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Vegetable Tahiri - One Pot Meal

Easy Sambar (without tamarind)

Sambar is a must in most south Indian families and like others even I have grown up having dosa- sambhar and chutney's. A Sambar is a lentil based vegetable stew or curry cooked with dal/lentils along with some veggies and some tamarind pulp. There are coconut based sambar as well and each region has its own sambar variation.
In my house, we all prefer quick meals, but yet tasty. My mother who was a working lady would make elaborate meals only during holidays or special occasions. Rest all the meals would be quick yet very very tasty. This is one such sambar which my mom has taught me and is super quick. 
This doesn't use tamarind like in a traditional sambar and gets its tangy flavour from tomatoes. Its quick, one pot sambar recipe. Lets dive in and see how its done:

Ingredients: Serves 3
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Tur Dal/ Yellow Lentils
  • 2-3 tomatoes chopped (depending on size)
  • 1/2 cup Veggies each of your choice cubed
  • Turmeric powder
  • A pinch of Asafoetida/ Hing
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • Water for cooking
  • 2 Tbsp sambar masala powder (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds/ Rai 
  • 3 garlic pods finely chopped
  • 2 dried red chillies broken
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 spring curry leaf

  1. Wash and clean the lentils/dal 2-3 times and add into a pressure cooker
  2. Clean and cut all the veggies of your choice into cubes and add into the lentils(I use carrots, white cucumber (velarikya), some drumsticks, brinjal, potatoes, etc) Use any which you have in hand- See Notes for details
  3. Add in chopped tomatoes along with some salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida powder. Mix well
  4. Add in water (about 2 to 3 cups) to cover all the veggies and dal for cooking
  5. Close the pressure cooker lid and cook this for 2 to 3 whistles 
  6. Meanwhile, take sambar masala** in to a small bowl and add lil water to make paste. Keep aside
  7. Take a small pan for tadka. Add in oil and let it heat
  8. Once oil is hot, splutter the mustard seeds and add in the garlic along with broken dried chillies. Saute for 1 min
  9. Add in the chopped onions, curry leaf and saute till the onion changes colour
  10. To this add in the sambar masala paste along with 2 tbsp water and let it saute till the raw smell of the masala's go and switch off the flame
  11. Add this tadka into the prepared sambar (lentils-veggie mix) and mix well
  12. let this mixture boil for another 2 mins and switch off the flame
  13. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice, Dosa-Idly 
  • You can use whatever veggies you have in hand. Commonly used veggies in sambar are Drumsticks, okra, white cucumber, pumpkin, brinjal, snake gourd, carrots, potatoes etc. 
  • If you are using drumsticks, okra or brinjal (which gets mashed up easily) do not add them along with other veggies to cook. Add these at the end once other veggies are cooked. And do not put whistle for cooking. Just close the lid for few mins and it will be cooked and not mashed.
  • You can use any sambar mix. I usually have my home made masala's but when I run out of it , I always prefer using Eastern Sambar Powder
PS: I forgot to take an image of adding asafoetida. But do add 
Also I ran out of coriander leaves, so have not garnished. It is optional. 

Hope you will enjoy making this one as well. Keep sharing!! 
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