Udupi Style Sambhar

Restaurant Udupi Style spicy Sambhar recipe | Make Restaurant Style Sambhar for Idli Dosa or Rice

Udipi Style Sambhar

Spicy Udupi Style Sambhar Recipe with vegetables and freshly ground Sambhar Masala with fresh coconut.

Sambhar is a spicy lentil based South Indian stew or curry with vegetables, flavored with special spice mix, Sambhar Masala. Split Pigeon Peas(Arhar/Toor Dal) is popularly used for making  any kind of Sambhar.

My family loves South Indian Cuisine. And at my parents side too Mom used to make Sambhar with Rice, Medu Vada and Instant Dosa a lot. She didn’t make Idli much at home, as years back Idli steamer was not very popular/common in North Indian towns. We used relish the full South Indian meal at the local Udupi restaurants which again served Idli Dosa and Sambhar, catering to North Indian customers.

So, during my childhood years, for me South Indian Cuisine was just Idli Sambhar, Dosa, Uttapam and some Sandals. It was when I started working in Delhi, I visited many South Indian eateries with friends and then came to know that this Cuisine is much more than Idli Sambhar and Dosa. That was also the time of discovering different varieties of Idlis, Sambhar from different South Indian States.

After I started blogging now every now and then I am introduced to a new South Indian dish, by my fellow blogger friends’ posts.

Udupi Cuisine

Udupi is a popular small town in southwest coast of Karnataka(towards Mangalore), some 400 kms from Bangalore.The cuisine gets it’s name from the city, which has a rich cultural and food history.

Traditional Udupi Cuisine is strictly vegetarian based Satvik food,  with no onion and garlic. Also, popular as the Temple Food, that is served as Prasad in famous Krishna Temple in Udupi.

The Cuisine primarily consists of rice, lentils, beans, fresh vegetables and fruits. Since it is a coastal town, fresh coconut is widely used in preparation of various dishes. Traditional full Udupi meal is served on banana leaf, in a particular sequence and each dish is placed on particular place on the leaf.

This cuisine became popular by natives of Udupi who started out restaurant chains in other states especially in North Indian states and Mumbai.

To more about the history of the town and the traditional Cuisine CLICK HERE

Some of the popular Udupi Cuisine delicacies by my blogger friends..

Bottle Gourd in coconut and yogurt curry  by Mayuri’s Jikoni,

Hayagreeva Maddi(Chana Dal Halwa) by Poonam

Okra Stir Fried(Udupi Style) by Preethi

Udupi style Tomato Rasam by Aruna

Shh Cooking Secretly Challenge

This month’s theme in my Shh Cooking Secretly group is Udupi Cuisine, suggested by Jayashree  who blogs at Evergreen Dishes.. She suggested we dish up dishes from Udupi Cuisine using the secret ingredients given to us by our this month’s partner. I want to try her Watermelon Rind Smoothie.. sounds so refreshing.She made these fluffy Mangalore Buns for the theme.

My partner for this month is Priya who blogs at The World Through My Eyes. She has lot of authentic South Indian dishes along with other cuisines also. Her recent recipe Manga Thokku(Tamil Nadu’s Instant Raw Mango Pickle) are in my do make list.

I gave her Coconut and Onion and she made Udupi style Black Eyed Chickpeas Gravy using these two ingredients.

Priya gave me Coconut and Jaggery and I made Udupi style Sambhar. I also took reference for the recipe from her

Udupi Sambhar

My kids love to have Sambhar with Idlis or Steamed Rice.

Checkout how to ferment Idli batter with Idli Rava in Instant Pot or make these Instant Idlis with yogurt or with leftover cooked rice.

Sambhar is made with Toor Dal or Split Pigeon Pea also known as Arhar Dal in North India. We make the famous Arhar ki Dal or Dal Tadka using this lentil only.  Other lentils like Red Lentils/Moong Dal is also used to make Sambhar like..

Check Sambhar made with Moong Dal by Nams Corner..One Pot Tiffin Sambhar/Pasi Parrupu

I usually make Sambhar the quick way now in Instant Pot (without coconut),will share the recipe soon with dry Sambhar powder. But sometimes I make it in traditional way, with freshly ground Sambhar Masala paste which add a special flavor.

Ingredients of Udupi Sambhar

Ingredients of Udupi Sambhar Masala

Ingredients Udupi Sambhar Masala

Udupi Sambhar has a special Sambhar Masala with fresh coconut. It also has a hint of sweetness as we add jaggery in it.

Special Sambhar Masala is made with lentils(Urad Dal, Chana Dal), curry leaves, coriander powder , fresh coconut and Bayadagi red chilies.

