When I started reading on Udupi Cuisine, I had the toughest time trying to understand which of the names referred to the Sambar. While all over the world, Udupi Sambar being so famous, it was almost hilarious that I couldn't identify which name was supposed to mean Sambar. So trying to understand that took some time. Finally, I narrowed it down to Koddelu. Having understood what the sambar referred to, I landed in the Eggplant Sambar from the Udupi Recipes site that used Udupi Sambar podi.
Needless to say, I had to make it. The Sambar Podi is freshly ground and is quite spicy. Though I had plans of making these spice blends ahead of time, I couldn't and had to make all these before starting my actual cooking for the lunch.
I am also a sucker for all sambar varieties. All the sambars that I make are what I have seen my Amma making. She follows different methods to cook different vegetables. While there is so many special Sambar mixes one might know, I always get back to my Amma's Special Sambar Podi. The catch lies in what all goes in how measurement.
Given that, I was up to making this Udupi Sambar powder for the Sambar to be made for lunch. The best compliment I got was when she said it tastes just like the hotel Udupid Sambar.
How to plan and prepare Udupi Lunch Menu, has details on how I went about preparing the thali,
I can never stick to a recipe myself. So my ingredients are simply taken and add by hand. However, I am giving the approx in tsp measurements.
Udupi Sambar Powder Recipe
Red Chillies 100gms (15 - 20 nos)
Coriander seeds 75 gms (1 & 1/2 tsp)
Urad Dal/Split black gram 25 gms (1 tsp)
Cumin seeds 25 gms (1 tsp)
Fenugreek seeds 25 gms (1/2 tsp)
Chana dal/Bengal gram 10 gms (1/2 tsp)
Oil - 50 gms (2 tbsp)
Curry leaves 3 to 4 strands
How to make the Udupi Sambar Podi
Heat a nonstick pan, add 1 tsp of oil and fry red chilies, remove to a plate. Then fry all other ingredients, ensuring the flame is low and you are stirring all the time.
Remove and let it cool. Grind to a powder. Store in an airtight container until use.
The original recipe uses Byadagi, while I have no clue what variety I had. However, mine was quite spicy as well.
The spiciness of the powder totally depends on the quality of red chilies.
Coconut Oil is the preferred oil for cooking. If you are not used to it, use regular cooking oil
Freshly ground sambar podi makes the sambar taste awesome. The measurement given within brackets is what I used and gave me about 1/2 cup sambar podi.
This is part of the Udupi Thali