Lunch Box Series : LBS#4

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For today’s lunch, we had Sambar with Brinjal, we call it Vankaya Sambar in Telugu. And choice of vegetable was Cabbage. Cabbage, in most variations is difficult to eat. What with its smell and texture. But camouflaged with Moong Dal, you will never find the difference. This is almost like the Usili that’s famous in Tamil Nadu, except we make it differently. Brinjal Sambar’s excellence is based on how good your brinjals are. So choosing the right Brinjal is very important. My Dad loves Brinjal in any form and a good sambar made with the right variety is his favorite. So Amma makes it with special care just for him. I normally prefer Veggies that are easy to cook while preparing for lunch during weekdays, as there is very little time to dilly dally with veggies that have to be cooked separately. But on this occasion I had no other vegetable for Sambar, so had to end up preparing this.

Today’s Lunch Box had

Vankaya Sambar (Brinjal Sambar)
Cabbage – Usili with Yellow Moong Dal
Plain Rice
Curd Rice.Vankaya Sambar (Brinjal Sambar)

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins

Ingredients Needed

Toor Dal – 1 cup
Brinjal – 100 gms
Sambar Onions – 100 gms
Sambar Powder – 1 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 medium
Tamarind pulp – small lime size
Coriander Leaves – few chopped
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to Taste
Turmeric a pinch

For Seasoning

Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal + Fenugreek – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – few
Garlic – 4 pods

Method to Prepare:

Clean Toor Dal and pressure cook it with 2 drops of Oil and turmeric. This makes it cook fast. Keep it for 2 whistle.

Soak tamarind and extract pulp from it.

Chop onions, tomatoes, brinjals. Brinjals for sambar should be cut into just 4 pieces based on the size.

Heat oil in a pan, add the seasoning ingredients. Then add chopped onions, Once they are golden in colour, add the chopped brinjals. Sauté till they are cooked, add tomatoes, Sambar powder. Cook till the tomatoes are soft.

Then add the cooked toor dal, tamarind pulp. The dal should be well cooked. We usually mash with pappu guthi, which a long wooden stick like ladle.

Cook on high flame for 5 mins, then simmer for 10 mins till its cooked well. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Cabbage Usili

Cabbage – 500 gms
Yellow Moong Dal – 100 gms
Coconut – 1 tbsp
Green Chillies – 3
Curry leaves
Salt to taste

For seasoning
Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal + Cumin – 1/2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Clean and chop cabbage into fine pieces. Run coconut and green chillies in mixie to get a coarse paste.

In a pan, add water and boil Moong dal and chopped cabbage till its cooked. Keep it aside.

Heat oil, add seasonings, then coconut paste. Fry well. Then add the cooked cabbage and moong dal. Sauté for a while.

Its done in 5 mins.

Curd Rice was just seasoned with Mustard and Curry leaves.

I prepare Sambar atleast twice a week for lunch as its easy to get done fast. And this variation in cabbage is nice to eat.

Lunch Box Series : LBS#4

Course Main Dish - Gravies
Cuisine Andhra Pradesh
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Thanks archana..good to know you also don’t like cabbage…

    Thanks are most welcome

    Great..Sharmi…it must have been a great one with your cooking skills you must’ve done some real cool ones

    Thanks usha

    hahha..glad you share the same thought bee

    Welcome Jyothi …thanks for dropping by

    You are most welcome Cynthia

  2. Hi Srivalli,

    as promised, I made cabbage usili yesterday and it came out so very well that I am tempted to post it on my blog ( with your permission)..thanks for sharing such a healthy and easy recipe..:D

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