sambar recipe – an easy and quick recipe to make vegetable sambar using pressure cooker.
recipe type: main
cuisine: south indian
ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
Ingredients for the Sambar Recipe:
1 cup tuvar or arhar dal/pigeon pea lentils
1 to 1.5 cups, cleaned and chopped vegetables – okra, french beans, potatoes, shallots or onions, small round brinjals, tomatoes
1 tbsp seedless tamarind/imli soaked in ½ cup water
1 to 1.5 tbsp sambar powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric/haldi powder
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
2.5 to 3 cups water for pressure cooking the dal
2 cups water to be added later
salt as required
for the tempering (tadka/chaunk) of sambar
2-3 tbsp oil
2 to 3 dry red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds/rai
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds/methi seeds (optional)
a pinch or two of asfoetida/hing
2 to 3 cloves garlic – crushed lightly with the peels (optional)
12 to 15 curry leaves
how to make the recipe:
first soak the tamarind in warm water for 30 mins. pick and rinse the dal in water well.
boil dal in 2.5 to 3 cups water in the pressure cooker for 8-9 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 2 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 10-12 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.
1. For faster cooking you can soak the lentils in water for 30-45 mins before cooking them.
2. 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.
3: You can also add about ¼ or ½ tsp 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.
step by step vegetable sambar recipe
1: Sambar uses tamarind pulp as it lends a subtle sour flavor and taste to it. So first to make the tamarind paste, 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 1 cup tuvar dal/arhar dal in a pressure cooker till the dal is mushy and completely cooked. 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 2 cups 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: Then once the veggies are cooked, add the tamarind pulp and 1 to 1.5 tbsp sambar powder. Add water if required to give a medium consistency in the sambar. Simmer for 10-12 minutes without the lid on a low to medium flame. Once done cover and keep the sambar aside.
7: In a pan, heat 2-3 tbsp oil. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds. When it starts crackling, add 12 to 15 curry leaves, 2 to 3 dry red chillies, 2-3 garlic cloves, ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds and a pinch of two of asafoetida. Fry them till they are done. Now add this 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. Sambarcan be served with steamed rice, idlis, dosas, appams. I served the sambar with rice and red cabbage thoran.