How to make Udupi Sambar Powder | Udupi Sambar Podi

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 sometime. Finally I narrowed it down to Koddelu. Having understood what the sambar referred to, I landed in the Eggplant Sambar 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 are so many special Sambar mix 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.
I made this Sambar Podi to make the Raw Banana Sambar, which was part of the Udupi Thali

How to plan and prepar 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 apprx in tsp measurements.

Udupi Sambar Powder Recipe

Ingredients Needed:

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 non stick pan, add 1 tsp of oil and fry red chillies, 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 air tight container until use.


Original recipe uses Byadagi, while I have no clue what variety I had. However mine were quite spicy as well.

The spiciness of the powder totally depends on quality of red chillies.

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

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