Udupi Sambar ( Koddelu)

I have always been fond of preparing some Udupi dishes, owing to my growing up years in the fabulous state of  Karnataka and so we were exposed to different Kannada cuisine, most popular being Mangalore and Udupi, the hotels were known for their unique style of serving delicious sambar .
Udupi cuisine is a cuisine of South India. It forms an important part of the cuisine of Karnataka and takes its name from Udupi, a town on the southwest coast of India in the state of Karnataka. Udupi cuisine has its origin in the Ashta mathas of Udupi founded by Madhvacharya.
Udupi cuisine comprises dishes made primarily from grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. The variety and range of dishes is wide, and a hallmark of the cuisine involves the use of locally available ingredients.
It adheres strictly to the Satvik tradition of Indian vegetarian cuisine, using no onions or garlic, as well as no meat, fish, or shellfish. However, the cuisine may also be adapted for those who consume these restricted items. 
Following the tradition of chaaturmasa vrata, which is a restriction of certain food ingredients in a certain period or season, may have led to the innovation of a variety of dishes in Udipi cuisine. Pumpkins and gourds are the main ingredients in sambar, a stew prepared with ground coconut and coconut oil as its base.
The ubiquitous Indian dish masala dosa has its origins in Udupi. Saaru, a spicy pepper water, is another essential part of the menu, and so arejackfruit, colocasia leaves, raw green bananas, mango pickle, red chillies, and salt. Adyes (dumplings), ajadinas (dry curries), and chutneys, including one made of the skin of the ridge gourd, are specialities.
Some typical dishs from Udupi are..
  • Saaru or rasam
  • Koddelu or sambar
  • Menaskai (variation of Sambhar)
  • Huli (Similar to sambhar with ground coconut in the base)
  • Tambuli or watery vegetable paste (generally leafy vegetables) seasoned
  • Spiced rice
  • Adde or Uh-day (dumpling)
  • Tallu or Ajethna or ajadina (dry curry)
  • Ale Bajji
  • Bakshya (sweet or dessert)
  • Kosambari (seasoned salad of lentils)
  • Bajji
  • Kayathno or KaaYaadhina (fried items)
  • Paramanna (kheer)
  • Paayasa
  • Rasayana (juice or squash or syrup)
  • source..wiki
Udupi, renowned for the famed Krishna temple, the delicious prasadam served in form of annadanam  everyday, the meals are  so simple yet tasty.
Am sharing a simple sambar recipe from Udupi, also called as Koddelu by the Shivalli Brahmin community.


1/4 cup Tuvar dal/split pigeon peas
2 small chopped tomatoes
3/4 inch piece of tamrind soaked in warm water for few minutes to soften.
1 1/2 cups of chopped vegetables.Choice of your veggies, like chopped green beans, drumstick, pumpkins, I used turnips, tomatoes and white pumpkin pieces.
1 tbsp grated powdered jaggery
Pinch of turmeric powder
salt to taste.

Roast and grind the following masala ingredients

6 red dry chillis
1/2 tbsp udad dal/Black gram
1/2 tsp fenugreek  seeds
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida powder
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
2 tsp coconut oil preferably for frying masala ingredients
1 tbsp pottukadalai for grinding, ( roasted fried gram , optional )

For tempering

1 tbsp cococnut oil 

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Sprigs of curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida powder
2 dry red chillis 
Chopped fresh coriander leaves.


In a pan  add 1/2 tsp of oil and roast the ingredients except coconut and pottukadalai/fried gram   till a fine aroma emanates.

Keep aside to cool to be ground later into a fine paste.

Meanwhile cook the tuvar dal with vegetables salt, tomatoes in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water or enough to cook the dal and vegetables .Add turmeric powder to this while cooking.

While the pressure cooker is on and the dal and vegetables are cooking , grind to a paste the roasted ingredients with coconut and the fried gram /pottukadalia to a smooth paste with little water and keep the ground paste aside.

 Meanwhile in another vessel, extract the tamrind juice around 2 cups of little thin extract and add the jaggery piece to it and let it start boiling.

Within few minutes when the raw smell of tamrind disappears and jaggery has completed melted in the liquid, add the pressure cooked dal and vegetables, add salt and let the whole mixture come to a boil on medium flame. 

Add the ground paste and stir again and keep to boil for few minutes , but not to boil too much after adding ground paste.

Prepare the seasoning for the ready sambar , with coconut oil, splutter the mustard seeds, add the seasoning with the red chillis and a pinch of asafoetida powder to the sambar.

Garnish with curry leaves and some chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Tasty delicious Udupi sambar is ready to be served with idlis, sambar, or plain rice.


  1. Sumeet says

    I made this for dinner today. It was easy peasy and so delicious. Everyone loved it. Thanks a lot for the recipe!

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