Etymology: sambar, the dish?/"kUTam"

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Fri Jan 14 18:31:42 UTC 2000

In Sanskrit sambhaara.h means a collection of things for some purpose.
Sambar is a collection of dal and vegetables.

Which would remind one of kicharee (there is an old British
spelling for it that I forget) which is also a mixture. A full
meal generally includes a component of each of these three:
1. grain (rice/wheat), 2. pulses, beans and the like (protein)
and 3. vegetable/fruit. Sambar has the last two and  thus needs
rice, kicharee has the first two and thus needs vegetables to
complement it.

Regarding  "kUTam" (N. Ganesan), it seems that the Hindi verb
kUTanA (to pound) has come from tamil.


Georg v. Simson wrote:
sambar seems to be the same word as Sanskrit saMvara, which is found in
some Buddhist texts, i. e. DivyAvadAna and PrAtimokSasUtra. See Edgerton,
Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary, s.v. saMvara (3): "provisions of food,
... provisions for a meal. " In PrAtimokSasUtra (NiHsargikA pAtayantikA)
the term piNDapAta-saMvara occurs, and it is quite clear that this does not
mean a special dish, but probably something one needs to prepare the food a
monk would get in his almsbowl, perhaps the "ingredients"? An originally
general meaning of the term might later on have narrowed down to mean
special dishes.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list