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Bengaluru Darshini Hotel Style Sambar

by | Apr 12, 2020 | 52 comments

Bengaluru-darshini-style-sambar-recipe-restaurant-sweet-sambar-13
Recipe for Bengaluru darshini hotel style sweet sambar. Karnataka restaurant style sambar with step by step pictures.

I think this might be the most debatable post I have ever written. While the sentiment on the TN vs KA sambar runs very high in my family as is the case with many Tamil people who have settled in Bangalore, I have a confession to make. My son so loves Bengaluru sweet sambar. He likes it more than the Tamil style sambar any day. There, I said it. Every weekend after his game practice, he would get his fix of darshini idli with sambar (idli sambar dippu) on his way back home. Now that we are in a lock down due to corona and its been more than a couple of months since his last sweet sambar outing, he has been asking me to make his favorite, the darshini style sweet sambar. While I had tried so many recipes before over the years, none had come to satisfy him. Then this happened. I have the habit of reading cookbooks on kindle for bedtime. One day, while casually browsing, I found this recipe on the book, Tiffin. The author, Rukmini Srinivas spent a good amount of time in Bengaluru and the recipe for the sambar was so different. It had cinnamon as an ingredient and it intrigued me as I knew that one ingredient that was so unique to Bengaluru sambar was the usage of cinnamon. Have you ever looked at the ingredients of Maiyas or MTR sambar powder? Cinnamon is their secret. The recipe also had tomato puree. The usage of tomato puree is not very traditional in Tamil style sambar. I immediately knew that I had to try it. I am so glad I did the sambar.  After a couple of tries, I have slightly changed the recipe a little and I should say that my son has given his final thumbs up. He says that this is the only sambar that I should be making at home from here on. Now, that is a huge ask since me and my husband have a lot to think about. I dont think we are there yet. Currently I am happy that he got his idli sambar fix. The secret of darshini sambar is the flavour of cinnamon and the lavish use of jaggery and sugar that makes this sambar very unique. Now if you know someone who craves Bengaluru darshini hotel style sambar, then go ahead and make it for them.
P.S: Dear Tamil people, please do not judge my son. Maybe someday he will appreciate the truly delicious Tamil style sambar. Till then, Bengaluru wins big time:)

இந்த சாம்பாரை பற்றி அவதூறு பேசினால் அவர்களுக்கு எல்லாம் கும்பி பாகம் தண்டனை இல்லை பழுக்க காய்ச்சின கம்பி பாகம் தண்டனை!!!

Products used in this recipe
Heavy Duty Mixie https://amzn.to/3DHtSIC
Triply kadai with lid https://amzn.to/3BHcqUd
3 liter stainless steel pressure cooker https://amzn.to/3DFCeRb

Here is the video of how to make Bengaluru darshini hotel style sweet sambar.

Here is how to make Bengaluru darshini hotel style sweet sambar.

Main Prep
Wash and soak half a cup of toor dal in 1.5 cups of water for 20 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with the water for 6 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Use the back of the tumbler to mash the dal. Set the dal aside to a bowl. Add in the drumsticks. Add one cup of water. Cook for 2-3 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside. Dal and drumsticks are done.
Bengaluru-darshini-style-sambar-recipe-restaurant-sweet-sambar

Now we will make a masala paste for Bengaluru darshini hotel style sweet sambar.
Here is what you will need.
Bengaluru-darshini-style-sambar-recipe-restaurant-sweet-sambar-14

One ingredient that is very essential for making this sambar is the byadagi chillies. The Bengaluru sambar has a darker colour when compared to the tamil sambar and that is because of the usage of byadagi chillies. Karnataka Byadagi chillies gives the sambar a very nice colour and flavour. If you cannot get hold of Byadagi chillies, you may use kashmiri red chillies. Byadagi Chillies come from the Haveri district in Karnataka. The chilli is long and wrinkled and deeply red. Its not very hot but imparts a dark colour and aroma.
udupi-sambar-recipe-byadagi-chillies

