Huli Pudi/Sambar pudi/Pulusu podi


Huli in our local language Kannada is a common name for something sour, however another usage of this common word refers to a south Indian,  pigeon pea lentil based sauce, ubiquitously  known as saambaar. This sauce is prepared almost daily, in combination with various vegetables and served on the side with steamed rice and  finger millet flour balls. Key ingredient for the sauce is the spice mix powder called huli pudi which decides the taste of the sauce. Each household has its own inherited recipe. 
My mother and mother-in-law, both great cooks had their own proportions of the ingredients. However, I have standardized my own style and have been getting consistent results over many years.
A few decades ago these spices were hand pounded and it would be cumbersome to prepare the mixes frequently. One more reason could be sourcing the ingredients - as most people lived in far flung villages.  But this  practice of making huge batches to last for 3 - 6 months is still practiced by many. I make small batches, as it is easier to roast and the aroma is intact when put to use.

Difficulty of preparation - easy
Preparation time - 10 minutes 
Cooking time - 15 mins
Ingredients -
1. Urad dal  2 table spoons
2. Channa dal 2 table spoons
3. Coriander seeds - 1 cup
4. Broken Byadagi chilies - 1 cup
5. Cinnamon - 2 inches
6. fenugreek seeds - 3 tea spoons
7. Asafoetida - size of a pea nut
8. Pepper corns - 1 tea spoon
9. Turmeric (dry rhizome) - a small piece
10. Cumin - 2 tea spoons
11. 2 spoons oil to roast/fry

Preparation -
  • In a kadai dry roast both dals separately under low flame and keep aside
  • dry roast cumin and pepper slowly till aromatic and remove from the kadai
  • Roast fenugreek and take out
  • Heat half a spoon oil and add cinnamon fry, follow it with asafoetida. when aromatic, remove and keep aside.
  • Add 1 spoon oil, roast coriander seeds till half done and add broken chilies and roast together, slowly till aromatic. At no point allow smoking/burning of ingredients
  • Let all the ingredients cool nicely.
  • Using a mixer/blender powder coarsely
  • Allow the powder to cool well and store in an air tight container

  • Roasting has to be done with utmost patience without allowing the ingredients to burn 
  • Adding oil and roasting chilies and coriander together will prevent pungent fumes while roasting.