Guest Recipe: Easy Vegan Mixed Vegetable Sambhar

Contributed by Olivia Rose

Sambhar is a South-Indian stew usually made using different types of vegetables, grains, and spices. The most common ingredients that go into this dish are pigeon peas, tamarind, and sambhar powder. While you can always buy a pre-made blend of spices such as coriander seeds, turmeric, and ground chili, making your very own can make a huge difference to your dish.

South-Indian Sambhar or Sambar can be served for breakfast and lunch, paired with some steamed basmati rice. This can also be eaten as a side dish for any main dish for dinner.

Benefits of Indian Spices

You will be surprised at how beneficial spices are to your health. These herbs, seeds, barks and leaves are not only used for their aroma and robust flavors, but for what they can offer to your well-being. Here are some health benefits that you can get from Indian spices:

Great pain relievers – cloves, ginger, and turmeric are two of the most widely used pain-relieving spices in Indian cooking. So be sure to try and use them in your dishes as well.

Aids digestion – the spices help your digestive system to function better. Spices like cardamom and coriander can stop gastro intestinal pain and even help stop inflammations.

Helps manage diabetes – cinnamon is considered to be the top player in this field. This spice helps regulate and lower blood sugar levels.

Regulates and maintains a healthy respiratory system – asafoetida or hing, cloves, mustard seeds and arrowroot powder can help those with asthma, breathing problems, coughs and colds.

Mixed Vegetable Sambhar

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 to 3 hours
Servings: 4 to 6
Cuisine: South Indian

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Carb, Low Fat


  • 1 cup of Toor Dhal or Pigeon Peas, washed and drained
  • 1 tsp of ground turmeric, divided
  • A few drops of Castor Oil
  • 2 and ½ cups of water
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 4 to 5 pieces of Ivy gourd, sliced lengthwise into 2
  • 3 medium eggplants, cut into cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup of water
  • 2 cups of tamarind extract (fresh or pre-made)
  • 2 tsps. plus ½ tsp. of your homemade sambhar spice mix
  • 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, divided
  • ½ tsp. of mustard seeds
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. of raw cane sugar
  • 2 pieces of fresh curry leaves
  • Coriander leaves for garnish


  1. In your pressure cooker or a cookware for glass cooktops, combine the dal, ½ tsp of ground Turmeric and castor oil. Mix well and add 2 and ½ cups of water. Cover and cook until the dal is soft and cooked completely.
  2. Heat a large pan and sauté the vegetables except for the eggplants, water and salt. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the eggplants, water, and season with salt.
  3. Once the water has evaporated, add a pinch of turmeric powder and the tamarind extract. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add ½ of the sambhar powder and mix well. The remaining powder blend should be mixed with a little bit of water to make a thick paste. Set aside.
  5. Once the dal is cooked, transfer to the pan with the vegetables and mix in the remaining sambhar paste. Stir well and allow to boil.
  6. While you are cooking this, toast the coriander seeds in a little bit of olive oil or ghee until they start to pop. Add the fresh curry leaves and combine with the Sambhar.

Top Tip!

Did you know that you can make your own sambhar powder at home? Of course, you can always run to the nearest Asian or Indian grocery store and buy a pre-made spice mix. But if you want a more concentrated and a fresher flavor combo, then you can always whip up your own. All you need are the following spices, toasted and blended together in a fine powder:

  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Black peppercorns
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Chana dal
  • Urad dal
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds
  • Asafeotida or hing
  • Turmeric powder
  • Dried red chilies

Nutritional Info:

Calories 52
Total Fat 4 grams
Saturated Fat 1 gram
Protein 5 grams
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrates 16 grams
Dietary Fiber 2 grams
Sugars 2 grams
Sodium 182 mg
Potassium 118 mg


About the Author:

Olivia Rose blogs at My King Cook where she shares healthy cooking and culinary advice with the world! She keeps learning new things, unique cooking traditions and food culture for the benefit of those who want to stay healthy and well with great food. Healthy cooking need not break the bank and eat much time. Check out for the latest recipes, cooking tips and kitchenware reviews today!

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