Cook's Hideout: Slow Cooker Sambar

April 10, 2009

Slow Cooker Sambar

Update: My Computer is fixed.. I've updated the post with the pics.
I wanted to use my slow cooker that’s been collecting dust for quite sometime now. So I decided to make sambar in it and it came out pretty good, can’t complain for the minimum amount of work I had to put in.

Toor dal – 1 cup
Moong dal – ¼ cup
Onion – 1 large, thinly sliced
Green pepper – 1 small, thinly sliced
Yellow squash – 1 medium, thinly sliced
Tomatoes – 2-3 medium, chopped (I used 1 small tomato chopped and 1/3 cup crushed tomato) Tamarind paste – 3 tbsp
Sambar Powder – 2-3 tbsp, homemade or store-bought (I used Ambika brand that I brought from India)
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste

Popu Ingredients:
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1tsp
Dry Red chilies – 2
Hing – ¼ tsp

  • I combined dal and veggies along with 5-6 cups water, ½ tsp turmeric, sambar powder, chili powder and salt in the slow cooker. Cooked on Low for about 6 hours (or on High for 4hrs).
  • So by the time we came home, dal & veggies were done, then I added tamarind extract and adjusted the seasonings. Cooked for another 30 minutes on High.
  • When there was about 10 minutes left for cooking, I made the tadka in 2tbsp oil, added it to slow cooker and let it cook.
Serve with rice, idli, dosa, roti, practically anything can be eaten with sambar. With the leftovers I made Sambar Semya which is nothing but vermicelli mixed with sambar.

Here’s how I made it:
Bring 6cups of water to a rolling boil, add 1tsp salt and 1 cup semya (vermicelli like bambino or MTR brand); cook for 3-4 minutes or until semya is cooked through. Drain the water and set aside to cool. Heat 1tbsp oil in a large sauté pan, add 1tsp each of urad dal, chana dal, mustard seeds & cumin seeds, 2-3 dry red chilies, ¼ cup toasted peanuts. Add 2-3 cups of sambar and bring to a simmer. Stir in cooked semya, mix well; taste and add salt, sambar powder as needed. Simmer for 2 minutes and enjoy hot for a quick BLD (Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner).

Sambar goes to EC @ Simple Indian Food for her WYF-Side Dish event.
Sambar Semya goes to Sahaja @ Spicy Rasam for her Single Serving Recipes event.

Note: My laptop has gone cuckoo and is probably infected by the conflicker virus. So couldn't upload pics, I will update the post once everything is fixed.



  1. That's a new way to use a slow cooker :) These are great for one-dish dinners when you're really busy... can be a real life-saver when you don't wanna eat processed foods.

  2. Nice idea to use slow cooker...Never got the idea of cooking sambar in slow cooker..

  3. Never made anything with slow cooker! Great recipe to start.

  4. Sambar in a slow cooker sounds nice... Shall come back for the pictures cant wait to see how it turned out...

  5. using slow cooker for sambar is new to me.. sounds good..waiting for result

  6. What is slow cooker?
    Can have sambar any time.But i never knew that moong dal can be added to sambar.

  7. Meeso, Sambar I made was enough for almost 5-6 meals, so no processed food for almost 2 weeks. :-)

    I'm still trying to figure out new ways of using my slow cooker Pooja. Do try this one out.

    Cham, try this one out, I'm sure you will find many more ways to use it.

    Thanks for dropping by Ramya. Keep visiting.:-)

    Thanks for visiting Trupti.

    Varunavi, slow cooker is also called crockpot, basically you dump all the ingredients and it is going to cook for 4-8 hrs to get that slow cooked taste. Great for cooking meats, but you can also cook beans, veggies etc. Check this link out:

  8. Sambar in slow to me..thanks for the yummy entry

  9. Great idea to make the sambar in the slow cooker...I made daal makhani in mine not too long ago.


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