This simple Indian onion stew is an exotic paleo weeknight dinner, with savory Indian spices, the tang of tamarind and the sweetness of onions and sweet potatoes.

Paleo Indian Sambar | Fresh Planet Flavor

I‘m all about the easy soups and stews this winter. Preferably the kind that involves minimal chopping of ingredients, and while this recipe does require peeling and cubing sweet potatoes, the namesake ingredient (onions) are the type that comes out of a bag. This Sambar gets its flavor from a healthy dose of Indian spices and tamarind. So glad I’m finally using up my tamarind paste! It has such a distinctive flavor that when a recipe calls for it then nothing else will do, but it’s not the kind f thing I experiment with regularly. - Sambar (Indian Onion Stew) | Paleo

Sambar is a traditional Indian dish, although typically made with some kind of dal. I tweaked it so that it gets its body from sweet potatoes, instead. One benefit of the sweet potato substitution is that the stew keeps its gorgeous golden color. By the way, this can easily be made vegetarian… just swap out the chicken broth for water or vegetables broth. I served this Sambar over cauliflower rice and it’s a delicious combination. Happy eating!

Paleo Sambar (Indian Onion Stew)

Preparation 30 mins 2017-09-25T00:30:00+00:00
Cook Time 1 hour 2017-09-25T01:00:00+00:00
Serves 6     adjust servings

This simple Indian onion stew is an exotic weeknight dinner, with savory Indian spices, the tang of tamarind and the sweetness of onions and sweet potatoes.



  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 2 12 oz bags pearl onions
  • 3 tsp tamarind paste


  • Red pepper flakes
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cilantro


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large stew pot over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, then partially cover the pot when they pop.
  2. Once the mustard seeds have popped, add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, salt and black pepper. Stir the spices in the oil and then add the sweet potatoes, broth, onions and tamarind.
  3. Stir thoroughly, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for ½ hour. Remove the lid and let the stew reduce for a further half hour (or until thickened to your preference).
  4. Serve hot.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 411kcal Calories from fat 82
% Daily Value
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 1364mg 57%
Carbohydrate 71g 24%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 20g
Protein 13g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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