It is known as Sambaru or huli in Karnataka, Kuzhambu in Tamilnadu and Sambhar in North India due to different dialects but its preparation is same.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I can earn a small commission if you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
WHAT IS SAMBAR ?
Sambar is South Indian lentil and vegetable stew made with lentils ,tamarind and unique blend spice blend together called sambar powder.This is a must have accompaniment for popular South Indian breakfast and lunch recipes like Idli, Dosa, Medu Vada, Steamed Rice etc.The final taste of Sambar greatly depends on the quality and aroma of Sambar Powder.
HOMEMADE SAMBAR POWDER
Sambar powder is easily available on Amazon or any Indian grocery store.In case you can’t find sambar powder , here’s a quick recipe to make it at home.
Dry roast the following spices in a pan on medium-low heat until fragrant, around 3 to 4 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (dhaniya)
- 1 tablespoon channa dal (skinned split bengal gram)
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (skinned split black gram)
- 4-5 dried red chilies (or more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin(jeera) seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
Let cool and then grind to a powder. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR SAMBAR
Sambar is served traditionally Idli, Dosa, Medu Vada, Steamed Rice.But can be eaten with quinoa, brown rice! or even eaten as a lentil soup.
How to Make Vegetable Sambar in Instant Pot Step By Step
1.Press SAUTE mode on Instant Pot. Add oil and once it’s hot add mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and asafetida, let it splutter.
2.Add mix vegetables, tomatoes and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
3.Then add washed toor dal(lentils),sambar powder, turmeric powder, tamarind extract , salt, coconut paste and water.Mix well.
4.Press CANCEL button on Instant Pot.
5.Close the lid on the pot, and turn valve from VENTING to SEALING position.
6.Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and set timer to 8 minutes
7.Do a NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE(NPR) (Wait until silver button on lid drops).BE CAREFUL OF THE HOT STEAM
8.Remove lid away from you, garnish with Coriander leaves.
9.Mix well and adjust consistency and spice level.Increase accordingly.
10.Serve with Hot Rice.
Variations and Substitutes for Vegetable Sambar
- Traditionally in south indian household toor dal (split pigeon pea) is used to make sambar.But you can always use a mix of toor dal & moong dal(split yellow mung lentil) or toor dal & masoor dal(red lentil).
- You can use vegetables of your choice like Drumstick, Brinjal(egg plant), Sweet potato , pearl onions, pumpkin and squash.
- If tamarind is not available you can replace with 1 tomato or juice of 1/2 lime.
You can also try my other INSTANT POT Rice recipes like
Vegetable Sambar Instant Pot Recipe Card Below
★ DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE? Don’t forget to give a ★ rating. Just click on the stars in the Recipe Card to rate!
Vegetable Sambar is a South Indian lentil and vegetable stew made with lentils ,tamarind and unique blend spice blend together called sambar powder.
- measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml
- 1 cup toor dal/split Pigeon Pea washed
- 2 cups mix vegetables (carrot,beans,potato)
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 2 tbsp sambar powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder optional
- 1 tbsp tamarind Concentrate *See Notes
- 1/4 cup coconut paste optional *See Notes
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp cilantro/Coriander leaves to garnish
- 2 tbsp oil/ghee
Press SAUTE mode on Instant Pot. Add oil and once it's hot add mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and asafetida, let it splutter.
Add mix vegetables, tomatoes and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Then add washed toor dal(lentils),sambar powder, turmeric powder, tamarind extract , salt, coconut paste and water.Mix well.
Press CANCEL button on Instant Pot.
Close the lid on the pot, and turn valve from VENTING to SEALING position.
Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and set timer to 8 minutes
Do a NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE(NPR) (Wait until silver button on lid drops).BE CAREFUL OF THE HOT STEAM
Remove lid away from you, garnish with Cilantro.
Mix well and adjust consistency and spice level.Increase accordingly.
Serve with Hot Steamed Rice.
1.Blend 1/4 cup fresh/frozen coconut with little water to make smooth coconut paste.
2.To make tamarind paste,soak lemon sized tamarind in hot water,squeeze and extract the juice.
3.Sambar Powder is easily available in indian grocery stores or amazon (http://amzn.to/2G0Eeck).
4.If you like your sambar to be more spicy add 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder.
5.You can also add vegetables like pumpkin,drumstick,eggplant etc.
6.I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT
Note:Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.