Sambhar Rice/Sambhar Sadam

Sambhar Rice/Sambhar Sadam, a traditional South Indian one pot meal made with Rice. Lentils and vegetables cooked in spicy Sambhar masala.

Sambhar Sadam

Sambhar Rice/Sambhar Sadam is one of those comforting and filling meals. It is so perfect for the days when you want to have something hot spicy comforting without compromising on the nutrition especially when you have kids.And when you make it in Instant Pot it is a total comfort for busy professionals and moms and like me!!

Traditional way of making Sambhar Rice or Sambhar Sadam can be a little lengthy process of first making Sambhar and rice separately and then mixing the two, cooking for few minutes and then adding the tempering.

I learned this easy Sambhar Sadam recipe in Mumbai from one of my Tamilian neighbor aunty. I had attended  the baby shower party of  her daughter-in-law and there they had served around 8-9 varieties of rice dishes.. Sambhar Rice, Lemon Rice, Tamarind rice and many more. Later while talking to her about the rice dishes she told us the easy way to make this Sambhar Sadam recipe, in a pressure cooker. It is one of our favourite South Indian dishes , kids love Sambhar with rice, idlli and they love this combination of Sambhar Rice,  they just slurrppp the whole thing without complaining.

Sambhar Rice..One Pot Meal in Instant Pot

I used to cook this rice in pressure cooker but after I bought Instant Pot making one pot dishes have been very easy.I made  it in my Instant Pot.

Traditionally , Sambhar Onions/Shallots, Drumsticks, Eggplant , Bottle Gourd and other veggies are added to make this, but you can use any veggies of your choice. I have used Zucchini, Carrots and Green Beans. Also Toor Dal/ Split Yellow Lentil is used for making this dish. I also have added Dhuli Masoor or Red Lentils. Moong Lentils can also be added. This may not be the traditional way of making this spicy traditional dish, but we all love it and enjoy to the fullest. Also, it is super easy and quick to make when we want something in jiffy!!

Let’s see how I make this one pot spicy Sambhar Rice my way


Sambhar Rice/Sambhar Sadam

Sambhar rice, an everyday one pot meal from Tamil Cuisine. Easy to prepare recipe in Instant Pot and pressure cooker. Learn how to prepare Sambhar Rice in Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Soaking Time for Rice and Lentils 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Indian Cuisine, South Indian
Servings 4


  • 1/2 Cup Rice
  • 1/4 Cup Toor/Arhar Dal/Split Pigeon Peas
  • 1/4 Cup Dhuli Masoor/Red Lentils
  • 1 Onion(medium)
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Cup Mixed Vegetables Carrot, Zucchini, Lauki(Bottle Gourd,Beans or Peas)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Sambhar Masala
  • 1-2 Tbsp Tamarind Pulp or as per the tanginess you want in the dish
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1-2 Dry Red Chillies
  • 1-2 Tbsp Oil/Desi Ghee
  • 1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
  • 4-5 Curry Leaves
  • Chopped Coriander/Cilantro
  • Salt as per taste


  • Wash and soak the rice and lentils together for minimum of 15-20 minutes before you start cooking.
  • Finely chop the vegetables, onions and tomatoes
  • Prepare the tamarind pulp or paste to add in the rice and keep aside or you can use readymade(store bought) also.
  • Soak a tennis ball sized tamarind block in warm water, squeeze it with fingers and make the pulp. Filter the pulp to discard the fibres. 

Cooking in Instant Pot

  • Turn on the saute mode of Instant Pot on high  and add ghee when it displays hot. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds/ jeera and mustard seeds/rai and curry leaves. 
  • Add finely chopped onions and saute till light pink. Add tomatoes and cook till soft and mushy. 
  • Add turmeric powder, sambhar powder and red chilli powder and mix.
  • Add soaked rice and lentils. Add salt to taste and 3-4 cups of water. 
  • Cancel the saute mode, set the pressure cook mode on high for 10 minutes.
  • Once the timer goes off, after 5 minutes, release the pressure from the  and open the lid. Check for the doneness of the rice and lentils. Adjust the consistency of water if the rice is thick.
  • Add the tamarind pulp or paste.
  • Mix it and cook the rice for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Prepare the tempering. In a pan, heat some desi ghee or oil, when it is warm enough, add cumin seeds,mustard seeds curry leaves, when it splutters, add the dry red chillies and some onions. Fry onions till light pink. Add red chilli powder if required , add to the Sambhar Rice and serve it hot!!

Cooking in Pressure Cooker

  • To cook in pressure cooker, follow all the steps of till the cooking and mixing the rice and dal till adding water, after closing the lid, cook till 2-3 whistles, then when the pressure releases, open the lid, check for the doneness of rice and lentils and adjust the consistency, add water if required, cook for another 4-5 minutes , prepare  and add tempering.Serve hot.


  • The spice level can be adjusted as per one's preference. 
  • Add less water if you want it thicker.Making it with desi ghee adds on to the taste but you can use oil if you are vegan or want to avoid ghee.
  • If you don't have tamarind add 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice. Though tamarind gives it the authentic flavour but lemon can be also a good substitute for it. II use lemon many times if I don't have tamarind pulp paste.
Keyword Sadam, Sambhar, Sambhar Rice


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So do try this Sambhar Rice recipe my way, whenever you want something different, nutritious, easy and comforting.Enjoy it some papad, pickle, I and kids love it with some papads and my hubby  wants some curd/yogurt with it.

Linking my Sambhar Rice/Sambhar Sadam to #96Blogging Marathon for Week 3, Day 2, where theme is Easy Dinner Ideas. 


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96.

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Author: Swati

Some who believes 'EAT WELL, READ DAILY, TRAVEL OFTEN AND LAUGH KHUL KE'!!! Hi!! Swati here!!! Chef, Chocolatier, food admirer, reader, love to travel, listen to music, Bollywood and shoot nature and food pics!! Welcome to my Foodtrails and join me in my food adventure!!

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