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Idli and Sambar

shantihhh's picture
Idli is an amazing South Indian sort of dumpling. steamed rice cake. It is made by steaming batter — traditionally made from pulses (specifically black lentils) and rice — into patties, usually two to three inches in diameter, using a mold. Most often eaten at breakfast or as a snack, idli are usually served in pairs with chutney, sambar, or other accompaniments. Mixtures of crushed dry spices such as milagai podi are the preferred condiment for idlis eaten on the go. It is recognized as one of the most healthiest foods in the world. The idli is a common fastfood available everywhere in India, especially in the states that make up South India. I cook idli in an old electric egg poacher and that works great. I also have a petite idli maker than makes cocktail size-bite size idli. I love these! Sambar can be made with various veggies and as mild or spicy as you want.
  Rice 3 Cup (48 tbs) (parboiled)
  Urad dal 1 Cup (16 tbs)

Basic Sambar recipe
Vegetables required - Onions, daikon, potato, green peas, drumstick, green peppers(Capsicum), pearl onions, okra, eggplant, pumpkin, carrots.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil
add 1 tsp mustard seeds.When the mustard splatters add
1/2 fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida.

Add any of the vegetables (cut into large pieces) and fry lightly.
Add 2 cups of water and allow it to boil.
Add 1 teaspoon salt,
1 1/2 teaspoon sambar powder
tamarind juice(amount vary to taste).
Heat until the raw smell of tamarind is gone.
Then add 1 cup boiled toor dal(like paste) and heat until it mixes uniformly.
Add a teaspoon of kari masala powder.
If you want to use fresh paste, you may grind Sambar paste and add it to the sambar instead of kari masala powder.
Add a bunch of curry leaves.

Sambar Spice
Whole red peppers - 1/4 kg
Coriander seeds - 1/4 kg
Toor Dal - 200 g
Gram dal - 200 g
whole black peppers - 25 g
asafoetida - a pinch.
whole red peppers - 10 cups, coriander seeds - 10 cups, toor dal - 1 cup, gram dal - 1 cup, black peppers - 1/4 cups, asafoetida powder - 1 tsp. Dry the above ingredients in sun and grind into a nice powder.
Sambar paste
coriander seeds 1 tsp , gram dal - 1 tsp, red chilli -1 , asafoetida - 1/4 tsp , fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp , grated coconut - 4 tsps
Roast all the ingredients except coconut in little oil. Roast the coconut slightly . Grind all the ingredients into a coarse paste.

Kari masala powder
Coriander seeds - 1 cup
Gram Dal - 1 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 cup
Urud Dal - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
whole red peppers-10 asafoetida - 1/4 tsp (add last)
Slightly heat in little oil until the ingredients turn golden red in a fry pan and grind the above ingredients.

Coconut Chutney
4 tablespoons grated coconut
2 teaspoon(s) bengal gram (chana dal) roasted
1" piece ginger peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves chopped
4 green chillies chopped
1 teaspoon(s) each of mustard seeds and black gram (udad dal)
½ teaspoon(s) asafoetida powder
4 curry leaves
1 red chilli(es) broken into bits
2 tablespoon(s) oil
lemon juice and salt to taste

Grind the coconut, roasted gram, green chillies, coriander leaves and ginger to a fine paste using a little water. Pour the paste / chutney into a bowl and adjust the consistency using suitable amount of water.
Heat the oil in a pan on medium level for about 2 minute(s) till it is hot enough. Add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter and then add the black gram (udad dal), red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida powder. Fry briefly till the gram turns red and pour it on the chutney.
Add salt and lemon juice to the chutney.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
South Indian
Vegan, Vegetarian
Everyday, Kids, Healthy
Preparation Time: 
10 Minutes
Cook Time: 
15 Minutes
Ready In: 
25 Minutes
I first had Idli in Kerela about 0 years ago nd it quickly became an addictive favourite. The lovely coconut chutney is amaing. I must admit I use a Gits or MTR instant Idli mix to make Idli, as I don't want to go through the rice fermentation steps. Sometimes when in a rush (shhhhh) I use the Mtr or Gits Sambar powder but always use fresh curry leaves.