Heat peanut oil in a pan and add in the chana dal, coriander seeds and the cinnamon. When the dal is slightly brown, add in both the varieties of chillies. Saute for a few seconds. Remove the fried ingredients and set aside on a plate to cool. A Note on Cinnamon – We are using Indian cinnamon / cassia. Do not use a lot as it can be over powering and can spoil the taste of sambar. So a heads up on that
Bengaluru-darshini-style-sambar-recipe-restaurant-sweet-sambar-3

In the same pan, add in a teaspoon of oil. Add in the shallots (small onions) and the chopped tomatoes. Saute for a few minutes till the tomatoes are cooked and soft.
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Now grind all the fried ingredients together in a mixie with half a cup of water to a smooth paste. Set aside.
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Other Prep
Soak half a lime size tamarind in a cup of water for 20 minutes. Once the tamarind has been soaked, squeeze it between the fingers to release all the juices. Strain the juice and set aside. Discard the pith and seeds.
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Grind quarter cup of fresh coconut with half a cup of water to a paste. Set aside. One can also use dessicated coconut if you dont have fresh coconut. But fresh coconut is a first choice.
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Lets Sambar!!!!
Heat peanut oil in a pan and add in the sliced small onions (Indian shallots). Saute for 2-3 minutes till the onions are soft. Add in the tamarind extract.
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Add in the salt, turmeric powder, sugar and jaggery. Don’t ask me why two kinds of sugar. While jaggery gives the earthy note, the sugar amps up the sweetness without overpowering.
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Add in the ground masala paste. Wash the mixie with a cup of water and add it to the pan. Always wash the mixie and add it to the pan so you are not wasting any of the masala that is stuck in the mixie. It is an untold rule when you are cooking Indian food. Let the sambar simmer for 10 minutes. While simmering, if you feel that the consistency is too thick or the masalas are scorching at the bottom, feel free to add a little more water.
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Add in the cooked dal, drumsticks and the ground coconut paste. Simmer for around 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame.
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Final tempering for the darshini style sweet sambar
Heat ghee in a small kadai. When the ghee is hot, add in the mustard seeds, slit green chillies, and curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Add in a pinch of asafoetida. Add in the tempering to the sambar.
Bengaluru-darshini-style-sambar-recipe-restaurant-sweet-sambar-11

Project Bengaluru hotel / darshini style sweet sambar is successfully completed. Serve with idli. As they famously say here, do it “idli-dippu” style which means idlies dipped in a generous amount of sambar.
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Bengaluru Darshini Hotel Style Sambar

Recipe for Bengaluru darshini hotel style sweet sambar. Karnataka restaurant style sambar with step by step pictures.

Ingredients

Scale

Main Prep
1/2 cup toor dal (thuvaram paruppu)
2 drumsticks, cut into two inch pieces
Masala Paste
2 teaspoon peanut oil (1 tsp + 1 tsp)
2 Tomatoes
56 small onions (Indian Shallots)
1/2 inch piece cinnamon
4 dried regular red chillies (guntur variety)
3 byadagi red chillies
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon chana dal
Other Prep
half a lime size tamarind
1/4 cup fresh coconut
Final cooking of Sambar
1 teaspoon peanut oil
10 small onions (Indian Shallots)
1.5 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon jaggery
2 teaspoon sugar
Final Tempering
2 teaspoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 green chillies, slit
2 sprig curry leaves
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

Instructions

Main Prep

Wash and soak half a cup of toor dal in 1.5 cups of water for 20 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with the water for 6 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Use the back of the tumbler to mash the dal. Set the dal aside to a bowl. Add in the drumsticks. Add one cup of water. Cook for 2-3 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside. Dal and drumsticks are done.

Masala Paste

Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a pan and add in the chana dal, coriander seeds and the cinnamon. When the dal is slightly brown, add in both the varieties of chillies. Saute for a few seconds. Remove the fried ingredients and set aside on a plate to cool.

In the same pan, add in a teaspoon of peanut oil. Add in the shallots (small onions) and the chopped tomatoes. Saute for a few minutes till the tomatoes are cooked and soft.

