Sambhariya – A Rich Potato & Onion Sabzi with Suresh Kimtee

by on April 15, 2015

A delicious side-dish and a cherished memory, this recipe of Sambhariya sabzi reminds Sureshji Kimtee of his mother and her penchant for perfection. This is a much-loved recipe and a family favourite for decades. He says the trick is in choosing the potatoes and onions of same size and shape – perfect 1 inch rounds – but not baby potatoes and baby onions.



  • Small potatoes – ½ kg
  • Small onions – ½ kg
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  • Chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • Jaggery – 2-3 tbsp
  • Tamarind pulp (thick) – 1 tbsp
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves – for garnishing, chopped fine

For the gravy:

  • Small potatoes – 3, coarsely grated
  • Small onions – 3, chopped fine
  • Gram flour (besan) – 2 tbsp
  • Garam masala – ¼ tsp
  • Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 tsp to 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Green chilli – chopped fine
  • Coriander leaves – a few sprigs, chopped fine
  • Salt to taste


  1. Add the ingredients for the gravy along with 1 tablespoon oil. Set this mixture aside.
  2. Peel the potatoes and onions and quarter them. Heat water in a pan, add the quartered potatoes and cook until parboiled. Take care that they are not cooked fully. Now add the quartered onions and boil for 10 more minutes. Set aside along with the water.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a wok. Add the cumin seeds and as they splutter, add ½ teaspoon chilli powder. Immediately add the mixture for the gravy. Saute for 2 minutes and add 2 cups of water. Allow to cook until the potatoes in the mixture have cooked fully.
  4. Add the jaggery and tamarind pulp and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the boiled potatoes and onions along with the water. Allow to cook until it looks like a thick gravy. Adjust the salt and quantity of water.
  6. Add the ghee and switch off the flame.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with roti or paratha. In the Kimtee family, they enjoy eating this dish with steamed rice and kadhi.


This recipe was first published in His ladle love – a column in Harmony Magazine. Part-1 of this post is a very interesting interview with Suresh Kimtee, a Marwari residing in Hyderabad with a passion for history and penchant for cooking.


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