ragi mudhe or dosa. Above measurement serves 3-4 people.


  1. Nicely explained with step by step pictures. Will give a try.Thanks..

    1. Thanks a lot. Hope you tried making it. Do try other recipes and let me know how it turned out for you. Happy Cooking.

  2. Nicely explained with step by step pictures. Will give a try.Thanks..

  3. Can we make powder in advance and preserve and keep

    1. Hi Gauri, sorry for the delayed reply. You cannot store this powder for long as it contains coconut. Maybe you can store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. But keep in mind that it might lose little flavor.

  4. Replies
    1. You can add. Put keep in mind the cooking time. You can cook it separately and add.

  5. Can we make powder in advance and preserve and keep