Sambhar Lentils With Tamarind Paste
By :Instant Pot Fast and Easy Cookbook by Urvashi Pitre
Print Recipe
The original recipe for this dish came to me from my friend Shubha Iyengar. Her family has been making it for generations for the temple where her maternal grandfather served as a priest. She was generous enough to coach me through making my own sambhar spice blend and then tolerated my tinkering with her recipe as I searched for ways to make it more efficient. You’re the lucky recipient of all this work, so I hope you enjoy this—along with lots of rice and ghee.
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Rice & Pastas
Duration 30-60 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook
Main Ingredient Onion, Peas, Tomatoes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
4 servings
Ingredients
FOR THE FIRST COOKING CYCLE
  • 1/2 cup toor dal split pigeon peas
  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 4 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sambhar Spice Mix see recipe in notes
FOR THE SECOND COOKING CYCLE
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1/2 cup cut frozen green beans
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
FOR THE TADKA
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chiles
  • 4 - 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Rice & Pastas
Duration 30-60 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook
Main Ingredient Onion, Peas, Tomatoes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
4 servings
Ingredients
FOR THE FIRST COOKING CYCLE
  • 1/2 cup toor dal split pigeon peas
  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 4 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sambhar Spice Mix see recipe in notes
FOR THE SECOND COOKING CYCLE
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1/2 cup cut frozen green beans
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
FOR THE TADKA
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chiles
  • 4 - 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. For the first cooking cycle:< In the Instant Pot, combine the toor dal, water, tomatoes, onion, sugar, salt, turmeric, cayenne, and spice mix. Stir to combine.
  2. Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure-release valve. Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and set the pot at HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture directly in the pot until smooth.
  3. For the second cooking cycle: Add the water, pearl onions, green beans, and tamarind concentrate to the pot. Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure-release valve. Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and set the pot at HIGH pressure for 2 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, quick release the pressure.
  4. For the tadka: In a small skillet, melt the ghee over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, chiles, and curry leaves. Stand back and allow the mustard seeds to sizzle and spatter for about 30 seconds. Pour the hot flavored ghee into the sambhar and mix well. Divide sambhar among four serving bowls and garnish with cilantro.
Recipe Notes

Sambhar Spice Mix
Makes about 1/2 cup
This is Shubha’s family recipe for a simple sambhar blend. Most families buy this spice mix, but I prefer making my own blends. If you have allergies, it’s often just safer to use homemade spice mixes. Use this for Sambhar Lentils with Tamarind Paste or Spicy Vegetable Soup, as well as other creative uses you’ll think of as you get familiar with it.

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
Dietary Considerations: Suitable for all diets

<ucsa>2 tbsp</ucsa> unsweetened shredded coconut
<ucsa>1 tbsp</ucsa> chana dal (split brown chickpeas)
<ucsa>1 tbsp</ucsa> urad dal (split black lentils)
<ucsa>1 tsp</ucsa> cumin seeds
<ucsa>1/2 tsp</ucsa> whole black peppercorns
<ucsa>1/4 tsp</ucsa> fenugreek seeds
<sa>5 to 10 fresh</sa> curry leaves
<sa>2 to 5 dried</sa> red chiles

In a small dry skillet, combine all the ingredients. Toast over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the coconut starts to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool completely.
When the spices are cool, transfer to a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder and grind to a fine consistency.
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a month. Shake or stir before using.

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