Etymology: sambar, the dish?

Geeta Bharathan geeta at LIFE.BIO.SUNYSB.EDU
Thu Jan 13 14:16:06 EST 2000


Not along lines of most "Indological" questions, but there may be
interesting issue lurking here, so I hope you will take the query seriously.

I haven't been able to find the word in the two Tamil dictionaries I
have, nor in anything on line. The dish is common in Karnataka, Andhra
Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, but the word seems to be nonexistent (it seems
to be more commonly used in Tamil)! What is the origin of the word? Does
it have anything to do with the SE Asian 'sambal' (which is more a
condiment, like a chutney than a 'curry' like sambar)?

Thanks for any leads.

--Geeta



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