Instant Pot Sambar and Simple Recipe for Idli/Dosa Batter

Instant Pot Sambar and Simple Recipe for Idli/Dosa Batter

I know we’ve shared another recipe before but I guess we didn’t really introduce our love for food and trying different cuisines. We both love traveling and trying different cuisines from around the world. Since Jaison and I are both South Indian and specifically from Kerala, the meals we consider as food from home are very similar. Our mothers are from different parts of Kerala so the way they cook the same dishes have different tastes but they have similarities too. One thing I learned for sure is never tell your mother that your mother in law makes something better and vice versa, just quietly appreciate and enjoy both their cooking =)

So I would always complain to my mother that I need her recipes written down and she would always say it’s in her head and just to watch her and you learn things through experience. Arguments in the kitchen were a regular thing but many things I know how to cook, I learned from her but thank goodness for Pinterest and blogs that have baselines I can at least follow to remind me what to include in many of these Kerala dishes. (So thank you to and

Having a full time jobs and schedules with other things that keep us busy, we are left with limited time at home to make traditional dishes. Both our families live far from us so stealing from our mothers fridges is not an option. We are always welcome to shortcuts to making things so when we came across simpler ways of making Idli/Dosa and Sambar, we figured we’d share the recipes after we tried it out for ourselves.


  • 1 cup Urad daal

  • 1/4 cup cooked rice

  • 3 cups rice flour

  • 4 cups water for grinding and adding

  • Salt to taste add this once the batter ferments


    1. Soak the urad daal in water for about 4-6 hours.

    2. Drain the daal without rinsing. Add the urad daal and cooked rice in a food processor or mixer jar and grind by adding little water at a time as needed. (Use 1 and 1/4 cup water for grinding).

    3. Pour this into a mixing bowl and add the rice flour. Add remaining water and mix well with your hands or a whisk. Remember to use a big enough bowl so that the batter has enough room to rise and won’t overflow.

    4. Cover the bowl and place in a warm place to ferment for about 8-10 hours. It is best to leave it overnight to ferment in an oven that is turned off.

    5. Add salt to the batter, mix well and pour the batter into the idli molds and steam it for 12 to 15 minutes.


  • You can use the same batter and water it down a bit more to make Dosas (crepe like indian bread).

  • If you don’t have time to soak urad daal and grind, you can add 1 cup of urad flour instead for the recipe but you still need to grind the cooked rice and add it to the batter because that’s what helps the batter to ferment.

  • You can ferment the batter in an instant pot also. Just turn on the yogurt mode and pour in the mixture and close the lid. Change the setting from 8 hours to 10 hours and your batter should rise and be ready after that time!


  • 1 cup split pigeon peas (toor dal), soaked for 1 hour

  • 4 cups water

  • 3 cups chopped mixed vegetables (potatoes, carrots, large eggplant with skin removed, indian drumstick)

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • ½ onion, chopped into chunks

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste

  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used coconut oil)

  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • 15 curry leaves

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder

  • 2 teaspoons salt, adjust to taste

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder


  • Soak the split pigeon peas in cold water for 1 hour. Set aside after draining the water.

  • Press the sauté button, add the coconut oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger and spices. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

  • Close the lid securely, close the pressure valve and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.

  • Naturally release pressure for 15 minutes. Make sure to open the valve to release any pressure that is left.


  • You can add the vegetables that you like. I added the traditional vegetables that are usually added. Instead of the eggplant, you can use cucumber or squash. The point of adding squash, cucumber or eggplant is to create a mushy stew base that stops the sambar from being too watery.

  • Instead of adding the spices individually, you can buy a sambar spice pack that you can buy at an Indian grocery stores if you don’t have a need to purchase all those spices or don’t have those on hand.

    Try out these recipes and let us know how it goes!

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