In Kannada, the word "Huli" means different things in different contexts. It could mean the "sour taste"... Tamarind is also called "Huli" in certain parts of Karnataka..... "Huli" also refers to the sambhar-like coconut based gravy which is eaten with rice.
Huli- the coconut based gravy, is an indispensable part of Kannada cuisine. This coconut based gravy probably gets its name from one of its main ingredients - tamarind. Though very similar to sambhar, huli and sambhar are NOT the same in Kannada cuisine... They differ by a couple of ingredients!! But, most people use the terms interchangeably because of the similarity in looks and taste . So, go ahead and use whatever term you are comfy with!! :)
I had not posted this recipe all this while, thinking it was too common and that every household has their own version of this recipe. Its hard to generalize and come up with one standard recipe. However, a lot of people have been requesting me for this traditional "Huli" recipe for quite some time now. So, here is my version (To be read as "my mother's version" ;)....). You could use any veggie of your choice, like eggplants, cabbage, beans, cauliflower, tindora, or even a combination of veggies, like potato-onion, okra-onion, carrot-onion, eggplant-black eyed beans etc. Enjoi!!
Oh, and btw, Sig from Live to Eat is hosting this month's JFI event(brainchild of Indira from Mahanandi for the ingredient Tamarind - Jihva for Tamarind. I am sending this "Huli" over to Sig's place for her JFI event. Thanx Sig, for hosting!! :)
Suganya, of Tasty Palettes is hosting this month's A Fruit A Month event , AFAM: Coconut. Started by Maheshwari of Beyond the Usual, the AFAM event celebrates one fruit every month. Thanx Maheshwari for having come up with such a brilliant idea, and thanx Suganya for hosting this month's AFAM event. I am sending this "Huli" recipe over to Suganya's place as my entry for AFAM:Coconut!!!
2 cups chopped veggies
1 cup Toor dal (thogari bele), cleaned and washed
3/4 cup Grated coconut, fresh/frozen
1 tbsp Jaggery
1/4 tsp Tamarind paste
Salt as per taste
1-2 tsp Oil/Ghee
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
4-5 Curry leaves
1/4 tsp Hing
A pinch of turmeric
For the Masala:
2 tsp Chana Dal / Kadle Bele
4 tsp Coriander Seeds
4-5 Dry Red Chilies, low to medium spiced
1 tsp Jeera (optional)
1 tsp Methi seeds (optional)
- Dry roast the ingredients for the masala until the raw smell disappears; If you are new to roasting masalas, you might want to roast each of the ingredients separately to avoid over roasting them.
- Powder the masalas in a blender without adding any water; Add coconut and some water to the powdered masala and grind to a smooth paste; Keep aside.
- Add a couple of drops oil and a pinch of turmeric to the washed toor dal.... Dal is supposed to cook faster with some oil and turmeric; Add enough water to cover the toor dal and pressure cook until done... for about 3-4 whistles.
- Meanwhile, clean and cook veggies with some salt and water, until done; You could even combine the veggies with the dal and pressure cook them, provided, you take care not to mash the veggies.
- Combine the cooked dal, veggies, coconut-masala paste and mix well; Add water to get the desired consistency.
- Boil on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add salt, jaggery, tamarind and mix well; Boil further, for another 3-5 minutes and remove from stove.
- Temper with mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves; Serve hot with rice/idli/dosa and enjoy!
To make the process simpler and faster, you could make the masala powder in bigger proportions and store them in air tight containers. You could then use 2-3 tsp of "Huli Pudi" (meaning, huli powder) to grind it with coconut to a smooth paste!!!
Prep Time: About 45 mins, including pressure cooking time.
Serves: About 3-4 people.