Sambar Recipe | Mix Vegetable Sambar in Cooker – 15 Mins


Sambar recipe | South Indian Vegetable Sambar in Cooker – 15 Mins with detailed photo and video recipe. Basically, a South Indian staple curry recipe prepared with a combination of veggies and a blend of spices. It is basically prepared in a pressure cooker for a quick and easy process with a homemade sambar powder recipe. This is a multipurpose or all-purpose lentil curry that can be used as a breakfast sambar apart from using as the main curry for different types of rice options.
Sambar Recipe

Sambar recipe | South Indian Vegetable Sambar in Cooker – 15 Mins with step-by-step photo recipe. sambar or sambhar is a lentil-based stew mixed with vegetable and tamarind juice. once the lentil soup comes to a boil, it is then mixed with spice powder known as sambar powder. also, sambar is incomplete without vegetables. at the same time, any vegetables can be added to the sambar. however, a drumstick is a must in any South Indian sambar recipe. furthermore, the sambar soup is then tempered with the tempering agents, before serving it with rice.

Probably sambar recipe was the dish I learned to prepare after my marriage. While I was staying with my parents, I use to cook rarely. Well, I can say that I knew the basics before my marriage. I used to spend most of my time in the kitchen chit-chatting with my mother. She use to teach me all the recipes and techniques. Perhaps, she knew what was coming for me after marriage. My mother use to stress one main thing for any recipe. All the recipes are combinations of 4 different tastes. Basically, balance the sourness, sweetness, salt, and spiciness of any dish. It is evident with any of the South Indian Recipes, perhaps. Basically, I follow the same pattern for any sambar recipes and rasam. Do try this variation of sambar and I am sure you would love it.

South Indian Vegetable Sambar in Cooker - 15 Mins Some more additional tips, suggestions, and variants to a perfect tasty South Indian Sambar recipe. Firstly, I personally, prefer to have specific vegetable-based sambar, like eggplant, drumstick, okra, or cucumber. However, the popular choice is to mix all the vegetables together and prepare them as per your choice or preference. Secondly, I have shown and used homemade sambar powder mix which is prepared in coconut oil. This is how it is done in my native or in Udupi cuisine. You may use any type of oil you need to fry or even use homemade sambar powder or mix for the same purpose. Lastly, I have used a pressure cooker to cook the sambar, which not only helps to reduce the cooking time but also less cleaning utensils. You may use pre-cooked dal or lentil and mix it separately as you wish.

Finally, I would like to highlight my other Sambar Recipe Collection and South Indian recipes with this post on Instant Sambar Recipe. Particularly, hotel-style sambar for idli and dosa, Malabar spinach sambar, gobi sambar, tiffin sambar, and drumstick sambar. Also, do have a look at my other South Indian Rasam Recipe Collection too. Specifically, tomato rasam, coconut milk rasam, kokum rasam, beetroot rasam, and horse gram rasam. Some more recipe categories like,

Must Read:

About Sambar Recipe:

Today, we know that sambar is a South Indian cuisine recipe. It is used on almost all occasions, meals, or even for breakfast. However, the origin of this recipe is very interesting. It is believed to be invented by a Maratha ruler chef named Sambhaji during their south visit. He wanted to prepare a dal recipe, but due to the set of ingredients available in the South, ended up making a sambar recipe which we use for multiple occasions.

The history is certainly interesting, however, it has undergone a major transformation since its inception. Today, every state of South India has its own variation. In some parts, it is made with coconut paste masala, and in some, it is made with a combination of lentils. Moreover, there are now purpose-based sambar recipes too. It could be just for breakfast or even for a particular breakfast item. I trust there would be even more changes and adaptations to this simple recipe in the future.

Chef Pro Tips for Sambar

The recipe is super simple and has very less chances of going wrong. Yet the recipe needs to be followed with certain guidelines and some critical tips-

  1. Choice of Dal – Using the best quality of lentils or dal is critical for most lentil-based recipes. In addition, choosing the right lentil is critical. Toor dal (pigeon pea) or Moong Dal (Split & skinned green gram). Other names of toor dal are arhar dal, tuvar dal, tuar dal, tuwar dal, tur dal, toovar dal, or peeli dal
  2. Sourness Source – Typically, for a sour taste, tamarind is the first choice and ideal for a sambar recipe. However, you may also use kokum, tomatoes, and lemon juice too.
  3. Vegetables – The addition of vegetables is open-ended and any basic veggies should be ok. However, drumsticks, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, and pumpkins are most preferred.
  4. Sweetness – Sweet taste is very important for this recipe. Typically jaggery is the most ideal ingredient for any sambar recipe. But you may use brown sugar too with white sugar as the last option.
  5. Sambar Powder – There are myriad types of commercially available sambar powder recipes. All these are good, but nothing when compared to homemade sambar powder. Hence freshly prepared sambar powder is most recommended.
  6. Pairings – Ideally, the sambar recipe is a perfect accompaniment for rice, dosa, idli, and idiyappam. However, there are custom or tailored ones too for breakfast meals too.

Why does this recipe work

There are so many reasons why this recipe is appreciated and popular across India. Some of them are –

  1. Balanced Flavors – The recipe is made with 4 main tastes. Sweetness, sourness, spiciness & savory. This makes it really enjoyable and pleasant when served as an Accompaniment for any dish.
  2. Nutritious – Due to the set of vegetables used, it is perhaps one of the healthy, fiber-rich, and nutritious curry recipes. Moreover, with the use of lentils, it contains the required protein punch too.
  3. Comforting Meal – Well sambar recipes have to be one of the most comforting, satisfying meals for day-to-day lunch and dinner.
  4. Versatility – The recipe can be made with different types of dal, with any type of vegetables. Additionally, the recipe can be experimented with the addition of different types of spice mix.
  5. Simplicity – The recipe can be done within minutes as it only takes basic ingredients readily available in most Indian kitchen pantries. Also, it is very light and refreshing too.
  6. Multipurpose Use – Specifically, the sambar is made as a rice side dish. Yet it can be served as the perfect side dish for most of the South Indian breakfast and even for deep-fried snacks.


