Instant Gratification ~ Padma’s Udipi Sambhar

spices for udipi sambhar
dried red chiles, cumin, coriander, methi and urad dal ready to roast

Once in awhile I need instant gratification.
I see something I simply *must have* — NOW!

I’ve been fighting sinus infection (so have been lazy blog-hopping too).
Tonight, for the first time since the weekend I finally felt like cooking.
Happily, it was also the first time I visited Padma of Padma’s Kitchen.

padma’s udipi sambhar
Padma’s delicious Udipi Sambhar

I stopped in my tracks at the first photo. I will have to leave the rest of the posts for another day, Padma — when I saw your udipi sambhar,
I simply *had to have it* — NOW! 🙂

I used up some of the last of the garden for this delightful recipe — tomato, brinjal, summer squash, few okras and green beans. I am really going to miss cooking from the garden! I lacked sambhar onions, but the dish doesn’t seem to have suffered much. Since I was using bits of things here and there, I also mixed the dals, using the last of my jar of masoor and washed moong along with the toor. Otherwise I made it all according to Padma’s recipe — including the paste.

(ISG, I felt almost like I was cheating — first time I haven’t used your pwd. since I got it!! 🙂 )

spice paste
ground spices and coconut with my little kitchen-aid grinder

This was also my first time making sambhar with coconut.
I can definitely say it won’t be the last!

After a few days of little appetite, the aroma and taste of udipi sambhar tantalized all of my senses. Spicy with chiles, sweet with jaggery, tangy with tamarind-infused vegetables and amazingly rich from the coconut — well let’s just say my appetite is back en force 😉

Thanks for the wonderful recipe, Padma!

Padma’s udipi sambhar
delicious and nourishing treat for all senses ~ udipi sambhar with garden veggies
served in depression glass ~ “little jewel” rose bowl by Imperial, circa 1920s


  1. Cynthia said

    You’ve made some tasty stuff there.

    Thanks Cynthia — if you love coconut (and I saw that you do!) you can’t go wrong with Padma’s recipe 🙂

  2. Swapna said

    That bowl looks so pretty. I feel like having hot soup/sambhar when I am sick too.
    You take care of your health, dear!

    Thank you on both counts, Swapna — I’m feeling lots better now. Nothing like warming bowl of soup or sambhar, yes 🙂

  3. Roopa said

    udipi sambhar nothing can beat this sambhar 🙂 lovely entry !

    Thanks Roopa, first time I tried it and loved it 🙂

  4. Nice container! Udupi sambhar tastes good with idlies and dosas! I use coconut for sambhar every day !

    Thanks Latha, glad you liked the bowl! I will be using coconut more often I can tell. Must make some dosas soon, need practice with those 🙂

  5. bee said

    thengai araichcha sambar – literally – ground coconut sambar in tamil is on the top of my sambar list. okra being the fav vegetable in it. try it with fresh okra tender okra if you find it…jai

    Jai, thanks for the Tamil translation. I love okra in any dish — only *really* fresh ones came from my little plants this year. Think I counted 12 pods total. More next spring — keeping priorities straight! 🙂

  6. Menu Today said

    Hi Linda,
    I love this sambar with hot rice and with tiffin items.
    Delicious looking sambar.
    Thanks for sharing.,

    Thank you MT! You have a great selection of sambhars (you also call kulambu sometimes, if I remember correctly?) and will eventually try all those, too 🙂

  7. shyam said

    Linda, sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather. Hope you get better soon. And now for your post – Oh that bowl! And I love ground-coconut sambar that is thick like yours. It’s DEEEvine with idlis, I tell you! 🙂

    Thank you Shammi, I’m feeling much better today. The bowl was on my mantle and decided to wash it up and take a pic — love that old glass! I was too lazy for idlis this time but I will remember that 🙂

  8. VegeYum said

    Yum. Thanks for sharing this – love Sth Indian and Sri Lankan food. Can’t get REAL Indian food here, so just have to cook my own. Thanks so much.

    Hi VegeYum, thanks for passing by! I guess “real” Indian food tastes better home cooked, like most food yes? 🙂

  9. Nupur said

    Get well soon, Linda!
    The sambar looks delicious…I have been looking for an authentic udipi (sweetish) sambar recipe for quite a while, and this may be it!

    I’m much better today, thanks, Nupur 🙂 Padma’s recipe is REALLY good, do try. You will love this I am sure! I did not know udipi meant “sweetish” — I really should take a language course…. 🙂

  10. Padma said

    My Goodness, what a combination of dal’s loved it like heaven! Linda you made my day, today this is my first blog hop on the list, came over from my sitemeter link and happy to see some one try my recipe so instantly and truly loved it till the end…That photo is graciously taken…and am feeling good abt it!

    Thanks Linda…I didnt had much veggies on hand so used shallots, drumsticks (frozen) and eggplants, but they sinked to the bottom, tried so hard to bring the small drumstick float on eggplant bed 🙂 Its true that the kitchen is filled with such a good aroma of fried coconut when we cook this sambhar. I am sure now you must be feeling good after having that hot one!

