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Instant Sambar with Vegetables

This Instant Sambar with Vegetables recipe is a quick and easy alternative to traditional sambar. Spice paste with lentils & spices makes the sambar thick, flavorful and taste almost like the original version. Perfect to serve with idli, dosa or even rice.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: south indian
Servings: 6 Servings


  • Blender/ Food Processor


For the Spice Paste:

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 6 Dry Red Chilies
  • 2 Cardamom pods
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 tsp Coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 2 tbsp Toor dal
  • 1 tbsp Urad dal
  • 1 tsp Rice
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 2~3 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup Fresh Coconut

Other Ingredients for Instant Sambar:

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp Asafoetida/ Hing
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • 6~8 Curry leaves
  • 1 Small Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Small Carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Small Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind paste
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Jaggery
  • To taste Salt
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped


Make the Spice Paste:

  • In a saucepan, heat oil and add chilies, cardamom, cloves, coriander & fenugreek seeds, dals and rice. Once the seeds and spices start to toast and get fragrant, add coconut and cook for 1~2 minutes.
  • Next add onion and tomato. Cook till the tomatoes are turn soft and almost mushy, about 3~4 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly before grinding into a smooth paste.

Make Sambar:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat oil, add mustard and cumin seeds and once they start to splutter asafoetida, green chilis and curry leaves.
  • Next add the onions, carrot and peppers. Cook on medium flame until the veggies are tender, about 8~10 minutes.
  • Add the spice paste, tamarind paste, salt and 2 cups - bring the sambar to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5~6 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with idli/ dosa or rice.


  • Spice paste can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Freeze for up to 1 month.
  • If you are not a big spice lover, then skip the 'spicy' spices - cloves and cardamom to tone down the spiciness. 
  • Change up the veggies to anything you have on hand - sweet potato, drumsticks, green beans, potato etc. will work great here.


Calories: 105kcal
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