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A bowl of sambar, with Onion and Potato
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5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Potato Onion Sambar

Sambar is a popular and authentic dish from South India. Sambar is prepared with one or two vegetables and onion as an add-on. I am sharing the recipe for Sambar with potatoes and onions. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 159kcal
Author: Uma Srinivas


  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • ½ tsp Mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp urad dal
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 green chilies
  • 7 curry leaves
  • 2 cups red or white onions
  • 1 Tomato
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp sambar Powder
  • 4-5 red potatoes
  • ½ cup rinsed split red lentils
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp tamarind concentrates or 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp jaggery or brown sugar


  • Add oil to inner pot in your Instant Pot and press the saute option.
  • When the oil is hot add mustard seeds and urad dal.
  • As 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.
  • Now add tomatoes and let them soften up and then add potatoes.
  • In about a minute, add turmeric and sambar powder
    and stir well for an even mixture.
  • Add split red lentils, tamarind, jaggery, 2 ½ cup water, and salt.
  • Close the lid of the instant pot. Turn the steam release handle to sealing position. Press on Pressure cooking( high pressure) setting and set the timer for 7 minutes.
  • When time is up open the lid using quick release option or you could also let it cool down naturally.
  • Garnish with cilantro and Potato Onion Sambar is ready!
  • Pair it with steamed rice, Dosa or even rotis.



Jaggery and tamarind paste is optional if you are making this sambar for idli or dosa.
Note: The nutrition values I show here are my best estimates. Please be sure to check your preferred nutrition calculator, if you are reliant on accurate calculations in your diet. 


Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 863mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg