Sizzling Tastebuds

Upahara Darshini Style Sambhar | How to make UD style sambar | GF and Vegan

Upahara Darshini was (is) a popular eatery in South Bangalore. Upahara in Kannada means tiffins / small meals . Although it has many chains now, the original outlet at DVG Road, Basavanagudi is very popular for the tiffins /breakfast esp this sambar , Kharabhath , Shavige Uppittu (vermicelli Upma), Set Dosa . The cousin and me were particularly huge fans of its sambhar – a deep red Sambhar (Tiffin sambhar in Karnataka is a tangy, spicy gravy made with very little veggies and lots of spices and coconut, while this is the Tamilnadu version of Tiffin Sambhar), It was one of the first self-service eateries in Bangalore and opened as early as 1993. Given that its sambhar is one of the top selling items, the waiters happily dole out extra bowls of Sambhar as and when you ask. Also, there is the Udupi Sambhar that is served with Idli / vada or even Rice 

My cousin brother mentioned here is a huge love of this sambhar and an Idli-vada-sambhar fan like me. So after gobbling the idli-vada, he used to go back for seconds and thirds of this Sambhar. Its flavour is unlike any other sambhar, and although my cousin now lives outside India, given his culinary and baking skills I think he makes this sambhar for himself.

I am so proud of the self taught baking lessons he’s given himself (and I shall ask for his permission if I can share his Instagram handle here)  – the breads he’s baked and posted are gorgeous and I am sure he would love this memory of slurping this Udupi style Sambhar.



Rakshabandhan – the festival celebrating the bond between a brother and sister is around the corner this week – has me terribly nostalgic. Normally, the memories are around sweets for this festival, but I chose to post this as a peg to remember my brother. I do hope he reads this post, and tries the recipe too ! I chose an authentic recipe as reference and made small changes for a yummy sambhar ! 

Prep time – 20 mins, Cook time – 15 mins, Serves – 4~5


For the Sambhar:

Toor dal / Arhar Dal / split pigeon pea – 1/4 cup

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Onions – 1/2 cup (chopped medium)

Ripe Tomato – 2 medium (diced)

Salt – to taste

Tamarind paste – 1 tsp (adjust if the tomatoes aren’t tangy) / small lemon sized tamarind


For the ground masala:

Oil – 1/2 tsp

Byadgi / Kashmiri Chilli – 4-6 large ones (don’t skip this)

Spicy Red Chillies / Pandi Mirchi – 2~3

Fresh grated Coconut – 1/3 cup

Mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp each

Coriander seeds – 1.5 TBSP

Urad dal / split black gram, Channa Dal – 1/2 TBSP each

For the Tempering:

Oil – 2 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 or 2 sprigs

Hing / Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp (skip for GF)

Broken kashmiri red chillies – 1 to 2

+ garnish : chopped fresh coriander leaves (1 tsp)





Prep work:

Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup water and extract the juice and keep aside (if not using paste)

Soak Toor dal with turmeric for 10 mins while you chop the tomatoes and onions.

In a pressure cooker, Pressure cook Toor dal with 1 cup water till mushy and soft (3-4 whistles will do). In another pan, sauté the onions in 1 tsp oil till crispy and reserve. 

For the masala

In a pan, heat 1/2 tsp oil. dry roast the dals and coriander one by one till they are golden brown, add the rest of the ingredients including the coconut , switch off heat and sauté for 1-2 mins. Cool and grind to a thick paste additional very little water. reserve.


To make the sambhar

In a pan, add the cooked dal, tomatoes and 1-2 cups of water and cover and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy. Now add the tamarind extract, ground masala paste, salt. Cook for 2-3 mins more on medium flame. Now add the sautéed onions and let it simmer for 2-4 mins. adjust thickness by adding any additional water (the masala paste makes the sambhar quite thick so add adequate water to make a sambhar consistency).

Make the tempering with the ingredients and pour to sambar. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves  and serve hot with  Idli / Dosa Or Uttapams / Pongal / Vadai / Millets Pongal. If you are like me, make a huge batch of this and slurp it as is !

Archana who’s a dear friend and co-host for this week got me all nostalgic when she suggested #MeetheBandhan for this week’s @FoodieMondayBloghop. Archana’s blog is replete with diabetic and healthy foods for geriatrics as well as some eclectic dishes using barley which have my attention 🙂



  1. I'm a huge fan of the sweetish Udupi style sambar myself. 🙂 Love your lovely little introduction to your cousin brother, and this sambar dedicated to him.

  2. Mayuri Patel

    Every famous dosa idli place has its own version of sambhar and that's what I love about trying out different places. our Udupi style sambhar looks so nice and I'm seriously now craving for some idli vada with hot sambhar.

  3. Poonam Bachhav

    I visit udupi restaurants only for their piping hot sambars. I am sure your udupi style sambar with the freshly ground masala is super delicious!

  4. Kalyani this darshani style sambhar looks delicious. I did not know that there is coconut in the masala. Thanks maybe mine will improve now.

  5. preethi'scuisine

    I love sambhar in darshini.Your post made me nostalgic. Will have to wait till my next trip to Bangalore. Sambhar with freshly ground masala is always the best.

  6. Vasusvegkitchen

    Looks very yummy and tempting ????, today only I prepared this by adding drumsticks. It's big hit at house, I always love to have this with idli. Yummm

  7. cookwithrenu

    That sambhar looks super delicious and tempting. Love the use of fresh ingredients here to make the masala The sambhar with that Idli is all I want now

  8. I love sambhar but always use readymade sambhar masala. Your looks super tempting. Loved the use of freshly ground masala. Bookmarking it try sometime.

  9. We never get bored of sambhar. love this delicious sambhar made with freshly grounded masala. Would love to have it with hot idli

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