My 171st recipe, "Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu", a tangy and spicy South Indian gravy. Among all gravies my mom used to make, paruppu urundai kuzhambu was a special one and I loved it whenever my mom made it. After marriage I was amazed to find out that RK also shared the same view. My MIL also used to make this occasionally and it was one of his very favorites. Ever since I heard him say that, I make this kuzhambu as part of our lunch atleast once a month. It is protein rich and extremely healthy for you with the addition of dal. And it is definitely a nice change of taste, since most of my other gravies generally uses veggies like brinjal, drumstick, etc. There are numerous variations of this kuzhambu too, right from the combination of dal used to the type of gravy. Some use only chana dal for making the urundai, some use both the chana and toor dal but in different proportions, some add coconut to the gravy, etc. Even my mom and MIL prepared different variations. This recipe I have posted here is my version of a paruppu urundai kuzhambu which is tangy, spicy and just like how I like it 😉
Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu
For the dumplings
- Chana Dal - ¾ Cup
- Toor Dal - ¼ Cup
- Dry red chilli - 2
- Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- Ginger - 1 small piece
- Asafoetida - 1 large pinch
- Onion - ¼ medium finely chopped
- Coriander leaves - 2 Tbsp chopped
- Salt - ¼ tsp
- Grated Coconut - 2 tsp
For the gravy
- Tamarind - 1 small gooseberry size
- Water - 4 Cups
- Oil - 2 Tbsp
- Bay leaf - 1
- Cloves - 3
- Cinnamon stick - 1 small
- Fennel seeds - ½ tsp
- Garlic - 5 cloves
- Onion - ¾ medium sliced
- Tomato - 1 medium chopped
- Salt - ½ tsp adjust per taste
- Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
- Sambar powder - 1 ¼ tsp
- Coriander leaves - 2 Tbsp for garnish
- First wash and soak the chana dal and toor together for a minimum of 2 hrs. Drain the water from the soaked dal and add them to a mixie/blender along with dry red chilli, fennel seeds, ginger, garlic and grind into a coarse paste. Transfer the ground mixture to a mixing bowl and add the asafoetida, onion, coriander leaves, salt and coconut. Mix well until combined.
- Make small balls out of the dal mixture and steam it for 10-12 mins based on the size of the ball. I steamed in a idli cooker for about 12 mins.
- Meanwhile, soak the tamarind in water for 10 mins. Then make tamarind extract from it and make it measure 4 Cups.
- Heat a large pan with oil. Add the bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds and saute until the fennel seeds start changing slightly golden brown. Now add the garlic and saute until they turn slightly golden brown. Add the onion and continue to saute until it turns deep golden brown in color.
- Now add the tomato and saute for 1 min. Add the salt, turmeric, sambar powder and give a quick mix. Add the tamarind extract to the pan and leave it to boil away in medium flame for about 20 mins or until the raw smell of the masala is gone and the oil starts to float on top.
- At this stage, add the steamed balls into the gravy, cook for another 10 mins and turn off the flame. Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Let the gravy sit for atleast 15 mins for the balls to absorb the gravy and then serve hot with rice.
Notes | FAQ
- While making the balls, make them smaller in size, about the size of a small lemon. I made it large, for the sake of photography.
- Do not over steam the dumplings, they would become hard.
- Adding shallots (red pearl onions) would give the best flavor to the gravy. Since I did not have shallots in hand, I used regular onions.
- The gravy itself should be little thin, since the balls would absorb the liquid from the gravy while cooling down.
- Using Gingelly / Sesame Oil gives the best flavor to the gravy.