Byadagi Chillies are special kind of chilies from the state of Karnataka, which are mildly spicy and give color to food. I have used 4-5 chilies. You can add more as per your spice level.

To make Udupi Style Sambhar, dal and vegetables are cooked separately. You can also cook dal and vegetables  in one pot with pot in pot method(pls refer to the video). Or, you can cook it together also.

In traditional Udupi Sambhar, potatoes are added and there are no onions. Vegetables like pumpkin, carrots are not used unlike in other Smabhar recipes.

There is another variety of Sambhar made with Radish.. checkout Priya’s version..here

When I make Sambhar I add cubed bottle gourd(lauki)/pumpkin or butternut squash, carrot and drumsticks(frozen). You can add any other veggies of your choice, like beans, peas.I have also added onions. You can skip for no onion version. Also, you can add shallots/Sambhar Onions in place of thinly sliced onions.

Cooked dal should be of mushy consistency. Keep the consistency of Sambhar not very runny or thick.

I had some frozen tamarind water that I thawed and used. You can make fresh tamarind water, pls see recipe card for that.

Sambhar is served piping hot with Idlis, Steamed Rice or Masala Dosa. If you like you can relish hot piping Sambhar during rainy weather as soup or stew.

All the ingredients of Sambhar and Sambhar Masala are available online at Amazon or at Indian Grocery stores.

Can I make Traditional Udupi Sambhar in Instant Pot

Yes, we can make Udupi Sambhar in Instant Pot also.

Checkout the recipe card for the method.

Udupi Sambhar-Idli

Let’s see how I make Udupi Style Sambhar

Udupi Style Sambhar

Learn how to make traditional Udupi Style Sambhar Recipe | Restaurant style Udupi Sambhar
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Making Fresh Sambhar Masala 10 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Indian, South Indian, Udupi Cuisine
Servings 4 portions


To make Sambhar

  • 1 Cup Arhar/Toor Dal(Split Pigeon Pea Lentil)
  • 1 Diced Carrot
  • ¾ Cup Diced Bottle Gourd
  • 4-5 Drumsticks pieces (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Salt as per taste

Tempering for Sambhar

  • 3-4 tbsp Freshly ground Sambhar Masala Check ingredients below
  • ½ Cup Thinly Sliced Onions
  • 1 Finely Chopped Tomato(Medium)
  • 1 tsp Rai/Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Methi Dana/Fenugreek Seeds
  • ½ tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
  • 1-2 Dry Whole Red Chilies
  • ¼ Cup Tamarind Water
  • 2 tsp Jaggery Powder or as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Oil

Fresh Sambhar Masala

  • 4-5 Whole Red Bayadagi Chillies
  • 2 tbsp Chana Dal/Split Chickpea Lentils
  • 2 tbsp Urad Dal/Split Black Gram Lentils
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Grated Coconut i used frozen
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 tsp Oil

For Tamarind Water

  • 1-2 tsp Tamarind Paste or Lemon Sized Tamarind Ball
  • ¼ Cup Warm Water


  • Wash arhar/toor dal 2-3 times in tap water.
  • Soak for about 15 mins.

Prepare Sambhar Masala

  • In a pan, heat a tsp of oil, add chana dal, urad dal, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and whole red chilies.
  • Roast for few seconds.
  • Add grated fresh coconut. Roast for another few seconds, til it gives aroma of roasted coconut and lentils. Take off from the flame.
  • Cool the mix.
  • Grind to a fine smooth paste.

Cook dal

  • Drain water from soaked dal.
  • Take a pressure cooker, in it add soaked dal.
  • Add about 2 Cups water. Once the water starts to boil, add turmeric powder, salt.
  • Pressure cook dal for about 2-3 Whistles. Then let the pressure go off naturally.
  • Prepare vegetables. Wash peel and cube bottle gourd, carrots and cut drumstick in small pieces if using one whole drumstick.
  • You can cook vegetables separately or with dal in same pressure cooker with Pot in Pot Method.

Make Sambhar

  • In a kadhai/pan, heat oil.
  • Add hing/asafeotida(optional), mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds(optional)
  • Once seeds crackle add thinly sliced onions, curry leaves and whole red chilies.
  • Saute onions for a few minutes.
  • Add finely chopped tomato. Cook till it is soft.
  • Add sambhar masala, mix well. Add about ½ Cup water, then add cooked vegetables, boiled dal.
  • Add tamarind water, jaggery.
  • Mix well and add water to adjust the consistency. Do not make it too runny or too thick.
  • Boil it for few minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice or Idlis or the way you like.
  • Make Tamarind Water
  • Soak tamarind for about 10-15 mins in warm water.
  • After 10-15 mins. rub tamarind to get the pulp.