Now grind all the fried ingredients together in a mixie with half a cup of water to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Other Prep
Soak half a lime size tamarind in a cup of water for 20 minutes. Once the tamarind has been soaked, squeeze it between the fingers to release all the juices. Strain the juice and set aside. Discard the pith and seeds.

Grind quarter cup of fresh coconut with half a cup of water to a paste. Set aside. One can also use dessicated coconut if you dont have fresh coconut. But fresh coconut is a first choice.

For the main Sambar

Heat peanut oil in a pan and add in the sliced small onions (Indian shallots). Saute for 2-3 minutes till the onions are soft. Add in the tamarind extract.

Add in the salt, turmeric powder, sugar and jaggery. Don’t ask me why two kinds of sugar. While jaggery gives the earthy note, the sugar amps up the sweetness without overpowering.

Add in the ground masala paste. Wash the mixie with a cup of water and add it to the pan. Always wash the mixie and add it to the pan so you are not wasting any of the masala that is stuck in the mixie. It is an untold rule when you are cooking Indian food. Let the sambar simmer for 10 minutes. While simmering, if you feel that the consistency is too thick or the masalas are scorching at the bottom, feel free to add a little more water.

Add in the cooked dal, drumsticks and the ground coconut paste. Simmer for around 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame.

Final tempering for the darshini style sweet sambar
Heat ghee in a small kadai. When the ghee is hot, add in the mustard seeds, slit green chillies, and curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Add in a pinch of asafoetida. Add in the tempering to the sambar.

Serve with idli. As they famously say here, do it “idli-dippu” style which means idlies dipped in a generous amount of sambar.

  • Author: Suguna Vinodh

 

52 Comments

  1. Komali

    have been following and trying with succes most of ur recipes for past few years. sorry it took me so long to say Thank you for sharing such wonderful dishes.
    i enjoy reading the little story u post with each recipe . this one is one of my favourite.it always brings a smile whenever i read ur sons love for bangalore sweet sambar over classic tamil sambar. same story at my place.

    just one doubt with this reipe,can we add any other veggies like pumpkin, carrot

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thank you so much. Yes you can add veggies of your choice.

      Reply
  2. Rama K

    Your step by step procedure is awesome!






    Reply
  3. Rahul

    Tried it, unfortunately not the same!!! But great attempt






    Reply
  4. Krishna

    Hi,suguna

    Well ur recipe for the bangalore darshini sambar is awesome being myself a bangalorean I was so overwhelmed when the sambar I tried came out outstanding which made all my cousins jealous

    My cousin who leaves in US asked me to share the recipe when she remember that she had tasted in my house on her visit to india

    Thanks






    Reply
  5. Ravina

    Just tried the recipe it came out awesome.






    Reply
  6. Neha

    Good recipe






    Reply
  7. Suma

    I tried with the local organic store KA sambar powder – it was authentic. Same ingredients you had mentioned.
    My aunt (who used to live in Bangalore) made the hotel style sambhar and she added one more ingredient- that is clove (krambu). Like cinnamon, it should be added just a bit, even less than cinnamon.






    Reply
  8. wajiha

    Can u plz share hotel style Vada…plz plz its a humble request.

    Reply
  9. Jayvijay

    Hello! I am Jayvijay. Cooking is also my passion. I am very much interested in south Indian food. Just today suddenly I came across your blog while searching for south Indian recipes. And I found that your blog is JUST AWSOME!!!!!!!!

    Very Explaining. Very Simple. Very detailed Descriptions. And Very very Authentic recipes. I am so much happy that I found this blog. And now I am gonna try a lot of your recipes at my home one by one. 🙂

    Thank you very much!!!






    Reply
  10. Shalini

    My DIL is kanndika and however different we tried the தமிழி style sambar(I am தமிழ்) she did not approve.
    I was looking for a banglore style sambar and came across your recipe, so I thought I will give it a try . By the way like your son I too have come to like the sweet sambar.
    Your recipe was JUST BANG ON. Your instructions are precise and hooray I got a thumbs-up from the family. One question. Do we need to use very little Dhal? Other than thoor do they mix the dhals?
    Thanks Sugana.