    Hi Padma, I’m so glad you found the post 🙂 Your recipe was really easy to follow and your photo so mouthwatering, I could not resist! So I thank YOU! I get the sambhar onions in the Indian store, but haven’t been for awhile, so I used what I had on hand. I can imagine how good it would taste with drumsticks — I get them frozen too. Thank you so much, again 🙂

  11. Asha said

    You crazy woman!! Hahaha!! Looks beautiful and LOVE the bowl,well served!Enjoy the weekend ,take care of yourself and rest! !:))

    Asha, goodness I *was* crazy last night for this dish! Then couldn’t sleep and got up at 3 am and made dal makhini, just because I COULD. Hoping for sleep tonight as am not quite myself without it 😉 You have a wonderful weekend too dear! 🙂

  12. Richa said

    sambar looks yum!
    a few Q if u don’t mind- is that like a coffee grinder? do u do dry as well as wet grinding using it? tx
    hope u feel better soon.

    Hi Richa, and thanks for the wishes… I am already feeling better tonight 🙂 Far as the kitchen-aid, it’s like a coffee grinder but it’s about 2-3x larger, with a more powerful motor and a MUCH sharper blade. I do use for powdering dry ingredients, but it won’t do a perfect job. Cin. sticks, for example, will not powder completely, but black cardamom and about everything else will. It’s nice for me before I decide on a *real* grinder 🙂 Hope this helps!

  13. sandeepa said

    You are a big time sambar fan aren’t you 🙂 That must have cleared your sinuses.
    Did you inherit these beautiful antique bowls ?

    Hi Sandeepa, it sure helped! 😉

    This particular bowl was not inherited, but I have a few from my grandmother here. I collect old glass… flea markets and the like 🙂 Thanks for asking 🙂

  14. bhags said

    Get well soon….sambhar looks heart warming and a perfect cure

    Thank you Bhags — it was surely a cure as I am feeling better tonight 🙂

  15. TBC said

    Wow! She just posted that yesterday & you already made it. I had bookmarked that too. Now,I have to try it sooner!
    Your serving bowl is beautiful.
    Hope you are feeling better, Linda. Take care:-)

    Hi TBC, you should try this as soon as you can — Padma’s recipe is wonderful! Glad you liked the bowl, and thank you for the good wishes… I’m already feeling better 🙂

  16. bee said

    jai gets to indulge in all his obscene sambar fantasies at your blog.

    I try to encourage mischief where I can, Bee 😉

  17. Mishmash! said

    WOW Linda you were too fast 🙂 your love affair with Sambhar is still going strong 🙂


    Never-ending love affair for me, Shn! 🙂

  18. Laavanya said

    My grandma would always add a small amount of this paste to her sambar: coconut + green chillies + cumin right at the end of the cooking process and it gave it such flavour. Try it the next time Linda. Your sambar looks good and it’s amazing how much effort you’ve put in to create the powder as well.

    Hi Laavanya, thanks for sharing your grandma’s secret! I will definitely try that soon. I can imagine the aroma and taste! The pastes/powders really don’t take much effort when one is motivated, yes? 🙂

  19. indosungod said

    Linda, you made hotel Sambhar? Looks lovely and love the dish you have there . I can almost taste the sambhar from here and sure to have done wonders to your appetite 🙂 Take care Linda.

    ISG is suddenly gone from early-bird to night-owl!? 🙂

    Did I make hotel sambhar!?? I thought that HAD to have drumsticks, and didn’t know it had coconut. It did do wonders for my appetite — had nearly the whole pot devoured by tonight. Got some spinach at the store and will be back to your magic powder for that one 🙂

  20. meeso said

    Looks great…I love that crystal bowl!

    Thank you, meeso 🙂

  21. neroli said

    Dear Linda, what a *perfect* thing to make for yourself when you’re not feeling 100%!
    (I appreciate the cooking ahead of some of my favorite dishes—then when it’s only lunchtime at work, but seems as if it’s been a very long day—all those fresh, lively, flavors that are so integral to Indian cuisine bring me back to my sense, and I really feel at home, ready for the rest of the day.

    Hi Neroli, I like to cook ahead too, but lately seems no time for that! Have a good weekend 🙂

  22. sharmi said

    I too have this in my list:) what a beautiful looking bowl.

    Thanks Sharmi, glad you liked 🙂

  23. sia said

    how r u feeling now linda?
    my goodness, u sounded so much like me when i read first few lines 😀 i too cant rest till i cook and eat something i had read or seen and couldn’t resist.
    udupi sambar is really delicious but if you really want to taste the best one then you should visit krishna temple in udupi. the afternoon lunch served in temple tastes divine as its a neivedyam (an offering to god). i always enjoyed my visits to krishna temple in udupi atleast twice in a year.

    Hi Supriya, so you know that feeling too huh — must have it *now* 😉 I’m feeling better thank you — just very hectic/busy time now 🙂

    Thanks for telling me about the Udupi temple — I would love to visit it someday 🙂

  24. indosungod said

    Linda how are you doing? Have not heard from you in a while.

    I am fine, thank you so much for asking, ISG — little bit of a hectic time for the family though. Hope to be back soon 🙂

  25. priya said

    is that a kitchen aid coffee grinder looks bigger can it be used that wet grinding. I browsed online couldnt find one like this.

  26. Manasi said

    I am making this! Just grinding Idli batter and made up my mind, this time I am making Udipi style sambar and landed here as my first and final stop!

    Glad to see you Manasi! I know you’ll love Padma’s sambhar, definitely a winner! 🙂

    • Manasi said

      Linda, just an update, I made it and LOVED it! The hubby also loved it and said this was the BEST sambar we have had! a keeper!

      So glad to hear that, Manasi! Thanks for stopping 🙂

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