South Indian lentil stew made with vegetables and spices! This flavorful and spiced Sambar goes well with rice, idli or dosa!
To Pressure Cook the Dal
- 1 cup toor dal/arhar dal pigeon peas lentil
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups water 24 oz
- 1 tablespoon tamarind piece
- 1/3 cup hot water
For Cooking The Vegetable
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1/2 cup chopped eggplant
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 7-8 drumsticks I used frozen ones that I got from Indian store
- 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 3 cups water 24 oz
- 2 tablespoons sambar powder homemade or store bought, adjust to taste
- 2-3 teaspoons powdered jaggery
- 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder optional
- 1 tablespoon ghee or use oil
- 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds black
- 1/4 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
- 10-15 curry leaves
- chopped cilantro to garnish
- To a pressure cooker, add the rinsed dal with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 cups (24 oz) of water. Cook for 5 whistles on medium-high flame, then lower the heat to medium-low and let it cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Once the pressure releases naturally, open the cooker and mash the cooked dal lightly with a potato masher. Set aside. If using an Instant Pot, pressure cook for 9 minutes on high pressure with natural pressure release.
- Meanwhile soak 1 tablespoon tamarind piece in 1/3 cup of hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Then strain the liquid using a strainer. You will get 3 to 4 tablespoons of tamarind water/juice. Set it aside.
- In a pan, heat 2 teaspoons oil on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped eggplant and cook for around 2 minutes.
- Add carrots and frozen drumsticks and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chopped tomato and cook for 1 minute.
- Then add around 3 cups (24 oz) water and stir.
- Add 2 tablespoons sambar powder (or adjust to taste). Also add jaggery powder, and 4 tablespoons of the tamarind water that you had extracted earlier.
- Stir in the cooked dal. Also add the kashmiri red chili powder, if using.
- Stir everything together and let the sambar simmer on medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes.
- For the tempering, heat 1 tablespoon ghee (or oil if you want to keep this vegan), in a small pan on medium heat.
- Once the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Then add the hing and curry leaves for stir for few seconds until leaves turn crisp.
- Pour tempering over the simmering sambar.
- Serve the sambar hot with idli, dosa or rice!
- Use oil in place of ghee in the final tadka to make this recipe vegan.
- You can also use a mix of toor and moong dal to make this sambar.