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thank you so much. I do not think they mix dals. Toor dal is only used.

      Reply
  11. Poornima

    Excellent sambar.. Darshini style thanks a ton

    Reply
  12. Rajendra varma

    I tried 2 times. It has come out well. My family members liked it.






    Reply
  13. Sandhya Narayana Murthy

    Perfect recipe for the Bengaluru style sambar. Simply delicious!






    Reply
  14. Hemamalini S

    Hi

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. My son likes this sambar. I tried it today and it came out .well…so authentic taste .. just like Sagar hotel sambar!






    Reply
  15. Shripriya S

    Like all other recipes you post this has also come out excellent . Everyone craving for Karnataka sambar in our family and just nailed it with your recipe

    Reply
  16. Disha Budhraja

    Very different from the sambar recipes I usually make. But totally works! This took my sambar to the hotel style sambar level.
    I agree with your son, sweet sambar is totally the way to go!
    Won’t be turning to any other sambar recipe for a while.

    Reply
  17. S G

    Nope, not judging ur son at all! In fact loving him so so so much .. n sending him my hugzz.. cos my son is exactly the same and me too! Hands down, we both love love love this red sweet darshini sambar more than the brown tangy thicker TN one. Even when he was just 2 years old, on an India temple trip, he would ask, the sambar here is gonna be red or brown? 😃 Thanks a million for this recipe, have been searching for a long while as we simply don’t have many(any!) Indian restaurants serving this in my part of the world..

    Reply
  18. Vinutha

    Hi suguna,
    Thanks a lot to ur bangalore hotel style sambar recipe.
    Actually my daughter is fond of the hotel sambar.
    She stopped eating idly as she was not getting the hotel idly sambar.
    Today I tried ur recipe and it was exactly like the hotel sambar if Bangalore.
    I have tried a lot of other recipes for sambar but this won.
    Thank u

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thank you so much. So glad that your daughter liked the sambar.

      Reply
  19. Sukanya

    I have tried many recipies of this karnataka style sambar.. But nothing can beat yours …Bang on Archana !!! Even my Lil one loved this sambar to the core !! Thank you so much..






    Reply
    • Sukanya

      It is Suguna, not Archana.. Sorry

      Reply
  20. Hema

    My father in law had to make more idlis just to eat more Sambar!






    Reply
  21. MURALEEDHARAN RAMAVARMA

    This sambhar has come out excellent! I have been an admirer of the Darsini hotels with its special sambhar for Idli and Vada and I found your recipe closest to the same great taste. Congratulations!






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thank you so much. Glad the recipe turned out well.

      Reply
  22. Ramakrishna

    Pictures and the steps so provided is nice. I could get the taste of darshini style sambar at home. Taste was too good.






    Reply
  23. Foodie

    This recipe is amazing. The color, the texture and combination of ingredients make it very authentic and tasteful sambar.

    Suguna saved my trip to Bengaluru as I was really craving to have “idli dipped in this sambar” for a long time.

    I also miss the pineapple halwa from Benagaluru darshanis. Dear Suguna, please post the recipe for halwa.






    Reply
  24. yuvaraj

    Just superb and came out ver well my son and daughter liked it ver much.I have been trying for this sambar for a very long time but in vain thanks lot






    Reply
  25. Radhika Madhav

    The sambar came out very well..I never doubt your recipes .They are always perfect.The lockdown has made us crave for darshini idli sambar, this recipe is a savior..10/10.. thanks alot






    Reply
  26. Anitha

    Suguna,thanks for the recipe. Like all tamilians,made fun of this sweet sambar when I started my career in Bangalore. But after leaving the city 8 years ago, I miss this sambar, rava idly, karabath and sagu. These Darshini and Sagar hotels are hard to find in UK. If possible, post the recipe of Sagu as well please






    Reply

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