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Instant Pot Sambar Recipe: Simple & Flavorful Instant Pot Sambar Recipe: Simple & Flavorful


Instant Pot Sambar Recipe: Simple & Flavorful

Written by: Lucas Johnson

This Instant Pot Sambar is my go-to comfort food. Packed with wholesome veggies and lentils, it's a flavorful, nourishing dish that I love serving with rice or idli. It's simple, quick, and utterly delicious!

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Let me share a secret with you, my absolute favorite comfort food - sambar. This delightful, heart-warming dish is a true taste bud tickler. Imagine a simmering pot of split pigeon peas and mixed veggies, seasoned with a medley of spices and a tang of tamarind. The magic of the Instant Pot takes the hard work out of this traditional Indian classic. Trust me, whether it's with steaming rice or fluffy idlis, you'll find yourself coming back for more!

Ingredients Needed for Delicious Sambar

  • Toor dal: Essential for the base of the sambar, provides a creamy texture and a nutty flavor to the dish.
  • Mixed vegetables: Adds color, flavor, and nutrients to the sambar, creating a wholesome and balanced dish.
  • Onion: Adds a sweet and savory flavor base to the sambar, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  • Tomatoes: Bring a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the sambar, balancing the other spices and ingredients.
  • Green chilies: Add a spicy kick to the sambar, providing heat and depth of flavor to the dish.
  • Turmeric powder: Provides a vibrant color to the sambar and adds a warm, earthy flavor to the dish.
  • Sambar powder: A blend of spices that gives the sambar its signature flavor profile, adding depth and complexity to the dish.
  • Tamarind paste: Adds a tangy and slightly sour taste to the sambar, balancing the sweetness of the vegetables and dal.
  • Fresh coriander leaves: Used as a garnish, these leaves add a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the sambar, enhancing its overall taste.

Essential Tools for Making Instant Pot Sambar

  • Instant Pot: Speeds up cooking time and ensures even cooking of dal and vegetables.
  • Chopping board: Essential for chopping vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and green chilies for the sambar recipe.

Serves: 4 people

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes


  • 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, potatoes, beans)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp sambar powder
  • Tamarind paste (size of a small lemon)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Rinse the toor dal and set aside.
  2. In the Instant Pot, add the toor dal, mixed vegetables, onion, tomatoes, green chilies, turmeric powder, sambar powder, tamarind paste, salt, and water.
  3. Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  4. Once done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.
  5. Open the lid, stir well, and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  6. Serve hot with rice or idli.

Nutritional value:

Per Serving in Calories: 250 kcal | Carbohydrates: 45 g | Protein: 15 g | Total Fat: 2 g | Saturated Fat: 0.5 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 800 mg | Dietary Fiber: 10 g | Sugar: 5 g | Calcium: 100 mg | Potassium: 600 mg | Iron: 3 mg | Vitamin A: 500 µg | Vitamin C: 30 mg

Tips for Making Sambar Ahead of Time and Freezing

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Prepare the sambar as per the recipe.
  • Allow it to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing Instructions

  • Let the sambar cool down entirely.
  • Transfer to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

To enhance the flavor of the sambar, try adding a small piece of jaggery while cooking to balance the tanginess of the tamarind and tomatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Instant Pot Sambar

Can I use other vegetables in this instant pot sambar recipe?
Yes, feel free to use your favorite vegetables or whatever you have on hand to customize this sambar to your liking.
How can I adjust the spice level of the sambar?
You can control the spiciness by adding more or fewer green chilies or adjusting the amount of sambar powder according to your preference.
Is it necessary to soak the toor dal before cooking?
No, soaking the toor dal is not required for this recipe since we are pressure cooking it, which helps in quick and easy cooking.
Can I make this sambar without an instant pot?
Yes, you can make this sambar on the stovetop by cooking the ingredients in a regular pot until the dal and vegetables are soft and well cooked.
How long can I store the leftover sambar?
You can store the leftover sambar in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just reheat it before serving.

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