udupi sambar is one sambar that i have had many times in the udupi 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 udupi. udupi city is famous for its sai krishna temple and udupi 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.
udupi food is satvik without the use of onion and garlic. the famous masala dosa has its origin in udupi cuisine and here now i am sharing the recipe of udupi 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 udupi sambar.
unlike the kerala sambar, this udupi 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 udupi sambar with some rice as well as mysore masala dosa.
p.s – here’s one interesting and endearing post i read on udupi cuisine…. going back to one’s roots.
udupi sambar recipe details below:
udupi sambar recipe - lightly sweet, semi spiced, tangy and a flavorful sambar made with pigeon pea lentils and mixed vegetables
- ½ or ⅔ cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentils)
- 5 to 6 sambar onions (shallots) OR 1 medium sized onion - quartered (optional)
- 1 carrot - peeled and chopped
- ½ cup chopped lauki (bottle gourd or opo squash)
- 2 to 3 small brinjals (baingan or aubergine) - quartered
- 1 or 2 drumsticks - peeled and cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces
- 1 medium sized tomato - diced
- 6 to 7 curry leaves (kadi patta)
- 1 lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in ½ cup water - approx 1.5 tablespoon of tamarind
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1 or 2 teaspoon jaggery or as required
- salt as required
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
- 2 teaspoon urad dal (husked and split black gram)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 teaspoon chana dal (husked and split bengal gram)
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 3 to 4 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch)
- ¼ cup grated fresh coconut or desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 2 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch)
- a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta)
- 1 or 1.5 tablespoon 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.
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.
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 udupi sambar with idli, dosa or steamed rice.