1. For faster cooking you can soak the lentils in water for 30-45 mins before cooking them.
2. Usually the vegetables are not cooked in a pressure cooker but in another pan. But cooking the vegetables in the pressure cooker saves a lot of time and also preserves the nutrients of the vegetables.
3: You can also add about ¼ or ½ tsp garam masala powder to the sambar when you add the veggies. The use of garam masala powder gives a spicy flavour and taste to sambar.
step by step vegetable sambar recipe
1: Sambar uses tamarind pulp as it lends a subtle sour flavor and taste to it. So first to make the tamarind paste, take some warm water and soak the tamarind in it for 30 mins.
2. Once the tamarind gets soft, you then squeeze the tamarind and remove the pulp. Strain it later.
3: Boil 1 cup tuvar dal/arhar dal in a pressure cooker till the dal is mushy and completely cooked. Open the lid and mash the lentils. You can see the consistency of dal in the pic below.
4: Now add 1 to 1.5 cups chopped vegetables in the pressure cooker containing the mashed dal.
5: Stir well and then add ½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi, ½ tsp red chilli powder, a pinch of asafoetida, salt. Add 2 cups water. Stir well and and pressure cook for one whistle on medium to high flame. Ensure that you don’t over cook the vegetables.
6: Then once the veggies are cooked, add the tamarind pulp and 1 to 1.5 tbsp sambar powder. Add water if required to give a medium consistency in the sambar. Simmer for 10-12 minutes without the lid on a low to medium flame. Once done cover and keep the sambar aside.
7: In a pan, heat 2-3 tbsp oil. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds. When it starts crackling, add 12 to 15 curry leaves, 2 to 3 dry red chillies, 2-3 garlic cloves, ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds and a pinch of two of asafoetida. Fry them till they are done. Now add this mixture in the hot sambar. Immediately cover the cooker with its lid, so that the aroma and flavors from the tempering mixture gets infused with the sambar.
8: Usually, the sambar is cooked a two three hours earlier as its taste become better with time. However, I like sambar to be served as soon as it is made. Sambar can be served
with steamed rice, idlis
, appams. I served the sambar with rice and red cabbage thoran.