If there is one vegetable that can be grilled, baked, roasted, stewed or even stuffed and a vegetable rich in iron, calcium and dietary fiber that’s none other than eggplants! And that’s the prime ingredient of my recipe today Brinjal Sambar or Eggplant Sambar”
Today’s Eggplant Sambar is yet another simple yet delicious option for Eggplant. It goes equally well with boiled rice or dosa.
Before I start with the procedure, I want you to note that I used the recipe for Sambar Powder first to prepare the masala and then prepared the Sambar. So if you do not have the Sambar Powder ready, please check out my post here. Preparation is key for a tasty meal such as this 😉
How to make brinjal sambar Recipe
Sambar is a lentil-based recipe featured by a strong and unique aroma that can pique any appetite. My version of the sambar is made primarily from Toor dal (pigeon pea lentils), eggplant, tamarind & supporting spices. If you are planning to try this today, be sure to plan it around steamed rice and a side dish like vegetable stir fry for a sumptuous meal!
Sambar gets its unique flavor from the addition of a special spice preparation (Sambar powder) and can either be purchased from a store or it can be prepared at home.
I prefer the home version as it packs fresh flavor. But if you are not sure about the process, you can always buy a pack. The spices you will need are coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, urad dal, and red chilies. Here’s a link to the sambar powder recipe that I prepared in Karnataka style.
Sambar can be cooked with a wide variety of vegetables as the prime ingredient. Some commonly used vegetables are Eggplant (Brinjals), Pumpkin, Okra, Onion, Radish, Potatoes, French beans, etc. The proportion of tamarind and spice would vary depending on what the vegetables offer. Like an excellent pair for rice as well as dosa or idli.
Eggplant Sambar is an excellent low fat and vegan option you should try today!
Instant Pot Brinjal Sambar Recipe
Let us see how we can prepare this with the Instant Pot. Being one of my family favorites, I have prepared this numerous times over the years on a stovetop.
Since the time I purchased the Instant Pot, I have not looked back at any other option because it makes it a lot easier.
As often as I prepare this dish, I decided to update my old stovetop recipe with the new and modern version with the Instant Pot.
I still have the stovetop version included, if you do not have an Instant Pot yet.
Here is my step by step instant pot version of brinjal/ Eggplant sambar
Step one: Add oil to the inner pot in your Instant Pot and press the sauté option. As the oil heats up, add mustard seeds and urad dal.
When the mustard seeds start to sputter, add curry leaves and green chilies and stir well for a minute. Add onions and continue to saute for at least a minute.
Step two: Add brinjal pieces, turmeric, and sambar powder and stir well for an even mixture.
Add split Toor dal (split pigeon pea), tamarind, 2 ½ cup water, and salt.
Step three: Add split Toor dal (split pigeon pea), tamarind, 2 ½ cup water, and salt.
Close the lid of the instant pot. Turn the steam release handle to the “sealing” position. Press on the “Pressure cooking” setting and set the timer for 6 minutes. When time is up open the lid using 10 minutes natural release option.
Garnish with cilantro and Eggplant Sambar is ready!
Stovetop Kathirikai Sambar
Saucepan’s version of eggplant sambar is easy and straightforward. Check my step by step pictures below in the comment box.
For this method, I chopped the eggplants along the length to get long pieces and cooked them in boiling water.
The lentils will have to be cooked separately under pressure for up to 4 whistles. If you were using an Instant pot, cook the Toor dal for 6 minutes under high pressure, open the lid using the natural release method.
For detailed procedure check the recipe box below.
Check out my other sambar recipe and instant pot recipes here…
Here are the recipe details….
Brinjal Sambar Recipe - Instant Pot + Stovetop
Stove Top Directions:
- Place a pan over medium heat and drizzle a little oil (vegetable or olive oil).
- As the oil heats up, add mustard seeds, split black gram and red chilies.
- Fry them until they turn golden. Add curry leaves and continue to saute for 10 seconds. Add Sambar powder and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add green chilies and chopped onions and saute them until the onions turn transparent.
- Add the sliced Brinjal and follow up with turmeric powder and a cup of water.
- Place a cover on the pan and let it simmer for 8 minutes or until its a little soft.
- Add tamarind water or paste and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
- Now it's time to add Toor dal (steam cooked). Add water and salt to your desired consistency and taste. Stir well and simmer for 2 more mins.
- Eggplant Sambar is ready to be served with steamed rice!
Instant Pot Directions
- Add oil to the inner pot in your Instant Pot and press the sauté option.
- As the oil heats up, add mustard seeds and urad dal.
- When the mustard seeds start to sputter, add curry leaves and green chilies and stir well for a minute.
- Add onions and continue to saute for at least a minute.
- Add brinjal pieces, turmeric, and sambar powder and stir well for an even mixture.
- Add split Toor dal (split pigeon pea), tamarind, 2 ½ cup water, and salt.
- Close the lid of the instant pot. Turn the steam release handle to the “sealing” position. Press on the “Pressure cooking” setting and set the timer for 6 minutes.
- When time is up open the lid using 10 minutes natural release option.
- Garnish with cilantro and Eggplant Sambar is ready!
- Pair it with steamed rice, Dosa or Idli….
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