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Friday, December 29, 2006

Paruppu Urundai Kozhambu

quick and easy recipe lentil ball stew paruppu urundai kozhambu

This is a kozhambu (kuzhambu) aka stew my mom makes when she runs out of fresh seasonal veggies to make sambar with and needs to make something healthy.

Paruppu=Lentils; Urundai = round/ball.

Kuzhambu is a spicy sauce-dish from South India which can be made with practically any of the lentils, grams and vegetables common to the region, and is typically served with plain hot rice.

So, instead of veggies, this kuzhambu has lentil balls. Toor dal is soaked and ground to a fine paste, shaped into balls, steamed and boiled in kozhambu spices to make this delicious dish, usually had with plain rice.

I reserve some of the steamed lentil balls for another dish called 'paruppusili' which can be made with veggies like snake beans, bunch beans, capsicum etc.

quick and easy recipe lentil ball stew paruppu urundai kozhambu


for lentil balls:
1 cup toor dal
3 dry red chilies
3 cups water

1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp urad dal
2-3 curry leaves chopped
1 Tbsp canola oil

for kozhambu:
4 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
4 cups water
1/2 tsp asafoetida (optional)
1 Tbsp oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp coriander powder
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp cornstarch (for thickening)
salt to taste

  1. Lentil balls: soak the toor dal and dry red chilies in water for 30 mins; drain well; grind to a thick fine paste so as to be able to shape them into balls; add some salt to taste; shape them into balls about 2 inches in diameter; steam them till they are firm and cooked; set aside
  2. heat oil in a pot, add the onions, asafoetida, pinch of salt and coriander+cumin powders; sauté well
  3. add water, tamarind paste and brown sugar and let it come to a boil; lower the heat, add the steamed lentil balls one by one - as many as you'd like in the stew - gently into the pot and let them simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes or so
  4. if it seems too watery, thicken with cornstarch: dissolve the cornstarch in a few Tbsp of water and slowly add it to the simmering pot and stir well till thickened; adjust salt to taste
  5. in a small ladle or pan, get the tempering ready: heat oil in a pan, when the oils shimmers, add the urad dal, when they turn golden brown, add the mustard seeds, and when they pop and die down add the cumin seeds and curry leaves, off heat, set aside
  6. when lentil balls seem to have absorbed the flavorful spices and feel like a loaded sponge, off heat, garnish with tempering, serve warm with basmati rice

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  • At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! Sheelar-you're the only person in the living Brahmin world that has the patience to make this! Please remember to put this on your "to cook for Rama & Sujai list" when we visit you. Some roast aloo and vellarikai thair pachidi to go with it as well-please!

  • At 5:51 AM, Blogger Asha said…

    I love the photo.Dish looks delicious and very authetic.Thank you Sheela.

  • At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Sue said…

    I soaked the dal last night and made it this dish this afternoon. The only issue I had was that the dal-chilli paste was not dry enough to make into balls so I cooked it in a pan to get some excess moisture out and just skipped the steaming step. turned out very well! Excellent winter dish when veggies are short on hand.


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