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Instant Pot Sambar Rice - Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Indian Food

Instant Pot Sambar Rice

Course Main, Rice
Cuisine Indian, Indian - South Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Time to come to pressure and release pressure 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 344kcal
Author Manju


  • 1 ½ cups white rice most any white rice would do. I use the rice - ponni par boiled rice that you can find at any Indian store. You can also use Basmati rice.
  • ½ cup yellow moong dal toor dal / pigeon pea lentils is commonly used, I love moong dal in my sambar instead, so I use the same for Sambar rice
  • ¼ cup sliced carrots
  • 2 small potatoes peeled and quartered
  • ½ red onion chopped into big chunks
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tablespoon sambar powder
  • 2 tablespoon tamarind
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped, for garnish

For the tempered seasoning


  • Rinse the rice and lentils and drain well.
  • Add this to the inner lining pot of the Instant Pot. Add the vegetables to it.
  • Also add in the turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt to it.
  • Soak the tamarind in ¼ cup water and squeeze the pulp out of it well. Strain and pour this to the rice and dal. Add another ¼ cup water and repeat.
  • Add 4 cups water more to the Instant Pot inner liner and mix well.
  • Close the Instant Pot. Put the sealing knob in "sealing" position. Press the MANUAL button and adjust time to 10 mins.
  • Once cooking for 10 mins is done, wait for the little steel knob next to the sealing knob to fall down. That is when you know that all the pressure is released (NPR - natural Pressure release). This should take about another 10 mins.
  • Meanwhile in a small sauce pan, heat the oil on the stove top. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the asafetida and curry leaves, mix well and pour on to the sambar rice in the Instant Pot.
  • Garnish with the chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot with papaddums, yogurt / raita and Indian pickle.


For the vegetables, use the onion, but as for other vegetables, you can use any other that you like - zucchini, small Indian eggplant, pumpkin / butternut squash cubes, okra etc.
You could use store bought sambar powder or use garam masala powder ( the taste will be different with that, but it is an option if you dont want to spring for another spice powder). You could also make your own sambar masala paste from this recipe for Sambar here.
Instead of using the fresh tamarind to make a pulp, you could buy ready made tamarind pulp concentrate. I love the fresh one myself, but the ready made pulp is a viable option.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 609mg | Potassium: 688mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1195IU | Vitamin C: 37.7mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 4.2mg