This Kerala Parippu curry is an essential part of any Kerala meal that you may have. It goes great with all sorts of Kerala side dishes like thoran and mezhukkupuratti. Ever had a Kerala sadya? If you have, then this parippu (dal) is the first thing you would mix with rice and ghee and feel the first flavour of what is essentially the essence of Kerala food.
Before you ask, of course we add coconut to our yellow dal, we wouldn't have it any other way for a dal recipe that's uniquely Malayali! For Kerala cooking, split yellow lentils / moong dal cherupayar, is more used than toor dal. Moong dal is also a very important ingredient in Ayurveda based cooking and is said to have a better effect on our health than most other kinds of lentils.
Kerala Parippu Curry Recipe
1 cup moong dal / cherupayar / split yellow dal
A pinch of turmeric
1/2 cup coconut (fresh or frozen, not dessicated)
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera / jeerakam
2-3 green chillies
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds / kaduku
3 shallots, sliced
1 red chilli, torn into two
A few curry leaves
How to Make Kerala-Style Dal or Parippu Curry:
1. Roast the dal in a dry skillet until it turns a light golden brown. I generally do this in bulk and store moong dal this way to prevent bugs. It also makes the dal much more fragrant after cooking.
2. Grind the coconut with the rest of the ingredients and some water into a smooth paste.
3. Pressure cook the moong dal with 4 cups water and a generous pinch of turmeric. Once done, mash well to a smooth paste. Keeping the flame on low, add the ground coconut mixture and some salt to the dal. Cook until well blended - about 5-8 mins.
4. Heat oil for tempering and add the ingredients in the order given. Once the mustard seeds have popped and the red chilly starts to glisten a deep red, remove from fire and dunk everything into the dal mixture. Mix well.
Serve hot with steamed rice and ghee.