Thursday, 23 October 2014

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu / Steamed lentil balls in spicy tangy gravy




For the lentil balls ( Yield : 10 )

  • 1/2 Cup Toor Dal
  • 1/2 Cup Channa dal
  • 5 Dry red chillies
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 6 shallots / sambar onions chopped finely ( use 1/2 cup finely chopped onions if you do not have shallots)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh coconut bits
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped cilantro leaves
  • 4 Fresh mint leaves
  • Salt to taste

For the Gravy

  • 2 Tablespoon Vegetable oil / Sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Sprig of curry leaves
  • 4 Garlic cloves - crushed
  • 1 Medium sized onion chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots ( if you do not have shallots, use onions instead)
  • 1 Large tomato chopped finely
  • 2 Tablespoons of Coriander powder
  • 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Cup Tamarind extract or 2 Teaspoon of thick tamarind pulp
  • 1/4 Cup fresh coconut slices + 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • Salt to taste


Steam Lentil balls

1. Soak toor dal and channa dal together in tap water for 1 hour
2. Drain water completely and add them to a food processor
3. Add fennel seeds, dry red chillies to the food processor
4. Grind dal, fennel seeds, red chillies together to coarse paste. Do not add water while grinding
5. Remove 2 tablespoons of this ground dal paste and place it in a small bowl and set aside. We will be using this in the gravy
6. Add finely chopped shallots, fresh coconut bits, finely chopped cilantro leaves , mint leaves and season with salt
7. Make small sized balls out of this lentil mixture. I measured one tablespoon of batter to make one ball. I was able to make 10 balls out of the lentil mixture. Set aside
8. Grease a idly plate / steamer and steam lentil balls for 3 to 4 minutes. Do not over do it. they will turn hard if you over cook /steam the balls

Before Steaming

After Steaming:

9. Let them cool completely

Prepare the gravy

1. In a pan, heat vegetable oil
2. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds
3. Fry them until the fenugreek seeds turns light golden
4. Add curry leaves and fry until they are crispy
5. Add the garlic cloves and fry until the garlic is nice golden
6. Then add the shallots and onions along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and fry until the onions are translucent
7. Add tomatoes and fry until the oil starts leaving from the mixture
8. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder along with 2 tablespoon of water and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the raw smell of the masala goes off
9. Add tamarind extract , 1 cup water and season with salt and let the gravy cook for 15 to 20 minutes
10. Meanwhile, grind the coconut slices along with fennel seeds , 1/4 cup water into a fine paste
11. Once the gravy is cooked for 15 to 20 minutes and thickened, add the coconut paste along with the 2 tablespoons of lentils paste we reserved from step number 5 of the 'steam lentil balls' and give it a nice stir
12. Let the gravy cook for 5 minutes
13. Finally gently slide in the steamed lentil balls into the gravy and cook for 3 to 4 minutes

14. Switch off the flame and close the pan with a lid for 10 minutes. Let the lentil balls soak the gravy and plum up
15. Serve hot with rice and papad

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