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Average: 3.8 (23 votes)

Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 680 Calories from Fat 12

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 1 g2.1%

Saturated Fat 0.39 g2%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 26.1 mg1.1%

Total Carbohydrates 140 g46.6%

Dietary Fiber 10 g39.9%

Sugars 1.1 g

Protein 21 g41.9%

Vitamin A 13.4% Vitamin C

Calcium 28.4% Iron 11.5%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet


Sarah's picture
Thanks Shanti, Nice IDLI and Sambar Video Recipe I Love IDLI SAMBAR yummy.... Foodlover Sarah
Snigdha's picture
As a kid, I never liked idli but now I love the mini button idlis soaked in piping hot sambar. I however prefer dosas to idlis.
shantihhh's picture
I also prfer Dosa but love both. I am not so fond of vada. Masala Dosa and I am in heaven! Shanti/Mary-Anne
HotChef's picture
Dosa is the best Indian foods
AnEveningIn's picture
If any of you are ever in northern New Jersey, there is an amazing South Indian vegetarian restaurant called Udupi Village. It is in a town called Montclair, about twenty minutes outside NYC. This place has THE BEST dosai I've ever seen. Many varieties, too.
shantihhh's picture
I think Udupi Palace is a chain or perhaps a common name, as I know of several-Sunnyvale, CA (silicon valley), Chicago, Onarario, Canada, Takoma Park,MD, Schaumburg,IL, Chicago, IL, Hyattsville, MD, In India, UDUPI is synonymous with southern Indian style vegetarian cooking. There are several hundred restaurants, cafes and similar establishments with varying degrees of ambiance called UDUPI. Some of these have blossomed into large hotel establishments while others continue as modest eateries. I have eaten at theone in Sunnyvale, and it is always very crowded with many Indian families waiting. While the prices are good I find the food quality very so-so IMHO. Tastes is not so spevial. Shanti/Mary-Anne
AnEveningIn's picture
This Udupi VILLAGE (not Palace) is not a chain. It has been run by the same family for several years now. And as a picky high-end chef, I really recommend their dosai.
admin's picture
Yes, I lived in Northern Jersey about 5min drive from Udupi Village and frequently visited this restaurant. They are good. My favorite food there was Rava masala dosa, although I also like idli and sambar . In fact, the owner of Udupi Village told me that Udupi is name of a village in Karnatka state of India famous for its classic food. Many restaurant owners have adopted this name but serve food far from Udupi village tradition. As per ,Udupi Village in Montclair, they try to stay close to tradition. With Regards, Admin
shantihhh's picture
That is great to hear as per the definition of Udupi above it s a quite common name. I am extremely picky about my Indian cuisine having traveled in India the last 20+ years (over 30 some times) and eating in many friends' homes plus at 5 **** restaurants throughout India. I first fell in love with Indian cuisines as a student in London and have been cooking of the various regions ever since learning more each year. I think my husband and I are more picky than our Indian associates and friends here in the US. It is a treasure when one finds the real Indian taste. Shanti/Mary-Anne
Sarita.Bhandarkar's picture
Udupi is one of the major cities of Karnataka. (It is one of the districts of Karnataka) Udupi is famous for its cuisines, especially for masala dosas, all over the world. It is also famous for Krishna temple. The famous restaurants include Diana restaurant and Kediyur restaurant.
shantihhh's picture
messages are really appearing out of sequence Feb 4 then 22 Oct then Feb 4 ?????? BTW Udupi Palace in Sunnyvale is very mediocre IMHO I have heard they are a chain, but wonder as some love their food. Shanti/Mary-Anne
rita123's picture
I have been to Udupi palace in sunnyavale and simply hate it. You are nice by saying it is mediocre. Sarvana bhawan is much better. You should try it sometime.
moodyfoody's picture
great video I love Idli and sambar shanti nice post........ moodyfoody
shantihhh's picture
Thank you- I invited this home chef to iFood.TV and he has uploaded many other wonderful authentic recipes here! Shanti/Mary-Anne
shantihhh's picture
dr bhal dave is 76 or 77 and lives in San Diego. This is his wonderful video. He is now a member here on iFood.TV as I so enjoy his videos I invited him to teach us here. He is now retired after 40 years and describes himself as a "ONEMAN SHOW" (chef, videographer, editor, and computer specialist all in one). "Dr. Bhal is a fine chef, computer enthusiast and avid photographer. He like to give parties, cook, enjoys dancing, travel, photography and computer work. He is a retired food technlogist and family man with two grand-children." Your blog is wonderful! I love the Jackfruit Leaf wrapped idli! Shanti/Mary-Anne
Idli And Sambar Recipe