Hello everyone. It has been quite a while since I posted new recipes. But I am back and I hope that you had tried as many recipes as possible while I was away. Today, I am going to post an authentic Tamilian gravy dish called the Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (it means Lentil dumplings gravy in english). It is one of my favorite gravy and is a favorite of my HB as well. It is packed with protein (lentils), hence healthy for all age groups.
The first time I had Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu was in my friend’s home during my school days. I loved it instantly. Though it might look like a time consuming process to prepare this gravy, given the preparation of the lentil dumplings and the gravy (we make them separately), it is actually an easy to make recipe. There are subtle variations to the gravy (and the dumplings as well) and the most common one is where the gravy resembles Puzhi Kuzhambu (tamarind gravy). It is a common occurrence in south Indian cuisine where you can prepare different recipes using one common gravy. For example, the tamarind gravy can be used to make Meen Kuzhambu (Fish gravy) and Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (Lentil dumplings gravy) as well. I personally like to have a distinct taste, wherever possible, in each of the recipes that I prepare and for that reason my gravy in this recipe does not have tamarind as an ingredient:)
As I had mentioned earlier, Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is a two step process. One is the preparation of the gravy and the other one is the making of lentil dumplings. For those who are a bit apprehensive about the preparatory method for the lentil dumplings, worry not. You can steam the dumplings first and then drop them in the gravy. One reason why I don’t steam is that the gravy does not get absorbed by the dumplings if you do that and that will alter the taste. So do try this authentic recipe from my home state in India and as always post your comments.
Soak dal in water for one hour. Drain the water completely and grind them coarsely in a blender. Just pulse them like how you make for paruppu vada.
Crush the garlic cloves and chop the shallots. Make tomato puree and keep it ready. Grind grated coconut along with a shallot to a fine paste and keep it aside.
Heat a pan with oil and season with cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds.
Add shallots and sauté well. Add the crushed garlic cloves.
Add tomato puree and sauté for a minute.
Add turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt. Add enough water, close the lid and bring it to boil.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix the dal, finely chopped shallots, crushed garlic, a pinch of turmeric powder and ½ tsp sambar powder and a pinch of salt.
Make small dumplings.
Add ground coconut paste and enough water to the gravy and bring them to boil.
When the gravy starts to boil, check the salt and add the dumplings. Do not stir the gravy once the dumplings are added. Cover and allow them to cook for five minutes. The dumplings will start to float on top when they are cooked. Simmer and cook for another couple of minutes and switch off the flame.
Enjoy the paruppu urundai kuzhambu with steamed rice and fryums on the side. 🙂
1.You could also steam the dumplings in pressure cooker for 10 minutes and add them to the gravy instead of adding them directly. 2.The gravy must be thin while you add the dumplings. So that it gets cooked. 3.If you feel like the gravy is so thin, take out the cooked dumplings carefully and place on a wide pan or plate. Simmer the gravy and cook until the desired consistency. Switch off the flame and transfer the gravy to the pan where the dumplings are transferred. 4.You could also use coconut milk in place of coconut paste.
Dal Makhani is a popular north Indian dish that has its origin in Punjab. It literally means ‘buttery lentils’. It is supposed that the original Dal makhani recipe has only black gram lentil (urad) in it. Makhani means buttery and so it is butter and cream along with urad dal. As per Wikipedia, Dal Makhani became popular after the partition, thanks to the Punjabi diaspora. It is a typical punjabi dish that can be found in almost all Dhabas (roadside eateries, very popular in North India) and in Indian restaurants here in the US. There are so many varieties of sauces like cashew, tomato, white sauce, curry sauce, rogan josh, buna, madrasi etc and Makhani is one among them. Through out my experience with cooking different dishes, I have noticed that most often cooking a recipe can be broadly defined as first preparing a sauce/gravy and then adding the main ingredient, the one that defines the dish, to it. This method of preparation of dishes is particularly useful in restaurants where a variety of sauces are prepared first and then different recipes are cooked using those sauces. And Dal Makhani is prepared the same way as well; you first prepare the Makhani and then add lentil (urad dal here) to it.
Dal Makhani is a very rich and flavorful dish. This is mainly because of the lentils which gives you a fullness when eaten due to the high protein content. Hence it is a healthy dish as well. Dal Makhani goes well with almost all entree items like rice, chappati, paratha, naan etc. Also, it is very easy to make. So without further delay, go prepare this easy and tasty punjabi dish in your kitchen and let me know your comments 🙂
Rub the dal using your two hands and filter the skins. Repeat this for 5 to 8 times until 70% of the skin is removed.
Add 3 cups of water and ½ tsp salt and pressure cook the dal for 5 whistles.
Transfer the dal into a thick bottomed non stick sauce pan and bring them to boil. Add ginger garlic paste, chilli powder and butter. Cook until the butter is melted, mixed and well blended.
Add in tomato puree and fresh cream. Mix well and add enough salt.
Bring the dal makhani to boil in a low to medium flame. Cook for around 20 to 25 minutes until a thin glaze is formed at the top.
Serve it hot with a dollop of butter on top. It goes excellent with naan, rotis and other Indian flat bread varieties.
To make tomato puree:
Heat a sauce pan with a tbsp of oil. Add in roughly chopped tomatoes and very little salt. Sauté until oil seperates.
Allow it to cool and make a thick puree adding very little water.
1.Amount of dal and tomato puree should be 1:1 ratio (equal). 2.Use non stick pan to make this dal makhani dish to avoid the dal sticking at the bottom. 3.could also add rajma and other kinds of dal to this dish. i have tried both and all tasted equally good.
Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that is not often found in South Indian palate (especially Tamilnadu). It is a low fat, low in carbohydrates but rich in fiber vegetable. Cauliflower fry is one of the many varieties prepared using this vegetable. I came across this recipe when searching for a supplement to our diet (and yes we start a diet system many times a year, but sticking to one is a different story 🙂 )
The main specialty about this Cauliflower fry is the way it is cooked. Though it is called a fry, I actually use a conventional oven to cook. It is a very tasty dish, trust me. When you are uncertain about what side dish to prepare for Chappati or Naan etc remember this wonderful Cauliflower fry.
For those who don’t have an oven, you can cook this dish using a stove as well. Try this simple, delicious and healthy dish in your kitchen and tell me your experience. 🙂
Tomato paste or puree, thick – 4 tbsp (I used hunt’s)
Garlic cloves, minced – 1 tbsp
Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala - ½ tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
For the seasoning:
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – a sprig
Green chilli, slits – 4 nos
Ginger, julienned – 1 tbsp
Onion, big, slits – 1 no
Kashmiri red chilli powder – ½ tbsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp (optional)
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Dry fenugreek leaves or kasthoori methi, crushed – 1 tbsp
Spring onions or scallions – 1 to 2 tbsp
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and mix all the above ingredients in a large aluminium pan given under 'To bake'. Place it inside the oven and cook for 30 to 45 minutes until the cauliflowers are crunchy (stirring in between). For those who do not have conventional oven, just fry it in a pan on the stove until they are nicely done.
Meanwhile heat oil in a flat pan and season with mustard, urad dal, curry leaves and green chillies. When they start to splutter add onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
Add julienned ginger.
Add all the powders (coriander, chilli, salt, turmeric) and kasthoori methi. Add oven baked or stove cooked cauliflower. Sauté well and cook for 10 minutes.
Garnish with scallions and cilantro.
!To make tomato puree at home: Roughly chop the tomatoes and sauté with little onion until they leave oil. Blend them to make a thick paste.