18 July 2014

Udupi Sambar

Udupi sambar differs quite minutely from the traditional Sambar of Tamil Nadu. The use of Urad Dal, Jeera, Byadagi chilies (famous in Karnataka) and coconut oil seem to stand out as some of the points that set its taste apart.

                                                                UDUPI SAMBAR

Ingredients : 
Toor dal (Split pigeon peas) - 1/2 cup
Imli (Tamarind) - 1 lemon size ball, juice extracted
Haldi (Turmeric powder) - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Vegetables of choice - Drumsticks, Brinjal, shallot onions, etc
Curry leaves - a few
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp (optional)

To be roast and ground :
Dhaniya (Coriander) seeds - 2 tbsps
Urad Dal (Split Black gram) - 2 tbsps
Chana Dal (Bengal gram) - 1 tbsp
Jeera (cumin seeds) - 4 tsps
Methi (Fenugreek) seeds - 1 tsp
Dry Red Chilies - 4 to 6
Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 cup

Tempering :
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chili - 1/2 or 1 medium
Hing (asafoetida powder) - 1/2 tsp
Rai (Mustard seeds) - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few

Method :
Note : Blanch the vegetables till 3/4th done. If using shallot onions, fry them in a little oil till tender and use as below.

1. Wash and pressure cook the toor dal with twice the amount of water and haldi. When done, whisk till smooth.

2. Heat a small pan and dry roast all the ingredients for Sambar masala except the coconut for about 2 minutes. Then add the coconut and fry for a minute more till lightly brown. Cool and grind to a paste using a little water.

3. In a thick-bottomed pan, add the tamarind extract and salt and add the semi-cooked veggies / fried onions and cook on a low to medium flame till the tamarind leaves its raw aroma (roughly 8 to 10 minutes).

4. Add the toor dal and let simmer for 5 minutes more on low to medium flame. Add water if too thick. On the other hand, if the sambar seems too runny, dissolve 1 tsp rice flour (or cornstarch) to 2 tsps water and add to the pan.

5. Now add the ground masala paste and continue to cook for 7 to 8 minutes more, i.e till the aroma of the ground paste becomes absorbed in the lentils as well as the vegetables. It's optional to add the jaggery for the typical Udupi touch.

6. To prepare the tempering, heat coconut oil and add the red chili and hing. Now add the rai and let splutter. Finally add the curry leaves and pour over the sambar. Give it a stir, check for taste and remove. Serve hot.


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