Udupi Sambar – idli is a favourite in the temple town.
Generally the locals say use jaggery in everything, for a scientific reason, “You sweat a lot here, so the jaggery is used to replenish iron in your body. That’s why in Udupi everything has a sweet touch; for outsiders, it takes some getting used to.”
There are three types of sambar — masala huli, bol huli and podi huli, all have different names in the local language and have small variations in the preparation. Masala huli has vegetables, tamarind, dal and coconut; bol huli and podi huli are more or less the same — both don’t have coconut and podi huli has sambar powder in it and the sambar is slightly watery.
HOW IT’S MADE
Toor dal 1/2 cup
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Urad dal 1 teaspoon
Red chillies 6 to 7
Coriander seeds 1 1/2 tablespoons
Curry leaves – Five sprigs
Coconut (grated) 1/4 cup
Mustards seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida – One pinch
Green chillies 2 slit
Vegetables of choice (brinjals, pumpkin, yam) 2 cups (diced)
Tamarind juice – lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in 1/3 cup of water.
Salt to taste
Jaggery or brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoon
Oil 2 tablespoon
Cook the toor dal till tender and then mash it. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and roast the fenugreek seeds till light red, then add urad dal and sauté till it changes colour. Add the red chilli and coriander seeds. Add curry leaves and the grated coconut and roast. They should all turn light brown and aromatic. Cool and grind to a fine paste with a little water.
Heat one tablespoon oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add 1/2 teaspoon of urad dal and the asafoetida. Fry for a minute. Add the green chillies, vegetables and fry till you get a nice aroma. Add a little water. Cover and cook till the veggies are done.
Extract pulp from the tamarind and add to the vegetables. Add salt to taste and crumbled jaggery and cook till the raw smell of the tamarind disappears. Add the mashed dal and the ground masala. Mix well and add a little water if required. Simmer for a few minutes.