My 190th recipe, “Sambar Rice / Sambar Sadam”, a Tamil Nadu version of the famous Bisibelabath. After Vegetable Pulav, Sambar Rice is one of my favorite dishes I have tasted during South Indian wedding receptions. No South Indian feast would be complete without this humble Sambar Rice.
While my mom used to make Sambar for lunch, it was usually the regular version using Okra. While the Okra Sambar is delicious in its own right, this Sambar Rice tastes even better. It is an adaptation of the favorite dish of Karnataka, Bisibelabath. The addition of freshly roasted and ground spices along with the coconut adds a wonderful flavor and a new dimension to this dish.
This dish also has the advantage of needing just one pot. Using a pressure cooker you can easily make this dish in a very short time and it would be the perfect dish to pack in a lunch box as well. This dish is so versatile that you can use any combination of veggies you like or have leftover in your refrigerator. All in all, an extremely healthy, flavorful dish which needs just a short time to prepare 😉
Sambar Rice | Sambar Sadam
Sambar Rice, a.k.a, Sambar Sadam, is a quick n easy, one pot, South Indian dish made with rice, toor dal, veggies and freshly ground spices n coconut.
- Toor dal - 1/2 Cup
- Garlic - 5 cloves (Optional)
- Asafoetidaa small pinch
- Mixed veggies - 1 bowl (Carrot - 1, Beans - 10, Peas - 1 small handful, Drumstick - 1, Brinjal - 2, Potato - 1)
- Raw rice - 1 Cup
- Tamarind - 1 medium gooseberry size
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- Small onion | Red pearl onion - 15
- Tomato - 1 small
- Turmeric - 1/4 + 1/4 tsp
- Sambar powder - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1 1/2 - 1 1/2 tsp (adjust per taste)
- Ghee - 1 Tbsp
- Coriander leaves - For garnish
- Grated coconut - 1/3 Cup
- Oil - 1/4 tsp
- Chana dal - 1 Tbsp
- Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 tsp
- Cinnamon stick - 1/2 inch
- Cloves - 3
- Cardamom - 1
- Coriander seeds - 1 Tbsp
- Jeera - 1/2 tsp
- Dry red chilli - 4
- Oil - 1 Tbsp
- Mustard - 1/4 tsp
- Jeera - 1/2 tsp
- Dry red chilli - 2
- Asafoetidaa large pinch
- First wash and pressure cook the toor dal along with garlic, asafoetida, 1/4 tsp of turmeric and sufficient amount of water. I added about 1 Cup of water and cooked for 3 whistles.
- Mean while cut the veggies, wash and clean the rice. Soak the tamarind in hot water for about 5 minutes and extract tamarind juice measuring 1 cup.
- Then in a pan, dry roast the grated coconut until a nice aroma arises. Transfer to a plate and keep it aside. Add 1/4 tsp oil to the pan, and add the other ingredients listed under "To roast and grind" one by one. Saute until the chana dal turns golden brown. Once done transfer it a plate and let it cool down to room temperature. Now grind the roasted spices along with the roasted coconut in a mixie/blender into a coarse powder. Keep aside the masala powder.
- Heat the cooker pan with oil, and add the mustard. Once it splutters, add the remaining ingredients listed under "To temper" in the given order. Once the jeera turns golden brown, add the curry leaves, onion and saute until the onion turns translucent.
- Add the tomato and give a quick stir. Add the other veggies and saute for 30 secs.
- Now turn the flame to low-medium and add the remaining 1/4 tsp turmeric, salt, sambar powder and give a quick stir. Follow it by the prepared masala powder and mix well until combined. Add 2 Cups of water, 1 Cup of the tamarind extract and mix well.
- Follow it by the cooked toor dal and mix well. Make sure that there are no lumps formed. Now add the cleaned rice to the cooker, give a stir. Close the lid of the cooker and cook in medium flame for 2 whistles or until the rice is slightly overcooked. Turn off the flame and wait until the pressure subsides.
- Open the lid, add ghee and coriander leaves to the sambar rice and give a gentle mix.
Serve hot with appalam / pickle / chips.
- The sambar rice will thicken once it cools down. If you are going to have the rice immediately, you can follow the liquid quantity given. 3 Cups (2 cups of water + 1 Cup tamarind extract) + Water to cook the dal. In case you are consuming it after sometime, you can add a little more water while cooking to get the desired consistency.
- If using brinjal, drumstick and potato, keep them immersed in water, after cutting. This will prevent de-colorization.
- Make sure you do not burnt the ingredients used in masala powder preparation. It will lead to bitter taste in the sambar rice. This powder is the key ingredient for flavor, taste and color to this sambar rice.
- If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can follow the same process with a regular pan. But the cooking time will be more.
- Do not pressure cook the sambar rice in high flame. It will lead to a burnt bottom.
- Do adjust the spiciness (sambar powder and dry red chilli in masala powder) according to your preference.
- I cooked the dal separately, since it would take more time to cook compared to rice and veggies. When added together the rice and veggies would be mashed out by the time the dal is cooked.
- Ghee is added to provide an extra flavor to this dish. Vegans can skip it.