How to Make South Indian Sambar in 20 Minutes

Updated on February 2, 2018
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I am passionate about cooking and eating natural, healthy, and tasty foods. I like to write articles about healthy and yummy foods.

South Indian Sambar
South Indian Sambar

A Yummy Wholesome Curry For All

Sambar is a South Indian delicacy. You can make sambar with any one vegetable of your choice or with mixed vegetables. Lentil is the ingredient that gives this dish its yummy taste.

To make this sambar, cooked lentils are mixed with boiled vegetables and spice powders. This spicy curry is very flavorful, smooth, thick, and delicious. In this, you get variety of nutrients from both lentil and veggies. Sambar is easy to digest. It contains very less oil.

This is a super quick way of making the sambar in 20 minutes. Pressure cooker made this miraculous thing happen. I made this sambar using a pressure cooker throughout. I used mixed vegetables, lentil, and sambar powder to make this.

You can buy sambar powder from the Indian store near your area. There was no mess in making this curry. Finally, I transferred the sambar to a serving dish.

Adding a tempering gives a real kick to this yummy dish.

Over to the detailed recipe.

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Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: Serves four people

Ingredients

  • 1 big bowl mixed veggies, I used carrot, green beans, eggplant, and potatoes. All cut in 1 inch pieces.
  • 1 cup tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup onions, sliced or cubed
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 1/2 cup lentil(toor dal), split pigeon pea
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 3 tsp sambar powder, available in Indian stores, you can use any brand such as Maiyyas, MTR, etc
  • 1 tsp jaggery powder, optional, helps to balance the taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp hing/asafoetida powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut powder, or dry grind grated coconut, gives nice flavor
  • 2 tsp oil, for the tempering
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, for the tempering
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, for the tempering
  • 8 curry leaves, for the tempering
  • 2 whole dry red chilies, for the tempering
  • 3 tbsp fresh green coriander, finely chopped, for garnishing
  • 3/4 tsp salt, or as per taste

Step-By-Step Instructions and Images for Making South Indian Sambar

  1. Wash split pigeon pea with water. Soak it in fresh water for 30 minutes. Strain it.
  2. Heat a pressure cooker bottom. Add lentil(split pigeon pea) to it. Also, add 5-6 cups of water.
  3. Let the mix boil for 3-4 minutes. Now, close the cooker with the lid and place the weight.
  4. Cook it on a medium high heat till you hear 2 whistles. Turn off the heat.
  5. When the pressure lowers, open the lid. Mash the cooked lentil.
  6. Throw in mixed veggies. Add salt. Add slit green chilies. Bring the mix to a nice boil. Cover the cooker. Cook till you get a whistle. Turn off the heat.
  7. Open the cooker once the pressure drops. You can see that veggies are nicely cooked and also blended with the lentil.
  8. Now, add all the spices. Throw in turmeric powder, sambar powder, jaggery powder, tamarind paste, remaining salt, hing powder, and coconut powder. Stir well.
  9. Boil the mix for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  10. Add finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Mix well.
  11. Your favorite South Indian Sambar is ready! Now, you have to add a tempering to it.
  12. For that, heat oil in a small pan. Throw in red chilies, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves. Keep the heat low. Let the mustard crackle. Pour this tempering on the sambar. Mix once.
  13. Serve this mouth-watering sambar with plain rice, dosa, idli, etc. This can be a side dish for any type of vegetarian main course. Enjoy!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step one: Gather all the ingredients.Step two: Add washed split pigeon pea(toor dal) to the pressure cooker.Add 5-6 cups of waterLet it boil for some time. Stir it often.Step three: Cover the cooker. Place the weight. Let it whistle two times. Turn off the heat.Step four: Open the lid, once the pressure releases. Mash the lentil.Step five: Add chopped veggies to the cooker. Add some salt. Throw in slit green chilies. Stir well.Boil the mix while stirring occasionally. Cover the cooker and cook till you hear one whistle.Turn off the heat. Open the cooker once the pressure lowers. Now, veggies and lentil are perfectly cooked.Step six: Add turmeric powder, sambar powder, tamarind paste or juice, remaining salt, jaggery powder, coconut powder, and hing powder. Bring the mix to a good boil. Simmer for a minute. Turn off the heat.Add finely chopped fresh green coriander. Stir well.Step seven: Now, transfer the sambar to a serving dish. Add tempering as per instructions. Mix well while serving. Enjoy eating this spicy sambar with rice, dosa, or idli. You can serve this as a side dish for any type of vegetarian main course.
Step one: Gather all the ingredients.
Step one: Gather all the ingredients.
Step two: Add washed split pigeon pea(toor dal) to the pressure cooker.
Step two: Add washed split pigeon pea(toor dal) to the pressure cooker.
Add 5-6 cups of water
Add 5-6 cups of water
Let it boil for some time. Stir it often.
Let it boil for some time. Stir it often.
Step three: Cover the cooker. Place the weight. Let it whistle two times. Turn off the heat.
Step three: Cover the cooker. Place the weight. Let it whistle two times. Turn off the heat.
Step four: Open the lid, once the pressure releases. Mash the lentil.
Step four: Open the lid, once the pressure releases. Mash the lentil.
Step five: Add chopped veggies to the cooker. Add some salt. Throw in slit green chilies. Stir well.
Step five: Add chopped veggies to the cooker. Add some salt. Throw in slit green chilies. Stir well.
Boil the mix while stirring occasionally. Cover the cooker and cook till you hear one whistle.
Boil the mix while stirring occasionally. Cover the cooker and cook till you hear one whistle.
Turn off the heat. Open the cooker once the pressure lowers. Now, veggies and lentil are perfectly cooked.
Turn off the heat. Open the cooker once the pressure lowers. Now, veggies and lentil are perfectly cooked.
Step six: Add turmeric powder, sambar powder, tamarind paste or juice, remaining salt, jaggery powder, coconut powder, and hing powder. Bring the mix to a good boil. Simmer for a minute. Turn off the heat.
Step six: Add turmeric powder, sambar powder, tamarind paste or juice, remaining salt, jaggery powder, coconut powder, and hing powder. Bring the mix to a good boil. Simmer for a minute. Turn off the heat.
Add finely chopped fresh green coriander. Stir well.
Add finely chopped fresh green coriander. Stir well.
Step seven: Now, transfer the sambar to a serving dish. Add tempering as per instructions. Mix well while serving. Enjoy eating this spicy sambar with rice, dosa, or idli. You can serve this as a side dish for any type of vegetarian main course.
Step seven: Now, transfer the sambar to a serving dish. Add tempering as per instructions. Mix well while serving. Enjoy eating this spicy sambar with rice, dosa, or idli. You can serve this as a side dish for any type of vegetarian main course.

Nutritional Information of South Indian Sambar

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 148
Calories from Fat9
% Daily Value *
Fat 1 g2%
Saturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 22 g7%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 11 g44%
Protein 9 g18%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 212 mg9%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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