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Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar

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Made using pumpkin, and homemade sambar masala powder, this Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar is flavourful, and delicious, and is perfect as a stew for those cold autumn evenings. 

Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar served in a small kadai. Seen in the backgroudn is pumpkin and some red rice.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar

What is Sambar?

Sambar is a lentil-based vegetable stew. Typically made using pigeon pea (tur dal) lentil along with tamarind, jaggery, and a few spices. A very popular South Indian stew and is enjoyed along with rice or Idli and Dosa.

What is Sambar made of?

There are many versions of sambar in different states of India. Generally made using different vegetables and lentils. A few coastal regions do even add coconut. Onion and garlic are added in a few and skipped in some communities. 

Vegetables one can use in Sambar

I used to know sambar only as drumstick sambar as that was what my mom used to make or served in restaurants. Now that I know that sambar can have so many different vegetables in it. 

One can add okra, carrot, potatoes, pumpkin, etc. Pumpkin sam, Pearl onion sambar , Raw Mango, chow chow sambar and methi leaves sambar are again very common. 

I do not make sambar much, but when we make we try to use the local and the vegetables available during that time ir ky garden harvest .This time I had my fresh garden Pumpkin Uchiki Kuri i.e. the Red Kuri Squash ready. I decided to use this fresh harvest along with my fresh tomato harvest to make this delicious sambar.

Recipes with Pumpkin Uchiki Kuri

Have you seen my healthy Pumpkin Chickpea and Kale curry made with Pumpkin Uchiki Kuri and how to preserve your garden harvest, i.e. making pumpkin puree using Instant Pot and preserving a batch? 

Homemade sambar Recipe

This sambar is my recipe, which I like to cook for my family. I am not saying it is authentic or traditional regional sambar, but our version of making this delicious lentil and vegetable stew.  I like to use my fresh homemade sambar masala powder for this sambar. Yes, sambar without sambar masala powder is not complete. 

I like to make this sambar in Instant Pot as this is quick and easy. All I do is add all the ingredients in the instant pot and pressure cook for 20 minutes. No babysitting and you have one delicious stew ready in no time.

Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar served in a small kadai. Seen in the backgroudn is pumpkin and some red rice.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar

Recipe process of Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar

The recipe is quite simple. I first make a tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. I sometimes add onion and at times skip it. Tomatoes along with chilies are added and the masala is cooked until done.

Then the veggies are added. So this time I am adding pumpkin along with soaked lentils, tamarind pulp, salt, sambar masala powder, and water. Everything is mixed together and then pressure-cooked for 20-25 minutes. Once sambar is cooked jaggery is added and the consistency is adjusted.

Serve it with rice , roti or Idli. Last time I enjoyed it with some red rice.

Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar served in a small kadai/wok. Seen in the background is pumpkin and some red rice.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar
Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar served in a small kadai/wok. Seen in the background is pumpkin and some red rice.

Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar

Instant Pot Pumpkin Sambar is a flavourful stew made using pumpkin, lentils, and a few spices, and is perfect for cold autumn.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: Fall / Autumn Recipes, Garden Harvest Recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Legumes / Beans / Pulses, Vegetables
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 Cups chopped Pumpkin
  • ½ Cup rinsed Toor Dal Pigeon Pea
  • 1 large size ½ Cup chopped tomato
  • 1 small ¼ cup onion (Optional)
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2-3 green chilis chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon sambar powder as per taste
  • 1- inch Tamarind soaked in ½ cup lukewarm water
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2-3 cups water
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 tablespoon Jaggery
  • 8-10 Curry Leaves

Instructions

Prep-work

  • Clean and rinse the dal for 2-3 times.
    ½ Cup rinsed Toor Dal
  • Soak the dal for at least 30 minutes.
  • Chop the tomatoes and keep them aside.
    1 large size
  • Chop the pumpkin and keep it aside.
    1.5-2 Cups chopped Pumpkin
  • Soak the tamarind pulp and keep it aside for atleast 15 minutes
    Tamarind Pulp in a bowl.

