Tag Archives: udupi hotel style idli sambhar

Mini Idlis in Sambhar

Idli-Vada-Sambhar…who doesn’t enjoy this heavenly combo for breakfast? I can eat them anytime of day, anytime of year. When it comes to breakfast, this is my perfect idea of comfort food. And its healthy too (sans the vada of course!).This Sambhar is specially for Jennifer Kumar. Though I’d promised to email her the recipe long back, I thought giving her a pic to drool at would make it even better, what say Jennifer? 😉 Hope you enjoy this one.

This is not the regular sambhar which I make for lunch/dinner. It’s specially made only to go with Idlis, ala Udupi hotel-style. For my Idli batter proportion, check here.


  • Tur Dal – 1/2 cup
  • Onions – 2 nos (large-sized; julienned and halved to a shorter length)
  • Tomatoes – 3 nos (large-sized; cubed into 1/2″ pieces)
  • Curry leaves – a sprig; finely chopped
  • Coriander/Cilantro – a handful; finely chopped
  • Tamarind puree – 1/2 cup
  • Rasam powder – 2 tbsps
  • Salt – to taste
  • Jaggery – 1 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Note: You could replace the onions with shallots or pearl onions. They make this sambhar taste even better!

To grind together:

  • Freshly grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Onion – 1 no (large-sized; cubed)
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds – 2 tbsps

For the tempering:

  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  • Ghee – 1 tsp


  • Pressure cook the tur dal and tomatoes together (with adequate water), till the dal is softly cooked and set aside.
  • In a wok, heat 1 tbsp oil and saute the onions on a medium flame till they are cooked tender.
  • Add the tamarind puree, rasam powder, salt and jaggery. Also add the curry leaves and coriander, and let it boil on a medium flame for 15-20 minutes (A lovely aroma will fill the kitchen and the entire house by now, and your tummy will start preparing for the treat that will ensue soon!).
  • Mash the cooked dal+tomato mixture and add to the wok. Let boil another 10 minutes. Add adequate warm water to adjust the consistency.
  • In the meanwhile, grind together the ingredients mentioned (for grinding) to a smooth paste, with adequate water.
  • Add the ground paste to the sambhar and let it boil on medium for another 5 minutes, or till you see a frothy surface on the top.
  • Prepare the tempering and stir in.
  • Serve hot with idlis (and/or vadas) for that perfectly divine, South-Indian breakfast! To make it even more heavenly, drizzle some ghee on top and dig in!