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March 13, 2019

Bottle Gourd Sambar Recipe / Sorakkai Sambar / Lauki Sambar

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Sorakkai sambar
Sorakkai sambar / Bottle gourd sambar with freshly ground spices (Arachuvitta sorakkai sambar in Tamil) is an yummy, flavorful sambar recipe for rice. I have never tried varieties of sorakkai recipes for rice apart from  paal kootu , Poricha kuzhambusorakkai dosai and poriyal. When I heard about this sorakka sambar from my neighbor, I was tempted to give a try.  Basically bottle gourd is a bland vegetable. It doesn’t have any appealing flavor or taste. But its a healthy vegetable with lots of benefits. It has more water content which helps for weight loss, provides cooling effect to body, reduces liver inflammation, treats constipation etc. So I try to include this veggie atleast once in a week in my diet. For this sambar instead of following my usual sambar recipe, I added Tamil brahmin style arachuvitta sambar masala by roasting and grinding the spices, chilli and coconut. It came out very well with an awesome aroma. We loved this sambar very much. In Karnataka, my friends make Sorakkai sambar in a different way by adding a different masala. Soon I will try to learn from them and make a post. Now lets see how to make Tamilnadu style sorakkai sambar recipe with step by step pictures.

Check out my other sambar varieties for rice.

Also check out my 70+ kuzhambu recipes !

Sorakkai Samabr / Bottle gourd sambar recipe

Sorakkai Samabr / Bottle gourd sambar recipe

Arachuvitta Sorakkai sambar / Bottle gourd sambar for rice with freshly ground masala.

Cuisine: Tamil nadu
Category: Sambar
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 30 Minutes

1 cup - 250ml
  • Toor dal - 1/3 cup
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Cooking oil - few drops
  • Bottle gourd - 1/2 ( Cut into big chunks)
  • Big onion - 1 (Chop into cubes)
  • Tomato - 1 (Chop into cubes)
  • Green chilli – 1 (slit into two)
  • Curry leaves - Few
  • Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1/4 tsp
  • Tamarind - Big gooseberry size
  • Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp (Optional, Use any brand or homemade)
  • Salt & water - as needed
To roast and grind
  • Cooking oil - 2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds / dhania - 1 tbsp
  • Chana dal - 1 tbsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli - 6
  • Raw rice - 1/2 tsp
  • Hing - 2 pinches
  • Grated coconut - 1 tbsp
To Temper
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - Few
  • Coriander leaves - to garnish
  1. Wash and peel the skin of sorakkai / bottle gourd. Cut into two and chop the spongy portion. Discard it. Chop sorakkai into big cubes and set aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker, take the toor dal, chopped bottle gourd, onion, tomato, green chilli, cumin seeds, required water and a drop of cooking oil. Cook for 1 whistle in very low flame. Mash the dal gently and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai. Roast all the items given under “To roast and grind”. Grind to smooth paste.
  4. To the cooked dal add tamarind extract, ground masala paste, salt and some water.
  5. Roll boil for 5 minutes till nice aroma wafts. Temper in ghee and add to sambar. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with rice !
  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of water. Wash the bottle gourd and peel its outer skin using a peeler. Cut into two pieces and remove the center, spongy part using a knife and hands. Discard the soft part with seeds. Now chop the sorakkai into big pieces as we are making sambar with it. For poriyal or kootu, you can chop it finely.

  • In a pressure cooker base, take toor dal, chopped bottle gourd, chopped big onion, tomato, slit green chilli, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, required water and a drop of cooking oil. Keep the flame high and cook till steam starts to come out of the nozzle. As soon as steam comes out, lower the flame completely and put the weight valve. Let it pressure cook in very low flame for one whistle. It may take 8 to 12 minutes depending on the size of cooker. (If you use small sized cooker, keep it in small burner gas stove. For bigger sized cooker, use big burner.). Open the cooker lid after the steam is released on its own. Mash the dal gently with a ladle. Make sure you don’t mash the sorakkai pieces.

  • While pressure cooking, you can roast the ingredients for sambar masala. For this, heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai. Roast chana dal, urad dal, red chilli, methi seeds, coriander seeds and raw rice. Roast in medium flame till dal turns golden brown. Do not burn any ingredient. After roasting, grind everything to a smooth paste adding coconut and water. 
  • Add 1 cup of tamarind extract, sambar powder (optional), ground sambar masala paste to the cooked dal. Adjust the consistency of sambar by adding water. Add required salt. Let the sambar roll boil for few minutes till nice aroma wafts through your house. Add little water based on the thickness of sambar. Switch off the flame and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

  • Last but not the least do the tempering part. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a small kadai. Splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and add to sambar. Mix well and close with a lid. Give a standing time of 30 minutes to 1 hour for best taste and flavor.

  • Mix this sambar with plain rice. Do not forget to add few drops of ghee while serving !(This sambar thickens as it cools down. So add some water, give a boil and serve hot whenever needed). Enjoy !


  • Do not chop sorakkai into small pieces. It gets mashed up while pressure cooking. So use big pieces.
  • Adjust the quantity of red chilli as per your spice level.
  • This sambar thickens over time. So you should add water whenever needed, give a boil and serve hot.
  • Addition of sambar powder is optional in arachuvitta kuzhambu. But I use little.
  • Do not forget to temper in ghee for more flavor.

Try this yummy sorakkai arachuvitta sambar and share your feedback with me.

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SS said...

Neatly explainex and the sambar came out very well,:)

Chitra said...

Thank you for your feedback 😊

Sandy said...


I made this last night for dinner and my husband almost went for a 3rd helping. He said it was like hotel sambhar. It was so delicious. I wanted to switch it up from the normal way that I make sambhar and this was the perfect recipe. The bottle gourd soaks up the amazing flavors and the fresh spice grinding is key. Thank you for sharing this! I'm going to search your website now for more authentic dishes like this one.

Chitra said...

Hello Sandy, Iam so happy to know that. Thank you so much for taking time to write here and share your wonderful feedback 😊. It made my day !

Unknown said...

Awesome 😎