What is sambar?

It is basically a South Indian staple food made with lentils, vegetables, and a unique purposed-based spice mix. It is typically served with rice as an accompaniment but can also be served with idli, dosa, and vada.

Can I use other lentils instead of toor dal?

While toor dal or moong dal is the most preferred or recommended lentil option. But it does not mean you should limit it. You can experiment with other types of dal like, masoor, and chana dal too.

Can I make sambar without tamarind?

Well, tamarind is the most recommended ingredient for the sour taste. However, you may add tomato puree or even lemon juice for the same purpose. The taste and flavor may vary.

Can I customize the vegetables in sambar?

Certainly! You can add any vegetables as the choice of vegetables is open-ended. You can add carrots, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, pumpkins, and even cucumber.

How do I make homemade sambar powder?

I have a dedicated post on sambar powder in my blog. Yet in a nutshell, spices like coriander seeds, red chilies, cumin, chana dal, urad dal, pepper, and curry leaves are dry roasted and ground to a fine powder.

What are the traditional accompaniments for sambar?

It is a perfect choice for rice, dosa, idli, and vada recipes from South Indian cuisine. It can also be used with many other South Indian recipes too.

How can I make sambar thicker if it's too watery?

Consistency is key for sambar and it has to be slightly thick when compared to the rasam. To improve consistency, you may add more cooked dal, or even use cooked vegetables to mash it. Additionally, you may add rice flour or gram flour (besan) too.

Video Recipe:

Recipe card for South Indian Sambar:

Sambar Recipe

Sambar Recipe | Mix Vegetable Sambar in Cooker - 15 Mins

Easy Sambar Recipe | South Indian Vegetable Sambar in Cooker - 15 Mins
4.94 from 123 votes
Tweet Share
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course sambar
Cuisine south indian
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 176 kcal


for pressure cooking:

  • ½ cup toor dal, rinsed
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp oil
  • cup water
  • ½ onion, petals
  • 1 tomato, cubed
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 5 beans, chopped
  • 1 potato, cubed
  • few drumstick
  • 2 brinjal, chopped
  • few curry leaves
  • 1 chilli
  • cup water
  • ½ cup tamarind extract
  • 2 tbsp sambar powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt

for tempering:

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 2 dried red chilli, broken
  • pinch hing
  • few curry leaves


  • firstly, in a pressure cooker add ½ cup toor dal, ¼ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp oil and 1½ cup water.
  • pressure cook for 5 whistles or until the dal is cooked well.
  • once the pressure releases, using a whisk mash the dal smooth.
  • now add ½ onion, 1 tomato, 1 carrot, 5 beans, 1 potato, few drumstick and 2 brinjal.
  • also add few curry leaves, 1 chilli and 2½ cup water.
  • mix well and get to a boil.
  • once the water comes to a boil, add ½ cup tamarind extract, 2 tbsp sambar powder, 1 tsp jaggery, ½ tsp turmeric and 1 tsp salt.
  • mix well making sure everything is well combined.
  • cover and pressure cook for 1 whistle.
  • once the pressure releases, open the cooker and check for seasoning and also make sure the vegetables are cooked completely.
  • to prepare the tempering, heat 2 tsp oil. add 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp urad dal, 2 dried red chilli, pinch hing and a few curry leaves.
  • splutter the tempering.
  • pour the tempering over the sambar and mix well.
  • finally, enjoy mix veg sambar with hot steamed rice.


Calories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 7gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 641mgPotassium: 717mgFiber: 11gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 2980IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @HebbarsKitchen or tag #hebbarskitchen!

How to make Sambar in Pressure Cooker:

  1. Firstly, in a pressure cooker add ½ cup toor dal, ¼ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp oil, and 1½ cup water.
  2. Pressure cook for 5 whistles or until the dal is cooked well.
  3. Once the pressure is released, using a whisk mash the dal smooth.
  4. Now add ½ onion, 1 tomato, 1 carrot, 5 beans, 1 potato, a few drumsticks and 2 brinjal.
  5. Also add a few curry leaves, 1 chili, and 2½ cup water.
  6. Mix well and get to a boil.
  7. Once the water comes to a boil, add ½ cup tamarind extract, 2 tbsp sambar powder, 1 tsp jaggery, ½ tsp turmeric, and 1 tsp salt.
  8. Mix well making sure everything is well combined.
  9. Cover and pressure cook for 1 whistle.
  10. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and check for seasoning also make sure the vegetables are cooked completely.
  11. To prepare the tempering, heat 2 tsp oil. add 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp urad dal, 2 dried red chili, pinch hing, and a few curry leaves.
  12. Fry the tempering till it splutters.
  13. Pour the tempering over the sambar and mix well.
  14. Finally, enjoy mix veg sambar with hot steamed rice.
    South Indian Vegetable Sambar in Cooker - 15 Mins


  • Firstly, make sure to add vegetables of your choice to make it nutritious.
  • Also, cook the dal before adding vegetables, or else the dal will not get cooked well.
  • Additionally, I have used homemade sambar powder. However, you can use store-bought sambar powder.
  • Finally, mix veg sambar recipe tastes great with idli, dosa, or rice.


Comments are closed.