Udipi Sambar

Course : Curry
Serves: 500 ml
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1/2 cup tur dal
2 tablespoons coconut or groundnut oil
1/2 teaspoon methi seeds
3/4 tablespoon urad dal
6 medium red chiles
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 bunch curry leaves
1/4 medium coconut
25 small red samhar onion -- up to 30
2 medium green chiles
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 dash asafetida
1 pieces a lemon sized ball of tamarind
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons jaggery -- crumbled

Preparation / Directions:

COOK the tur dal until done and mash well. Heat one tbsp. oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the methi seeds and fry until light red. Add 1/2 tsp urad dal and fry until the urad dal too is light red. Add the red chiles and coriander seeds and fry until well roasted. Add curry leaves and grated coconut and fry for a few minutes. When cool, grind in a mixer to a fine paste, adding a little water. Clean and peel the onions (keeping them whole). Heat one tbsp. oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds. When they splutter, add 1/2 tsp urad dal and asafetida. Fry for a minute. Add sambar onions, green chiles and curry leaves. Also add vegetables of your choice. Fry well until you get a nice aroma. Add a little water, cover and cook until the vegetables are done. Soak the tamarind in a little water and extract the pulp. Add it to the cooked vegetables. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and jaggery and cook until the raw smell of tamarind disappears. Add the mashed tur dal and the ground masala paste. Mix well, add a little water if required. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve hot with rice or dosa. Can add vegetables like lady fingers, brinjals, pumpkin and drumsticks to the sambar.

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