Quick and Easy Sambar
There are many ways to prepare sambar, but this recipe is a quick and easy one because the lentils and vegetables are pressure cooked together. Enjoy an effortless sambar that does not compromise on taste or flavor. You will get lots of minerals, proteins, and vitamins from both vegetables and lentils.
- 1/2 cup toor dal (pigeon pea lentils), soaked for 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon tamarind, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup radish, skin peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup beans, chopped
- 1/2 cup bottle gourd, skin peeled and chopped
- 2 cups water, or as required
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt, to taste
- 1-2 green chilies
- 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1-2 red chilies
- 1/4 teaspoon hing
- 2 tablespoons sambar powder, homemade or store-brought
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
- 1-2 sprigs curry leaves
- Soak the toor dal in water for 30 minutes (or take extra whistles).
- Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes (skip this step if using tamarind paste).
- Peel and chop the radish and bottle gourd, removing the ends. Chop the beans. Set aside.
- Add the soaked lentils to the pressure cooker. Add the chopped vegetables, slit green chilies, turmeric powder, and salt. Close the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Switch off the flame and let the pressure subside naturally.
- Chop the tomatoes and fresh ginger. Set aside.
- Squeeze the tamarind water and discard the residue. Set tamarind water aside.
- When the pressure in the pressure cooker subsides naturally, open the lid.
- In a pan, heat the ghee or oil and splutter the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Add red chilies and hing.
- Add tomatoes and ginger; fry till the tomatoes shrink.
- Add tamarind water and let it come to a boil.
- Add the sambar powder. Mix well and cook till the raw smell dissipates.
- Add the cooked lentils and vegetables. Close the lid and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add curry and coriander leaves, and then switch off the flame.
- Healthy and tasty mixed vegetable sambar is ready to serve.
- The choice of vegetables is open-ended. Try adding potato, brinjal, drumstick, onion, snake gourd, carrot, pumpkin, etc.
- Jaggery can be added if you like.
- Be careful not to overcook after adding the vegetables. Remember, the vegetables are already cooked.
- I use MTR sambar powder. You can use any brand of sambar powder you prefer or homemade sambar powder.
- You can replace toor dal with moong dal or masoor dal—or a mixture of lentils can be used.
- Instead of mixed vegetables, a single vegetable can be used to make this sambar.