Udupi Cuisine is very famous throughout India, it hails from the South Indian city of Udupi – located in the state of Karnataka. Traditional Udupi Cuisine follows strict vegetarian guidelines as outlined in the ancient Hindu texts (The Vedas). In addition, foods prepared in these ancient Vedic traditions also do not allow for the use of onions & garlic.
My Udupi Vegetable Curry is simple, healthy & follows the basic principles of this tasty cuisine without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. You can use whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand for this dish or use your favorite vegetables. I used potatoes, carrots, green peas, baby corn, edamame & cauliflower florets. So try this for yourself & see how utterly delicious vegetables can be ☺.
UDUPI VEGETABLE CURRY
1 cup toor dal (arhar dal or split yellow pigeon peas)
3½ cups of mixed vegetables, lightly steamed or par-boiled
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
salt, to taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
5-6 dried red chilies, to taste
2 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut flakes (or add a little coconut milk to the dal)
2 tbsp raw Basmati rice
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1-2 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
4-5 fresh curry leaves
½ cup toasted unsalted peanuts
1 tsp urad dal (skinned & split black Bengal gram)
1 tbsp chana dal (split Bengal gram dal)
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or you can use butter or oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly grated coconut for garnish
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Soak the chana dal in enough water to cover for 30 minutes. Then drain well & set aside until needed. Prepare & trim the vegetables as needed, try to cut them into equal size pieces so they will cook evenly. Lightly steam or par-boil the vegetables, set aside until needed.
In a large soup pot on high heat, add about 1½ to 2 cups of water along with the toor dal. Bring to a good boil, cover, reduce the heat to simmer and let cook until the dal is tender but not mushy (about 12-15 minutes). Alternatively, you could cook the dal in a pressure cooker if you wish. Set aside until needed.
In a small dry skillet, lightly toast the cumin seeds along with the coriander seeds, dried red chilies, desiccated coconut flakes & rice grains. Let cool & then grind into a smooth paste using a little water as needed to help the process along.
In a medium size pot on medium high heat, add the ghee. When hot, add the black mustard seeds. When the splattering subsides, add the green chilies along with the curry leaves, peanuts, urad dal & chana dal. Stir fry for a minute or so until the dals have slightly browned. Then add the ginger, turmeric, salt & the ground paste. Stir fry for a few minutes, then add the cooked dal & vegetables. Now add enough water until your desired consistency is reached. Let cook on low for 4-5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Garnish with the cilantro & coconut. Serve with warm chapatis & fragrant Basmati rice.
Instead of adding water, feel free to add coconut milk to the dal for a rich creamy taste.