Make this sambhar maple-butter cornbread, then check out our classic cornbread, chilli cornbread pie and more bread recipes.

Gurdeep Loyal is a food and drink trends specialist who built his career working at Harrods Food Halls, Innocent Drinks and M&S Food. He’s also a food writer and curator of online platform Mother Tongue. His first recipe book of the same name is out now. @gurd_loyal

What is sambhar masala?

Sambhar masala is a South Indian spice mixture that combines ingredients such as coriander seeds, curry leaves, fenugreek, turmeric, mustard seeds and roasted dhals. It’s used to make sambhar dhals to go with rice dishes, dosas and idlis, and can be used in veg stir-fries and curries. Its aromatic, earthy flavour with herbal and mustardy notes is distinct from the North Indian mixture garam masala. It’s loved by chefs in restaurants including Hoppers in London, Semma in New York and Chaat at the Rosewood in Hong Kong. I especially like the mixture from MDH that can be found in most Indian supermarkets or online from


  • 250g coarse cornmeal or polenta
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 225g salted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 300ml soured cream
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100g very strong mature cheddar, grated
  • 15g coriander leaves, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tbsp sambhar masala powder


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 6. Put a baking sheet on the middle shelf. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and 1½ tsp of fine sea salt in a large bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Next, melt 150g of butter and liberally brush the inside of a 21cm springform cake tin. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, 2 tbsp of the maple syrup and the rest of the melted butter.

  • STEP 3

    Stir the dry ingredients into the wet (don’t overmix) then mix through the cheddar and coriander. Spread the thick batter into the buttered cake tin, put in the oven on top of the baking sheet and bake for 30-35 mins or until golden on top and cooked through. Remove from the oven and prick the top with a toothpick every few centimetres all over the surface.

  • STEP 4

    Melt together the remaining butter and maple syrup, and the sambhar masala in a small pan. Warm through for a minute, then drizzle all over the cornbread. Let the spiced butter seep into the cornbread for 5 mins, then remove from the tin onto a plate, garnish with more coriander and serve.

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