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.
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.
unlike the kerala sambar, this 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 details below:
- 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, quartered
- 1 or 2 drumsticks, peeled and cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces
- 1 medium sized tomato, diced
- 6-7 curry leaves
- 1 lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in ½ cup water - approx 1.5 tbsp of tamarind
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 or 2 tsp jaggery or as required
- salt as required
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp urad dal
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 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
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 red chilies
- a generous pinch of asafoetida
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1 or 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
- some coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
- dry roast only the spices mentioned under sambar powder.
- when cooled, grind to a fine paste with some water along with grated coconut.
- pressure cook tuvar dal with 2.5 cups water with a pinch of turmeric, in 2 or 3 cups water.
- when the dal is cooked and soft, mash the dal with a wired whisk or a spoon.
- keep aside.
- in another pan, mix the chopped veggies, 1.5 or 2 cups water, turmeric powder, salt and cook till the veggies are almost done.
- add the mashed dal to the veggies.
- stir and add the tamarind pulp followed by the sambar masala paste.
- if required you can add some water.
- add the jaggery also and stir.
- 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.
- taste and if required add salt.
- heat oil.
- first splutter the mustard seeds.
- then add the red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
- fry for some seconds and pour the tempering mixture in the sambar.
- cover the sambar pan with a lid for a few minutes, so that the tempering flavors gets mixed with the sambar.
- serve the udipi sambar with idli, dosa or steamed rice.