October 31, 2008

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Brahmin Kuzhambu Recipes

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu literraly means dal balls in a gravy. As with most tamil Brahmin recipes, this one has the most common ingredients like toor dal, tamarind, hing and of course sambar powder! 

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Brahmin Kuzhambu Recipes
I have mentioned before how new I was / still am to an extend new to Tamil Brahmin cooking. My parents-in-law are here for a visit and that means amma takes care of all the cooking and dinner is ready by the time I get back from office. Bliss. But, I told her first off that I wanted to watch her making Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu. The dish features dal balls in a tangy tamarind sauce. Though it looks a bit like kofta curry, the recipe couldn't be further from it. Amma had given me the recipe long back and I tried it once but the dal balls (urundai) dissolved in the sauce and it ended up like sambar in the end. It does take some practise to get it right and what better way to learn than by watching!

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Brahmin Kuzhambu Recipes

Recipe source: MIL
Toor Dal – 1 cup, soaked in water for atleast 1 hour
Onion- 1 small, minced
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Dried red chillies - 3 to 4
Salt – 1 tsp
Tamarind water - 2 cups (or 2 tbsp tamarind paste dissolved in 2 cups water)
Grated coconut (fresh or frozen) - 1/4 cup, ground to a paste in little water
Sambar powder- 1 heaped tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Salt - to taste

How to make Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu:

1. Take a heavy-bottomed pan that's preferably evenly shaped at the bottom (so that the dal balls cook evenly). Pour in the tamarind water and add turmeric and salt. Bring to a boil.

2. Then add the hing, sambar powder and ground coconut and let it boil on low flame.

3. Meanwhile, rinse the soaked toor dal completely and grind it with red chillies, hing and salt, without adding any water.

4. Mix in the minced onions to the above dal paste and make small lemon-sized balls with it.

5. Add the dal balls one by one, slowly, into the boiling sauce. Do not mix around too much or else the balls will crumble. If you are trying this for the first time, add one or two balls at a time and then keep adding more.

6. Now its time to be patient and wait for the dal balls to cook. They will almost double in size as they boil in the sauce and the sauce will thicken as well.

7. Once the dal balls are cooked (will take about 15-20 mins), temper mustard seeds in some oil, add curry leaves and transfer to the boiling kuzhambu.

8. Remove from fire and serve hot.We made this paruppu urundai kuzhambu last weekend and though I didn't have a flat bottomed pan which brings out the best results, the kadai worked pretty okay too. We had to keep stirring the balls gently so that it cooks evenly. If you are making this for the first time, you can also try steaming the balls before dropping in the sauce. This will prevent break-age. I will let you know how it comes out when I try it on my own next :D

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu tastes great with steamed rice and any dry vegetable curry of choice.