Sambar Recipe | Restaurant Style Vegetable Sambar Recipe | South Indian Sambar Recipe

sambar recipe

Sambar is a staple in the homes of South India and needless to say, there are many varieties of this wholesome lentil stew. The one I am sharing today is the hotel style vegetable sambar recipe. Idlis and masala dosas taste exceptionally delicious with a bowl of piping hot sambar alongside coconut sesame chutney. After idlis, sambar rice is one of my favorite combinations and this is one of my preferred sambar varieties.

Preparing idlis or dosas, potato masala, chutney, and sambar all at once could be a lot of work. It only makes sense if the recipes are easy and quick so that you save a lot of time in the kitchen and enjoy the meal with your family. My one-pot sambar recipe is lip-smacking, healthy, eggplant, and very easy. It has a whole lot of vegetables like carrots, radish, pumpkin, and drumsticks. Sometimes I like to switch some veggies with cauliflower and potatoes. It depends mostly on the availability of veggies. This is a perfect sambar recipe for rice.

Preparation of Sambar Ingredients

Sambar preparation is fairly simple. Just rinse and soak the lentil and in the meanwhile chop the sambar vegetables. Soak the tamarind and chop up the jaggery. Measure the spice powders. Steam the idlis and grind the chutney. A perfect South Indian meal is ready under just an hour. You can check out the recipe for the softest rice idlis here.

In restaurants, the sambar for idli and dosa is usually thinner in consistency. I like mine moderatelythick. You can always adjust the consistency according to your preference. Let’s see how to make South Indian sambar recipe.

How to Make Vegetable Sambar

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Sambar Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Vegetable Sambar - A stew made with lentils, mixed vegetables, seasoned with sambar masala, a special blend of spices.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: South Indian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For Pressure Cooking
  • Toor dal/Split Pigeon Pea – ½ cup,washed and drained
  • Water – 1 cup or as needed
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Carrot – 1 medium, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Eggplants – 4 small, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Radish – 1 medium, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Pumpkin – ½ cup, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Drumsticks – 2, cut into smaller pieces
Other Ingredients
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Asafetida – ¼ tsp
  • Dried red chilies – 2
  • Curry leaves – 10
  • Tamarind extract – 2 tbsp tamarind soaked in ½ cup water
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Curry leaves – 10
  • Jaggery – 2tbsp
  • Green chilies – 2 or to taste
  • Tomato – 1 small, diced
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red chili – 1 tsp
  • Sambar masala – 4tbsp
  • Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Wash the toor dal/split pigeon pea and soak it for 30 minutes. Add turmeric powder.
  2. Cover the vessel containing the dal and place another vessel over it with the vegetables in it; carrot, eggplants, radish, pumpkin, drumsticks. Sprinkle some water on the veggies.
  3. Prepare the pressure cooker with 2 cups water in it and a stand placed in the center.
  4. Place the toor dal and veggies in the pressure cooker. Let it cook on medium flame for 10 minutes after the pressure builds up. Alternatively, you can cook the dal directly in the pressure cooker and place the bowl of vegetables in the center and cook for 4-5 whistles.
  5. Mash the dal until almost smooth.
  6. In a stock pot, heat some oil. Add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add the asafetida. Then toss in the dried red chilies too and sauté for a few seconds. Turn the heat off and let the tempering cool a bit.
  7. Add the tamarind extract that has been prepared by soaking and mashing 2 tbsp tamarind in ½ cup water. Top it up with 3 cups water. Turn the heat back on and bring it to a boil.
  8. Toss in the curry leaves and turmeric powder.
  9. Add the onion, tomatoes, and green chilies. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until the tomatoes soften.
  10. Add sambar masala and red chili powder. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  11. Add mashed dal and mix. Simmer for 5 more minutes and let all the flavors mingle. Add some water if you like your sambar a thinner.
  12. Finally, add the steamed vegetables and let the sambar simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  13. Add coriander leaves and stir.
  14. Vegetable sambar is ready. Serve hot with idlis, dosas or rice. Enjoy!

