Sambar Recipe with Step by Step Photos. Sambar is a south indian lentil and vegetable stew. The recipe shared here is an easy and quick method to make delicious vegetable sambar in pressure cooker. I usually make sambar using the method I have mentioned in this post as this is a very easy method for making sambar and less time consuming for me.
In sambar various vegetables are added. Either you can make sambar with a mix of veggies or use only one vegetable. Usually I add vegetables like pumpkin, carrots, drumsticks, green beans, okra, potatoes, brinjals, snake gourd and onions. You can add your choice of vegetables too. Sambar powder is also added. Its best to use homemade sambar powder or a good brand of sambar powder. I have already shared homemade sambar powder recipe.
Usually the vegetables are cooked separately and then the mashed dal is added to the cooked vegetables. In this recipe, I have used veggies like small brinjals, okra, french beans, potatoes, shallots and tomatoes. I have cooked the vegetables and yellow lentils (arhar dal) in a pressure cooker.
Cooking in pressure cooker reduces the cooking time considerably, saves gas and also preserves the nutrients of the vegetables. When you are in a hurry to cook a meal then these quick recipes are life saver.
Sambar can be served with steamed rice, idlis, dosasor vada or uttapam.
if you are looking for more sambar varieties then do check:
Sambar Recipe Below:
Vegetable Sambar recipe - an easy and quick recipe to make vegetable sambar using pressure cooker.
- ½ cup tuvar or arhar dal (pigeon pea lentils)
- 1 to 1.5 cups cleaned and chopped vegetables like okra, french beans, potatoes, shallots or onions, small round brinjals, tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon seedless tamarind (imli) soaked in ⅓ cup water
- 1 to 1.5 tablespoons sambar powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric (haldi powder)
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 2 to 2.5 cups water, for pressure cooking the dal
- 1 cup water to be added later or add as required
- salt as required
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil (gingelly oil), can also use peanut oil or sunflower oil
- 2 to 3 dry red chillies (sookhi lal mirch)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 1 pinch fenugreek seeds (methi seeds), optional
- 1 to 2 pinches asafoetida (hing)
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves crushed lightly with the peels, optional
- 10 to 12 curry leaves
first soak the tamarind in warm water for 30 mins.
pick and rinse the dal in water well.
chop all veggies and keep aside.
if using brinjals, then keep them immersed in water in which a bit of salt is added, so that they don't darken.
cook dal in 2 to 2.5 cups water in the pressure cooker for 8 to 9 whistles on medium to high flame. the dal should become soft and mushy.
- once the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid.
now add the chopped veggies, turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida and salt. add 1 cup water and stir well.
- pressure cook again for 1 whistle on medium to high flame. once the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid.
- add the sambar powder and tamarind pulp. if the consistency of sambar is thick, then add some water.
keep the cooker on the stove and and then simmer the sambar for 7 to 8 minutes on a low flame.
- keep on stirring at intervals so that the dal does not stick to the bottom. switch off and keep the sambar covered.
- in a small pan, heat oil. crackle the mustard seeds first.
- then add the fenugreek seeds, garlic, red chilies, asafoetida and curry leaves.
- fry till the garlic turns a light brown and the red chilies change color. pour the whole tempering in the steaming hot sambar. close with a lid so that the flavors infuse for about 5-6 minutes.
- later stir and then serve the vegetable sambar with steamed rice or idli or dosa or medu vada.
tips for making sambar recipe:
- for faster cooking you can soak the lentils in water for 30 to 45 minutes before cooking them.
- usually the vegetables are not cooked in a pressure cooker but in another pan. but cooking the vegetables in the pressure cooker saves a lot of time and also preserves the nutrients of the vegetables.
- you can also add about ¼ or ½ teaspoon garam masala powder to the sambar when you add the veggies. the use of garam masala powder gives a spicy flavour and taste to sambar.
How to make Sambar Recipe:
1: Sambar uses tamarind pulp as it lends a subtle sour flavor and taste to it. So first to make the tamarind pulp, take some warm water and soak the tamarind in it for 30 mins.
2. Once the tamarind gets soft, you then squeeze the tamarind and remove the pulp. Strain it later.
3: Boil ½ cup tuvar dal (arhar dal, pigeon pea lentils) along with 2 to 2.5 cups water in a pressure cooker till the dal is mushy and completely cooked. When the pressure settles down in the cooker on its own, then open the lid and mash the lentils. You can see the consistency of dal in the pic below.
4: Now add 1 to 1.5 cups chopped vegetables in the pressure cooker containing the mashed dal.
5: Stir well and then add ½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi), ½ tsp red chilli powder, a pinch of asafoetida, salt. Add 1 cup water. Stir well and and pressure cook for one whistle on medium to high flame. Ensure that you don’t over cook the vegetables.
6: When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid. Add the tamarind pulp and 1 to 1.5 tbsp sambar powder. Mix very well. Add water if required to give a medium consistency in the sambar. Simmer for 7 to 8 minutes without the lid on a low to medium-low flame. Once done cover and keep the sambar aside.
7: In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds. When it starts crackling, add 12 to 15 curry leaves, 2 to 3 dry red chillies, 2 to 3 garlic cloves, 1 pinch of fenugreek seeds and a pinch or two of asafoetida. Fry them till the red chilies change color and the garlic turn a light golden. Now add this tempering mixture in the hot sambar. Immediately cover the cooker with its lid, so that the aroma and flavors from the tempering mixture gets infused with the sambar.
8: Usually, the sambar is cooked a two three hours earlier as its taste become better with time. However, I like sambar to be served as soon as it is made. Sambar can be served with steamed rice, idlis, dosas, medu vada or rava uttapam. I served the sambar with rice and red cabbage thoran.