Cooking of Pumpkin Sambar in Instant Pot

  • Switch on the Instant Pot to saute mode for 20 minutes.
  • Add oil to the inner vessel of the pot.
    1 tablespoon oil
  • Add asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.
    ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ¼ teaspoon asafetida, 8-10 Curry Leaves
    Tempering of cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves
  • Once seeds crackle add onion and green chili if using.
    1 small, 2-3 green chilis chopped
  • Once the onions are translucent, add turmeric powder, tomatoes, and a little salt.
    1 large size, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, Salt as per taste
    Tomatoes added to oil and onion in Instant pot.
  • Cook this for 3-4 minutes until the mixture starts releasing oil or is done.
    Cooked tomato and onion mixture.
  • Now add the chopped pumpkin and cook again for 2-3 minutes until the masala is well coated.
    1.5-2 Cups chopped Pumpkin
    Pumpkin added to mixture
  • Add soaked toor dal, sambar powder, chopped coriander, tamarind pulp, and salt.
    ½ Cup rinsed Toor Dal, 1 tablespoon sambar powder, 1- inch Tamarind soaked in ½ cup lukewarm water, ¼ cup chopped coriander
    Dal and Pumpkin added to mixture.
  • Add water and mix everything.
    2-3 cups water
    Water added and sambar ready to be cooked.
  • Cancel the saute mode and close the lid.
  • Pressure cooker on high for 20 minutes. (For me the toor dal takes more time to cook and hence I pressure cook for 20 minutes.)
  • Once done, let the pressure release naturally. Once the pin is dropped open the lid.
  • If required use a masher or a whisk in the cooked sambar so that the lentils and pumpkins get mixed together.
  • Add jaggery, mix again, and cook it for 2-3 minutes on saute mode.
    1 tablespoon Jaggery
    Adding of Jaggery in sambar.
  • If required add water and adjust the consistency.
  • Serve it hot along with rice, Idli, or Dosa or just enjoy it as a stew.

Stove top Pressure Cooker method

  • Switch on the stove and put on the pressure cooker without the lid.
  • Add asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.
  • Once seeds crackle add onion and green chili if using.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add turmeric powder, tomatoes, and a little salt.
  • Cook this for 3-4 minutes until the mixture starts releasing oil or is done.
  • Now add the chopped pumpkin and cook again for 2-3 minutes until the masala is well coated.
  • Add soaked lentils, sambar powder, chopped coriander, tamarind pulp, and salt.
  • Add water and mix everything.
  • Close the lid and cook it for 3-4 whistles or according to your pressure cooker settings. (Sometimes the dal/lentil takes a bit longer to cook.)
  • Once done let the pressure release naturally.
  • Open the lid.
  • If required use a masher or a whisk in the cooked sambar so that the lentils and pumpkins get mixed together.
  • Add jaggery, mix again, and cook it for 2-3 minutes.
  • If required add water and adjust the consistency.

Open Pot Method

  • On a medium stove, add oil, in a heavy bottom pot.
  • Once hot, Add asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.
  • Once seeds crackle add onion and green chili if using.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add turmeric powder, tomatoes, and a little salt.
  • Cook this for 3-4 minutes until the mixture starts releasing oil or is done.
  • Now add the chopped pumpkin and cook again for 2-3 minutes until the masala is well coated.
  • Add soaked lentils, sambar powder, chopped coriander, tamarind pulp, and salt.
  • Add water and mix everything.
  • Cover and let the mixture come to a boil.
  • Once it starts boiling reduce the stove to slow and let it cook until the dal is soft.
  • This will take around 30-40 minutes. (Sometimes the dal/lentil takes a bit longer to cook.)
  • The dal/lentil is done when it is easily pressed against the back of your spoon or when you press it with your fingers.
  • If not done, let it cook again for a few minutes until done.
  • The veggies should be done, by this time, but one can always check it by pressing it or piercing a knife or a spoon. They should slide easily.
  • If required use a masher or a whisk in the cooked sambar so that the lentils and pumpkins get mixed together.
  • Once dal is done, add jaggery, mix again, and cook it for 2-3 minutes.
  • If required add water and adjust the consistency.
  • Once done, let it rest for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
  • Serve warm.

Notes

Standard US-size cups and spoons are used. 1 cup = 237 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
Asafoetida (Hing) powder available in shops contains wheat and is not gluten-free. Gluten-intolerant people can either skip it completely or opt for Gluten Free Asafoetida (Hing)
1/2 Cup of dried lentils will make 1 cup of soaked.
One can make this in a stovetop pressure cooker too.
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @cookwithrenu_ad or tag #cookwithrenu_ad
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.

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The theme for this Sunday is the Mid-Autumn Festival hosted by Stacy. Check out recipes that my blogger friends have come up with for different squash.

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Recipe Rating




Judee Gluten Free A-Z Blog

Saturday 7th of October 2023

thank you for this wonderful recipe. I love using my IP, I love soup/stew, and I love the variety of spices in sambar . Can't wait to try it.

Renu Agrawal Dongre

Saturday 7th of October 2023

Hope you like it. Thank You

Amy's Cooking Adventures

Sunday 24th of September 2023

This sounds amazing - perfect for fall

Colleen. - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

Sunday 24th of September 2023

This sounds super-flavorful...and also makes me want to rush right out and get a pumpkin. YUM!

Karen @karenskitchenstories

Sunday 24th of September 2023

What a great east meets west dish with the use of the pumpkin.

Renu Agrawal Dongre

Monday 25th of September 2023

Ah we use Pumpkin in a lot of our cooking Karen.

Wendy

Sunday 24th of September 2023

It certainly sounds delicious.