Vegetable Sambar
Traditional South Indian Vegetable soup with lentils, it is a treat for the taste buds and must try for soup lovers. Generally served with Rice and curry, but can be drink as soup.
Servings Prep Time
5-6servings 15minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
5-6servings 15minutes
Cook Time
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onioncubed
  • 1 serrano pepperquartered
  • Salt to taste
  • 1big carrotdiced
  • 1small bottle gourd diced
  • 1big tomatodiced
  • 1cup yellow lentilsaka toor dal or pigeon peas
  • 1small lime sized tamarindor concentrate 1 tbsp
  • 1/2cup cilantro
  • 4cups Wateror as needed for desired consistency
  • 1tbsp red chili powderor to taste
  • 1tbsp coriander powder
  • 1tbsp turmeric
  • 2tbsp sambar powder
Tempering Ingredients
  • 3tbsp ghee( vegans can substitute with oil of choice )
  • 7-8cloves garliccrushed and chopped
  • 1tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1sprig curry leavesor 10 to 15 leaves
  1. Put the pot on saute mode high, fry the seranno pepper and onions in oil. Add veggies of choice and fry for a minute.
  2. Add the spices mentioned, water, lentils and tamarind extract and salt.
  3. Turn off Saute mode and put manual high for 12 minutes.
  4. Once natural pressure releases, check for salt and spices, boil for few mins and turn off.
  5. Do the tempering (see notes) and add it to the sambar, add cilantro.
  6. Serve Hot with Rice and Potato chips.
Recipe Notes

For tempering heat the ghee in a small pan on stove, add all ingredients when the ghee is hot. Fry till fragrant and garlic becomes golden. Alternatively you can do this Tempering in the first step directly in the Instant pot. It’s just a preference.
If using Raw tamarind, then soak it in hot water and get the extract.
Sambar powder is easily available in Indian groceries.
You can also use other veggies like Okra, Moringa pods, pumpkin, Shallots, Radish etc
Serve this Sambar as a Vegetable soup or with Rice, traditional breakfasts like Dosa, Idli or Upma.
Yellow lentils can be replace with red lentils.