Little Millet Sambar Rice

Little millet aka saamai sambar rice ,made of mixed vegetables, homemade sambar powder and tamarind is a nutritious, gluten-free, one-pot comfort meal

Do you feel bored of the same old rice dishes some days… me too… Those days when you feel like you need a change from the routine, millets make a wonderful alternative to rice. I have recently started adding millets to my diet after learning about all its health benefits.

Millets are special among grains as they are nutritious, gluten-free, non-sticky and non-acid-forming. Like foxtail millet and barnyard millet, little millet is also high in Iron. My LO cracked me up when she said that this millet samabar rice looks like mushed sambar idli , which she was right about because it is the smallest grains, so it cooks faster and finer than the other millets. But let me assure you it tastes nothing like mushed Idli….

The fresh sambar powder adds a very good flavor and elevates the dish. I usually make fresh masala for my ground sambar and tens to use homemade sambar powder for making idli sambar and sambar rice etc.. so here I used my homemade sambar powder but you can substitute it with any brand sambar powder you like.

Also to note this dish can be easily made with rice or another type of millet. It will taste equally good. I have made this a bit mushy like bisibelabath consistency but if you prefer more grainy version checkout my regular Sambar sadam recipe.

Sambar sadam and bisisbelabath are like distant cousins. Once is more flavored with masalas like cinnomon, cloves and poppy seeds the other has more simple and subtle flavors. Both uses variety of vegetables but can’t be compared to each other as they have very different taste profiles.

Check out my Bisi Bele Bath and Aval Bisi Bele Bath recipes too.

Saamai Sambar saadam | Little millet Instant pot rice

Little millet aka saamai sambar rice ,made of mixed vegetables, homemade sambar powder and tamarind is a nutritious, gluten-free, one-pot comfort meal
Course Breakfast, Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Keyword Risotto
Servings 4
Author Ramyaa Narayanan


  • Little millet /Saami – 1 cup
  • Moong Dal + Toordal – 3/4 cup
  • Potato – 1 medium size cubed
  • Carrot – 2 medium size cubed
  • Beans – 10 nos
  • Brinjal – 3 small cubed
  • Onion – 1 large sliced
  • Tomato – 2 medium size chopped
  • Sambar Powder – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder / Manjal Podi – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Tamarind water –3/4 cup
  • Water – 4-5 cups

For Seasoning:

  • Gingelly Oil – 3 tbs
  • Mustard Seeds– 1 tsp
  • fenugreek seeds -1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves a handful
  • Dry Red Chillies – 2


  • Chop all the veggies to big pieces and set it aside.
  • Turn on the Instant pot to saute mode. Add 3 tbs oil and add in onions, tomatoes cook this for 2 mins. Let it saute a bit.
  • Now add the rest of the vegetables, turmeric and salt and let the mix cook for 2-4 minutes.
  • Then add in the saamai and the dal to the vegetables and give it a good mix
  • Now add in the tamarind water, sambar powder, salt to taste and water.
  • Turn the instant pot to pressure cook mode and cook the millet for 10 to 12 mins in sealed position.
  • Let the pressure release naturally then give a light handed mix.
  • Heat 1 tbs in a pan and add in mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  • Let the mustard seeds splutter then add in the asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Once the curry leaves are crisp, add the tempering to the sambar rice.
  • Saamai sambar rice is ready to serve.


If you feel the rice is not mushy enough after its cooked add little hot water to the mix and cook it in saute mode for couple of minutes.
Make sure the water is hot. Cold water will need longer to heat up and makes the it too mushy.
3. Add any vegetable of choice and there is no specific requirement.

Tried this recipe? I’d love to know your feedback. Tag @amomscookbook on Instagram and hashtag it #amomscookbookYou can follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for more such recipes.

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