If you are like us, you are just coming out of your food comas from Thanksgiving. It might be time for a food reset before the holiday season sets in. Our family tries to eat as healthy as possible. However, we recognize that we don’t necessarily do that 100% of the time. I have a few go to dishes that I make when we need a healthy food recharge. Sambar is one of them. Sambar is simply a yellow or red lentil soup filled with veggies and flavorful, aromatic spices. It is chock full of protein (from the lentils), fiber (from the vegetables and lentils), and vitamins. It is gluten free, dairy free and vegan. It is a one pot nutritional powerhouse and it couldnt be easier to make.
My whole family loves sambar and I make it at least once a week. I usually make enough for two days (this also freezes really well, instructions in the recipe). In fact, my kids often request more sambar and usually eat two helpings. You can eat this with white or brown rice or just plain. We eat it year round but it tastes especially good in these cold winter months and provides a hearty, filling, nutritious all in one meal. I have two types of recipes, one if you have a pressure cooker or instant pot and one version if you don’t have this type of kitchen equipment. It take a tad bit longer without the Instant Pot or pressure cooker but the end result is still as delicious. Some of the ingredients on this list may not be familiar to you but I encourage you to use them and try out this recipe, I promise you they will be put to good use as you will want to make sambar on a regular basis.
Some More Sambar
Hearty and nutritious yellow lentil soup with vegetables and spices.
Pressure Cooker Instructions
If using a pressure cooker:
Put lentils in a pressure cooker with about 4 cups of water.
Close pressure cooker and cook on medium heat for about 3 whistles. Lentils should be soft.
Add garlic, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and red chilies.
Add onion and fry until translucent.
Add Salt, Turmeric and Sambhar Powder and mix well.
Add Water and boil on medium heat until vegetables are soft and cooked through.
Allow to cook with vegetables on low heat for roughly 20 minutes (the longer it cooks, the better the flavors meld together).
Taste for salt and add more if necessary.
Garnish with Cilantro (optional).
Instant Pot Instructions
If using an instant Pot:
Set instant pot in Sautee Mode.
Add cumin, garlic, mustard seeds and chillies.
Add onions and all vegetables.
Add salt, turmeric powder and sambar powder. Mix well until all vegetables are well coated.
Add lentils and 6 cups of water.
Set on manual mode for 6 minutes on high pressure.
When finished, release all steam, open and enjoy!
Stove Top Instructions
If cooking over stove top:
Add oil in a saucepan.
Add cumin, mustard seeds, red chilies.
Fill sauce pan with water and cook lentils over medium heat, until soft. This will take approximately 30 minutes.
Add vegetables, salt, turmeric powder, and sambar powder.
Cook until vegetables are cooked through, approximately 30 minutes.
To Freeze- Make the sambar as per recipe instructions. Wait for it to cool down completely. Put in a freezer safe container and put in freezer. When you are ready to eat, simply put all contents in a pan and heat through. It is good for about two weeks in the freezer.