Pressure cooker sambhar

pressure cooker sambhar
While carrying my daughter I was on bedrest for a while. At this time we had hired a cook, a pretty common idea in India.  Kailash,  the guy was recommended by my sister in law. He was brilliant with his phulkas and sabjis. One day,  carving for simple sambhar rice,  I asked him to make some. We were surprised when he loaded all into the pressure cooker and fired it up. Though out the process, I was uncomfortable as I have never seen it done this way. With a pleasant smile…he continued. It smelt so amazing as he opened the pressure cooker when the pressure released. He asked us to taste it… Wow!!!! I fell short of words to describe the authenticity of it without all that fuss.
Now, whenever I want a quick one or want to do no more washing up… it is this easy pressure cooker one I resort to it works perfectly in the instapot too.
It is perfect with veggies like tomatoes and onion or even added radish sticks, carrots or pumpkin chunks. Mind you, vegetables like okra and drumstick typical to sambhar will not work in this method as they will cool into a pulp by the time the dal cooks. Unlike the Opos method, there is no layering and no precooked dal… So it does take a bit longer time. I kind of like the flower-like formation the dal takes rather than cooked in a mush.  With a pinch of added jaggery, it tastes even better( I have omitted it, due to current dietary needs.)
Thank you, Kailash for this great easy trick.
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The recipe for the pressure cooker sambhar had been worked on upon each time I just look for a comfort option. Now I use frozen veggies too, even more, simplify this recipe. The vegetables that work the best are the following
Onion, tomato, carrots, peas, beans, daikon, pumpkin, celery, or even potatoes. At times I just enjoy this as a wholesome soup, Kind of like an “Indian minestrone.”
pressure cooker
Here is the recipe for the sambhar masala used in this
Enjoy fuss-free minimal effort cooking and flavour-filled meals. Try this with soft fluffy Idly or Quinoa dumplings.


This recipe is added as a part of the Cooking from a Cookbook challenge as it originates from a person as a source and not the internet.

pressure cooker sambhar

Pressure cooker Sambhar

Tiffin sambhar
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Course sidedish, Soups and salad, Traditional
Cuisine diabetic friendly, Fusion, gluten free, Indian, One pot, Pressure cooker, South indian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 people
Calories 119 kcal


Lentil mix

  • 1/4 cup tur dal (Split pigeon pea, thuvaram parippu)
  • 1 small green chill ( optional)
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric powder
  • 2 tbsp sambhar powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • 1 tamarind (1 small lime sized)
  • 2 cups drinking water


  • 1 medium potato diced
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 1 large Tomato diced
  • 4-5 shallots cleaned

for tempering

  • 1 tsp ghee / clarified butter
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1-2 dry red chillies
  • 4-5 curryleaves


  • Wash, peel and dice the veggies
  • Soak the tamarind in a cup of water and extract the pulp.
  • Peel and wash the shallots and set aside.
  • Wash the tur dal and add 1cup of water and set aside
  • In a pressure cooker add the tsp of ghee, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and saute well till the mustard splutters, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and red chillies and saute tll they turn crispy.
  • Remove this and set aside in a bowl
  • Now add the shallots and saute till they turn aromatic.
  • Add the diced veggies and saute for two to three minutes.
  • Add the turmeric, sambhar powder, green chillies, curry leaves and saute for a minute
  • Add the tur dal, and tamarind extract.
  • Add salt and jaggery and pressure cook for three whistles
  • Once the pressure is released, open the pressure cooker and mix the sambhar.
  • Add the reserved tempering and serve piping hot sambhar with your favorite idlies or rice.


Vary the veggies to radish, pumpkin, beans, celery, peas, snap peas or beetroot.


Calories: 119kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 4gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 251mgPotassium: 449mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3g
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