Feb 182018

Sambar recipe South Indian style is a dal based vegetable stew cooked with tamarind, spices and Sambar powder. This is an easy sambar recipe which you can customize to your taste. Enjoy a steaming bowl of sambar served over hot white rice or as an accompaniment to idli, dosa or vada.

Sambar Recipe with tur dal

Sambar Recipe

Family elders have always recommended consuming steaming hot sambar as a proven home remedy for various ailments; now research by Manipal University states that the popular South Indian sambar helps prevent colon cancer. According to medical experts, it’s the mixture of spices present in sambar powder that neutralizes the formation of tumours.

Besides, the yellow lentils and mixed vegetables used in sambar preparation have their own unique healthy properties, all of which make sambar a food that fights colon cancer.

Tur Dal Sambar Recipe Step by Step:

Sambar recipe made with tur dal is a staple item on the menu of most South Indian homes. Tur dal, toor dal or Tuvar dal is split pigeon peas (kandi pappu in Telugu).

Sambar using sambar powder

Sambar with tur dal is a very filling dish and is a deliciously healthy way to use up all those leftover veggies in your refrigerator. I always try to incorporate lots of veggies in my cooking.

I have used a mix of vegetables available in my pantry such as brinjal, carrot, onion, tomato and bottle gourd, but you are free to use vegetables of your choice (drumstick, pumpkin, okra, sweet potatoes, radish, capsicum, potato etc.). Each vegetable brings with it its own unique taste and flavour.

I’ve added store-bought MTR sambar powder for preparing sambar but you can use any of the available sambar powder brands or even make the sambar masala at home.

For this vegetable sambar recipe, take ¾ cup of tur dal.

Tur dal to prepare Andhra Sambar

Wash it well and pressure cook the dal with 2 cups of water and ¼ tsp of turmeric for 4-5 whistles on high flame.

Boil split pigeon peas to make sambar Andhra style

Meanwhile, wash, peel and chop vegetables.

Sambar ingredients

Once the pressure releases, open the cooker lid. The dal should be well cooked.

cooked toor dal for vegetable sambar

Mash it well with a ladle till soft and smooth.

Mash tuvar dal for South Indian sambar

Put in the cut vegetables and add 1 cup water. Close the lid and pressure cook for 1 whistle only.

Sambar vegetables

(You can also cook the vegetables separately and then add sambar powder, tamarind paste and salt and finally the cooked and mashed dal to it. Either way works good).

Cooked vegetables for sambar dal

Open the lid and stir in the instant sambar powder, salt and tamarind paste. For a touch of sweetness, mix in 1 tablespoon of jaggery (optional).

Sambar powder, tamarind, jaggery and salt added to dal vegetables

Add 1/2 cup of water and cook for 4-5 minutes on low flame. Stir in-between to keep the dal from sticking to the bottom of the cooker.

Sambar preparation

Instead of tamarind paste you can soak a lemon sized ball of tamarind in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze and extract tamarind juice; discard the solids. Strain the tamarind water and add to sambar.

While the sambar is simmering on the stove, heat ghee in a kadai over medium flame to prepare the tempering. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Once they start to sizzle, add dry red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida. Sauté for 20-30 seconds.

Sambar tempering

Add the tempering to the sambar and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Season sambar

Turn off the gas. Garnish the sambar with chopped coriander leaves. Feel free to adjust the consistency and level of spiciness to your liking.

Serve piping hot Vegetable Sambar with idli or vada or just serve over cooked rice.

Sambar with vegetables

If you are looking for more easy pressure cooker recipes, do try out Idli with rice rava and Idli with suji.

Mixed Vegetable Sambar Recipe In Pressure Cooker:

Sambar Recipe For Idli
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Mixed vegetable sambar recipe is a simple and quick way to prepare delicious vegetable sambar in a pressure cooker. This is my go-to sambar recipe as it’s less time consuming. It’s a really good and easy recipe with great flavours and a real treat for vegetarians. In this sambar recipe, I have used store-bought sambar masala powder and cooked the split pigeon peas and chopped vegetables in the pressure cooker.
Course: Main Course Vegetarian
Cuisine: South Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 167 kcal
Author: Shil
To cook Sambar dal:
  • 3/4 cup Split pigeon peas/Tur Dal
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 cups Water
To cook vegetables (21/2 cups):
  • 4 small Onions, cubed
  • 1 small Carrot, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup Bottle gourd, cubed
  • 2 Green chillies, slit
  • 1 small Brinjal, cubed
  • 1 large Tomato, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Tamarind paste
  • 2 tsp MTR Sambar powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Jaggery, optional
For Tempering:
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves
  • 2 Dry red chillies
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped
  1. For this South Indian sambar recipe, add cleaned and washed tur dal, turmeric and 2 cups water to a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Allow the steam to escape; open the lid and mash the cooked yellow lentils with the back of a ladle. Keep aside.
  2. Wash, peel and cut the vegetables, about 2 1/2 cups. Add the chopped vegetables and 1 cup of water to the dal, mix well and pressure cook for just one whistle.
  3. Open the lid and stir in the sambar masala powder, salt and tamarind paste. Mix in jaggery, 1/2 cup water and simmer the sambar on low heat for 4-5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Adjust the consistency of the sambar to your liking.
  4. While the sambar is cooking, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan over medium flame. Add mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Once they start to splutter, add dry red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Sauté for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Pour the prepared tempering over the cooked dal. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  6. Serve piping hot Toor Dal Sambar South Indian style with idli, vada, dosa or steamed rice.

Sambar Recipe South Indian Style | Tur Dal Mixed Vegetable Sambar
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Shil is a freelance writer, professional blogger, foodie, health advocate and travel enthusiast.

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