Parsnip Sambar

Parsnip Sambar

Parsnip sambar is a lentil soup made using mainly parsnip, along with other vegetables and spices. The recipe for parsnip sambar is simple, and the soup is a tasty Indian way of consuming this yummy root vegetable. Pair this sambar with plain steamed rice, quinoa, millets, Idli, or ragi mudde for best taste. Continue reading to know how to make Parsnip sambar.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings


  • 200g of toor dal, rinsed
  • 400ml of water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3-4 medium parsnip, peeled, rinsed, and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sambar powder or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder(optional)
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Salt to taste

For Tadka:

  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A pinch of hing
  • 2-3 dried red chilies(Byadagi), split 


Into a pressure cooker, add rinsed toor dal, turmeric, and water. Pressure cook until three whistles or until the toor dal is soft and cooked. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. Further, slightly mash the cooked dal using a mashing spoon and keep aside until required.

Heat cooking oil in a cooking pot with a lid. Once the oil is hot enough, add a sprig of curry leaves and chopped onion. Saute onion until it turns translucent. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook until they are soft and mushy. Add the cut parsnip into the cooking pot, sprinkle some salt over, pour about 150 ml of water, cover the lid and cook until parsnip is well cooked.

Further, add sambar powder, red chili powder(optional) and mix well. Transfer cooked dal into the cooking pan and add water(if necessary) to adjust the sambar consistency as per your preference. Stir well and allow the sambar to come to a boil (this may take up to 5 minutes). In the end, taste for salt, adjust if necessary, and turn off the heat.

Tadka: Heat cooking oil in a small pan on a low flame. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they pop and sizzle, add a pinch of hing and split dried red chili. Turn the heat off and pour tadka into the sambar and give it a final stir.

Garnish with cilantro and serve delicious parsnip sambar with plain steamed white rice/quinoa/millets/ragi mudde/idli, and enjoy!

Parsnip Sambar


  • Add sambar powder as per your taste and quantity of sambar.
  • Sambar powder itself adds some spiciness to the dish. Add red chili powder if you prefer a spicier sambar.

If you tried this recipe, tag your food recreation on my Instagram @swaadista and let me know how you liked it!

Happy cooking and happy eating <3

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