udupi sambar recipe
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4.84 from 6 votes

Udupi Sambar

udupi sambar is a lightly sweet, semi spiced, tangy and a flavorful sambar made with pigeon pea lentils and mixed vegetables
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: south indian
Servings: 4
Author: Dassana Amit


for sambar

  • cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentils)
  • 2 cups water for pressure cooking dal
  • 5 to 6 sambar onions (shallots) OR 1 medium sized onion - quartered (optional)
  • 1 carrot - peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped bottle gourd (lauki or opo squash)
  • 2 to 3 small brinjals (baingan or eggplant) - quartered
  • 1 or 2 drumsticks - peeled and cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium sized tomato - diced
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind soaked in ⅓ cup hot water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons jaggery or as add as required
  • 2 cups water for cooking veggies
  • salt as required

for udupi sambar powder

  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons urad dal (husked and split black gram)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (husked and split bengal gram)
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 to 4 byadagi dry red chilies or kashmiri red chilies
  • ¼ cup grated fresh coconut or desiccated coconut
  • cup water for grinding or add as required

for tempering

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 or 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • some coriander leaves for garnish (optional)


making udupi sambar powder

  • dry roast only the spices mentioned under sambar powder.
  • when cooled, grind to a fine paste with some water along with grated coconut.

making udupi sambar

  • pressure cook tuvar dal with 2 cups water with ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder for 7 to 8 whistles on medium flame. 
  • 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, 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.

making tempering for udupi sambar

  • 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 get mixed with the sambar.
  • serve the udupi sambar with idli, dosa or steamed rice.