Sambar Sadam | Rice cooked in Lentil gravy

Sambar Rice
Photo from 2020

Sambar Sadam or Sambar rice is Rice cooked in lentil gravy with a special sambar masala powder. It is a quick, easy one pot meal that is very filling and nutritious. It’s a perfect Instatpot recipe for a lazy kind of day. You get the required protein from dal, nutrients from the vegetable, and the carbs from the rice in one plate.  I usually prepare it in the cooker directly and it comes out nice and mushy. This dish is usually paired with porial , potato chips or fried papadam.

Now with the addition of Instatpot and Instantpot mini, I tend to use it more for the one pot means. It makes cooking much easy as I can set it and forget until I am ready to eat. I remember when amma was busy with say a festival or something else this would our meal for the day. Even-though the rice itself used to taste awesome, as kids, potato chips or fried papadam was the highlight for us.

If you are looking for a healthier option, checkout Little Millet Sambar Rice. This version of sambar rice, where little millet is cooked in lentil gravy, has a different flavor profile.

Sambar rice

Sambar Rice | Sambar Sadam

Sambar Sadam is a quick, very easy one pot meal that is very filling and nutritious . It's a perfect Instantpot recipe
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Global, Indian
Keyword rice
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author ramyaanagu


  • Tamarind – 2 tsp or lemon sized ball soaked and squeezed ( adjust according to taste
  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Toor dal – 1/2 cup
  • Vegetables cut into big cubes – 1 cup any veggi of your choice: carrot, beans, onion, peas, capsicum
  • Sambar powder – 2 tbs
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • 4-5 cups water

For seasoning:

  • Mustered seeds – 1tsp
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Methi powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Hing – 1/4 tsp


  • In a pressure cooker or your Instatpot add a little oil and add the turmeric powder and the vegetables. Fry all the vegetable for couple of minutes.
  • Add in the sambar powder and the salt and give it a good mix.
  • Meanwhile wash and the rice and toor dal and add it to the vegetables. Mix all of it together in a low flame.
  • Now add the tamarind paste/ water to the mixture.  At this point add the water to the mixture and close the lid and pressure cook it fro 2 to 3 whistles.
  • If you are cooking in instant pot, turn it to 'Rice' mode and let it natural release once its done
  • I like to add more water than usual ( 1 cup rice :3 or 4 cusp water) to get the mushy consistency.


P.S : The vegetables will get soft and will get broken so try to keep their size bigger to somewhat retain the shape.
Sambar Sadam
Picture from 2016

If you to try this one pot nutritious meal, give me a shout out and share pictures with the hashtag #amomscookbook. Drop your comment and rate the recipe. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for more such recipes and food photography.

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