udipi sambar recipe, how to make udipi sambar | sambar recipes

udipi sambar

udipi sambar is one sambar that i have had many times in the udipi restaurants in mumbai as well as bangalore. then i never liked the mild sweetness that would be in the sambar.

at home the sambars we made were never sweet. so, i could not figure out why jaggery in the sambar. after years, i have started to relish and enjoy the subtle sweetnees in sambar and even in dal and kadhis.

the sambar is famous after the temple town of udipi. udupi city is famous for its sai krishna temple and udipi cuisine. udupi cuisine is purely vegetarian.

whenever you are looking for purely vegetarian restaurant in south india then the tag of udupi restaurant means they serve totally vegetarian food. similarly in north india the ‘vaishno’ tag with a dhaba or restaurant, means they serve purely vegetarian food.

udipi food is satvik without the use of onion and garlic. the famous masala dosa has its origin in udipi cuisine and here now i am sharing the recipe of udipi sambar.

i have added small sambar onions to the recipe but you can skip it you want a satvik & a no onion no garlic sambar.

udipi sambar

fresh roasted spices are used in the sambar. these spices are ground later to a smooth paste along with coconut. as we all know when we add fresh spices to any food, magic happens. you don’t need to add any ready sambar powder to make the udipi sambar.

roasted spices

unlike the kerala sambarthis udipi sambar has slight sweet taste with a bit of spiciness. the sambar also has coconut in it. lightly spiced, sour, slightly sweet and aromatic… the sambar is served with idlis or dosa. also goes well with some steamed rice.

here i have added veggies like drumsticks, aubergines, bottle gourd (lauki)and sambar onions. do use veggies which are generally used in sambar. the recipe is very easy and simple to make.

i served the udipi sambar with some rice as well as mysore masala dosa.

p.s – here’s one interesting and endearing post i read on udipi cuisine….  going back to one’s roots.

udipi sambar recipe

if you are looking for more sambar recipes then do check radish sambar, brinjal sambar, kala vatana sambar, tiffin sambar, vegetable sambar and cowpea pumpkin sambar recipe.

udipi sambar recipe details below:

4.8 from 6 reviews
udipi sambar recipe
udipi sambar - lightly sweet, semi spiced, tangy and a flavorful sambar made with pigeon pea lentils and mixed vegetables
CUISINE: south indian
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
for the sambar:
  • ½ or ⅔ cup tuvar dal/pigeon pea lentils
  • 5-6 sambar onions/shallots or 1 medium sized onion, quartered (optional)
  • 1 carrot, peeled & chopped
  • ½ cup chopped lauki/bottle gourd or opo squash
  • 2 to 3 small brinjals/baingan, quartered
  • 1 or 2 drumsticks, peeled and cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium sized tomato, diced
  • 6-7 curry leaves/kadi patta
  • 1 lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in ½ cup water - approx 1.5 tbsp of tamarind
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • 1 or 2 tsp jaggery or as required
  • salt as required
for sambar powder:
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek/methi seeds
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 3-4 dry red chilies
  • ¼ cup grated fresh coconut or desiccated coconut
!for tempering:
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 red chilies
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 8-10 curry leaves/kadi patta
  • 1 or 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • some coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
preparing the sambar powder:
  1. dry roast only the spices mentioned under sambar powder.
  2. when cooled, grind to a fine paste with some water along with grated coconut.
preparing the sambar:
  1. pressure cook tuvar dal with 2.5 cups water with a pinch of turmeric, in 2 or 3 cups water.
  2. when the dal is cooked and soft, mash the dal with a wired whisk or a spoon.
  3. keep aside.
  4. in another pan, mix the chopped veggies, 1.5 or 2 cups water, turmeric powder, salt and cook till the veggies are almost done.
  5. add the mashed dal to the veggies.
  6. stir and add the tamarind pulp followed by the sambar masala paste.
  7. if required you can add some water.
  8. add the jaggery also and stir.
  9. simmer for some 10-12 minutes or more, till the raw aroma of the tamarind has disappeared and the whole flavors in the sambar have merged with each other.
  10. taste and if required add salt.
preparing the tempering:
  1. heat oil.
  2. first splutter the mustard seeds.
  3. then add the red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  4. fry for some seconds and pour the tempering mixture in the sambar.
  5. cover the sambar pan with a lid for a few minutes, so that the tempering flavors gets mixed with the sambar.
  6. serve the udipi sambar with idli, dosa or steamed rice.

{ 22 Responses }

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  1. vasanthi says

    Hi Dassana,

    All your recipes are very good. One key ingredient in the udupi sambar is 1 tbsp saunf to be ground with the sambar masala. I had a hotelier friend who had told me this.


  2. bhumika says

    Your recipe was too good. Taste was same as UDIPI restaurant. Ma’am just one confusion was there, when to add Jaggery. I added it after tamarind.

    Thank you.

    • says

      thanks. what you did was right. the jaggery is added after the tamarind is added. jaggery can also be added towards the end once the tamarind has got cooked. i will update the post.

  3. Khushboo says

    Hey, it tasted yummy, thanks, must say u are a great cook.
    I have a request can u post recipe for pickle of lemon in which we first ground lemon in mixer.

    • says

      thanks khushboo. i am not sure about the grinding part, but we do squeeze lemon juice in the lemons while making pickles. i shall update in some time.

  4. JT says

    Hi, I have made many recipes from you blog and they have all been fabulous. However, I request your advice regarding Udipi Sambar. The dish turned out VERY unpleasantly acidic. I have not worked much with tamarind paste and am wondering if that is the culprit. My ingredients were purchased at the local India Grocery store (fresh curry leaves, fresh drumsticks, etc.) Perhaps I should have cooked the tamarind more? Any thoughts about how to ensure balance in this dish would be appreciated.

    • says

      firstly thanks. secondly about the sambar…. i am sorry to hear this. as per what you mention “VERY unpleasantly acidic”, i think the sambar became too much sour to taste. i also feel tha tamarind was not cooked enough. the balance got awry here. since you have mentioned tamarind paste, i assume it would be store brought. tamarind paste is a thick concentrate and just 1 or 2 tsp would be enough for this recipe. i am giving you an approx proportion, since i have also not used tamarind paste more and the quality differs from brand to brand.

      what i use is dried tamarind which is easily available in india. this dried tamarind is soaked in water and then squeezed to get the pulp. so its not a concentrated form like tamarind paste. for making any recipe that use tamarind, i would suggest to go with smaller amounts like adding 1/2 tsp of the paste and then keep on adding more and checking the taste till you get the desired sourness and balance in the dish.

      a little extra sourness can be balanced by adding spice powders or salt or some extra water. even sugar or jaggery would reduce the sourness to some extent. but if its too much as i feel when you made the sambar, then not much can be done.

      if you cook the tamarind well, the raw acidic taste goes away, but the sourness will remain if too much of the paste or pulp is added. i hope the tamarind paste was good and not spoiled. did you taste it before adding to the sambar.

      hope next time when you make any dish with tamarind paste, it really comes out great.

  5. Raju P.M says

    Dasanna,namaskara,hope you are keeping fine and bussy trying new dishes,please dasanna send me recipes for baingan ki sabji and bhendi masala,thanks and regards.

    • says

      i have some bhindi recipes including bhindi masala and some with baingan on the blog already posted. you can search with the recipe name in the google search bar located on the top right side.

  6. says

    The sambar served in restaurants also always have this sweet taste and I’ve always loved it though I’ve never made it at home.This looks delicious!