To make Tamarind Paste

  • If using tamarind with seeds discard seeds, the filter the pulp.
  • If making using tamarind paste, dilute 1-2 tsp of paste in warm water.
  • Wash tamarind block before soaking water, if using dried tamarind.

How to Cook Sambhar in Instant Pot

  • Add soaked dal with 1½-2 cups water in inner pot.
  • Switch on the SAUTE MODE, set timer to 10 mins.
  • Once the water starts to boil, add turmeric powder, salt and mix.
  • Place stand for the vegetable container, place container on stand, add about ¼ cup water to vegetables.
  • Cancel the SAUTE MODE.
  • Place and Seal the lid.
  • Set the PRESSURE COOK MODE on for about 15 mins.
  • Once the cooking time is over, wait for 5 mins, do Quick Pressure Release and open the lid.
  • Mix veggies with dal, adjust the consistency of dal if required.
  • Make Sambhar Masala as given in above instructions, then add it in cooked dal add vegetable.
  • Set SAUTE MODE for another 5 mins and cook till it comes to a boil.
  • Cancel SAUTE MODE and serve hot.



Substitute Bottle Gourd/Lauki with zucchini/pumpkin/butternut squash.
Keyword Resturant Style Udupi Sambhar

Pinning Image Udupi Sambhar

Whenever you are craving for your favorite restaurant style Sambhar, do try this way. It seems an elaborate process but it is so easy to make. But, once it is served,  piping hot Sambhar is a comfort food that tickles off the taste buds.

Whenever you make this delicious Sambhar,  do give me your feedback in comments. You can post your feedback with the pic on my FB page or tag me on Instagram(#foodtrails25).  Pin the recipe for later use.

Say Hello!! and  visit my social media accounts.. FB, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and You-Tube.

If you like my work, then do HIT the FOLLOW button and SUBSCRIBE to the blog to get notifications on new posts and share the blog with your loved ones.

Thanks for stopping by and keep coming back!





Author: Swati

Some who believes 'EAT WELL, READ DAILY, TRAVEL OFTEN AND LAUGH KHUL KE'!!! Hi!! Swati here!!! Chef, Chocolatier, food admirer, reader, love to travel, listen to music, Bollywood and shoot nature and food pics!! Welcome to my Foodtrails and join me in my food adventure!!

28 thoughts

  1. Steaming hot sambhar on soft idlies is a perfect start to the day to us. I love the sambhar masala that you have made here, am sure it smells so good when you make them

  2. Udupi cuisine is synonymous with sambhar and rasam, you have made it so well, Swati! the picture with the idlis on the side is sooo tempting, subah subah mein 😛

  3. You ask any south indian and they are always happy with rice and sambar. This looks good with a medley of vegetables. Love that pan which you have put sambar.

  4. I can imagine the fresh aroma of this sambhar with fresh masala. Simply yum and it looks so tempting, want to dig in now with some idlis

  5. I like sambar with freshly ground spices. The aroma and flavor is amazing and no where near to store bought powder. Your sambar looks so tempting and the serving dish is too good.

  6. Love sambar from core, as my dad is from udupi, all my neighbours love our sambar and rice. My mom use to cook it for them. You made it perfectly, looks very tasty. Loved the way you cooked in instant pot.

  7. Udupi style sambar with freshly grounded masala is pure bliss and need some hot hot idli or kara bath to enjoy this. Freshly grounded spices always adds flavor to the dish.

  8. I love Udupi style Sambhar! Takes me back to my years in Bangalore and all the udupi restaurants we totally depended on for all the meals. And I am so impressed that you make your own sambhar masala!!! It’s been on my list of spice-mixes to make since a long time… thank you for sharing the recipe!

  9. Nothing can beat homemade sambhar prepared with the freshly ground masala powder. Can feel the aromatic taste while reading your recipe.. Absolutely tempting!

  10. Nothing can beat homemade sambhar prepared with the freshly ground masala powder. Can feel the aromatic flavour by reading the recipe.. Absolutely divine.

  11. I like mildly sweet sambar and this one with freshly ground sambar masala sounds absolutely flavorful ! Perfect pair with idlis and dosa.

  12. I’m a big fan of the slightly sweet and very flavourful Udupi sambar. It goes beautifully with idlis, dosas and vadas. You have absolutely nailed it! Your sambar looks so delicious!

  13. Such a flavorful and delicious looking sambhar. Making the sambhar spice mixture at home is the best. Usually I make sambhar with added onion, but this one without onion I’d love to try.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.