In a mixer jar, add the grated coconut, ½ tomato chopped, and the sambar powder. Add required water (¼ to ⅓ cup) and grind it into a smooth paste.
Set the masala paste aside and rinse the mixer jar with 1 cup of water and reserve it.
Dump the other ingredients into the pressure cooker-
PS - You don't need to turn on your stove.
Now into a pressure cooker, add the 4 cups of chopped vegetables, ½ tomato, the ground masala paste, 1 cup water that you used to rinse the mixer jar, salt, and tamarind paste.
Now add the rinsed quinoa and toor dal as well.
Next, add the remaining 3 cups of water and mix thoroughly.
If using Instant Pot, dump everything into it and mix thoroughly.
Pressure Cook the sambar rice-
Now turn the heat on and pressure cook the quinoa sambar rice for three whistles. Allow the pressure to settle naturally.
If using Instant Pot, close the Instant Pot. Ensure the sealing ring is in place, and the vent should be in the sealing position. Pressure cook this for 12 minutes at high-pressure mode and let the pressure release naturally. You can go up to 15 minutes but not more than that.
After the pressure is all gone, mix them all. Add the curry leaves and cilantro and mix again.
Preparing the Tempering-
In a separate tempering pan, heat 2 tsps of oil over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Add the asafoetida if using. Let the mustard seeds splutter and fenugreek turn light golden brown. Turn off the heat and add it to the sambar rice.
Mix and serve hot with your favorite curry or kootu.
I kept this as a no onion recipe. But you can add one medium-sized onion or 5 to 6 chopped shallots. I have tried this sambar rice with and without sauteing the onions. You can dump the onions along with the vegetables, or you can saute them first. In that case, prepare the tempering in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot and saute the onions. Then turn off the heat and add all the other ingredients and proceed as mentioned in the steps.
Sambar Masala Paste - You can add one or two dried red chilies while grinding the sambar masala paste and reduce the sambar powder. If you add byadagi variety or Kashmiri variety, it gives a beautiful color to the sambar rice. As always, adjust the salt, sambar powder, and tamarind paste according to your taste preference.
You can prepare this sambar rice, with rice, bulgur wheat, or any millet variety instead of quinoa.