 

South Indian Sambar Recipe with Step by Step Pictures Below


Step 1

Prepare the sambar ingredients. Chop the sambar vegetables. Soak the tamarind in water, chop the jaggery, and lay out the spices.

Ingredients for sambar recipe


Step 2

Wash 1/2 cup toor dal/split pigeon pea and soak it in 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.

soaking toor dal in water with turmeric


Step 3

Cover the vessel containing the dal and place another vessel over it with the vegetables in it. I added 1 medium carrot, 4 small eggplants, 1 medium radish, 1/2 cup pumpkin, all cut into 1-inch pieces. Also, add 2 drumsticks that have been peeled and cut into smaller pieces. Sprinkle some water on the veggies. Sometimes I like to add cauliflower and potato too.

preparing the dal/split pigeon pea and vegetables for pressure cooking


Step 4

Prepare the pressure cooker with 2 cups water in it and a stand placed in the center.

preparing the pressure cooker


Step 5

Place the toor dal and veggies in the pressure cooker. Let it cook on medium flame for 10 minutes after the pressure builds up. Alternatively, you can cook the dal directly in the pressure cooker and place the bowl of vegetables in the center and cook for 4-5 whistles.

pressure cooked dal and veggies


Step 6

Mash the dal till it’s almost smooth.

mash the dal


Step 7

In a stock pot, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and once they splutter, add the ¼ tsp asafetida. Then toss in 2 dried red chilies too and sauté for a few seconds. Turn the heat off and let the tempering cool a bit.

tempering oil with mustard, asafetida and dried red chilies


Step 8

Add the tamarind extract that has been prepared by soaking and mashing 2 tbsp tamarind in 1/2 cup water. Top it up with 3 cups water. Turn the heat back on and bring it to a boil.

adding tamarind extract and water and boiling


Step 9

Toss in 10 curry leaves and ¼ tsp turmeric powder.add curry leaves and turmeric powder


Step 10

Add the 1 medium onion cut into layers, 1 small tomato diced, and 2 green chilies. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until the tomatoes soften.

add onions tomatoes and green chilies


Step 11

Add 4 tbsp sambar masala and 1 tsp red chili powder. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

add sambar masala and red chili powder and simmer for 5 minutes


Step 12

Add mashed dal and mix. Simmer for 5 more minutes and let all the flavors mingle. Add some water if you like your sambar  thinner.

add mashed dal and adjust water if needed


Step 13

Finally, add the steamed vegetables and let the sambar simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

add pressure cooked veggies


Step 14

Add 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves and stir.

add finely chopped coriander leaves and stir


Step 15

Vegetable sambar is ready. Serve hot with idlis, dosas or rice. Enjoy!

sambar recipe is ready

 

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Sunita Parekh
    July 5, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    veggie sambar looks yummy…nice pics

    • Reply
      Monica
      July 6, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you.

  • Reply
    Shiv Karad
    August 9, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    sambar looks so colorful n healthy.. yummy

  • Reply
    indumathi
    September 5, 2017 at 8:20 am

    this recipe is authentic!

  • Reply
    Nilima Barge
    November 14, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    i tried ur recp today..best sambar.. loved it ..

  • Reply
    ayesha barot
    June 28, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    beautiful presentation. yummy looking sambar.

  • Reply
    pawan purohit
    July 13, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    healthy n tasty sambar. yimmy

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    January 15, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Which brand did you use for sambar powder? Or is it home made? If it is a home made can you please share your recipe of sambar powder.Thanks in advance. Sambar looks so tempting.

    • Reply
      Monica
      January 15, 2019 at 4:37 am

      Hi! Thank you.
      I have used Everest sambar masala for this recipe.
      I also like Sakthi brand for sambar masala. You can use either of them. Both are really good.

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