A versatile dish, it is a slightly sour-savory sauce made from tur dal, tamarind, and vegetables. The vegetables used can vary from cauliflower, potato, eggplant, etc.
Sambar is eaten with Idlis.
Savory, steamed saucer-like cakes made from a batter of fermented black lentils and rice. The resulting IDLI is soft, almost fluffy, perhaps even like sponge cake. And, you guessed it, Idli is served with the side pails of sambar and wet chutney.
IDLI cakes are especially popular when served for breakfast in the morning. These cakes look very appealing with an unmistakable bouquet, specially after they are freshly steamed.