Chettinad Paruppu-Urundai Kuzhambu

Paruppu Urundai literally translated means dal or lentil balls (koftas) and Kuzhambu (Gravy, generally tamrind based) is a spicy, tangy and tasty gravy/curry. 
Some prefer a combinations of dals; and are comfortable with different methods to make this Kuzhambu - you either steam the balls and then add it into the simmering gravy; or deep fry them before adding it in. Then there is one way of drying the ground dal before you make the balls. The experts though skip these steps and drop it directly into the simmering gravy. The only downside this way is that the Urundai's (koftas) will disintegrate in the gravy if the consistency of the ground dal mixture is not right. We can also make More Kuzhambu with these Urundai's.
A sure treat that is well worth the time and effort that goes in. Serve this tangy Kuzhambu with Rice and the combination for this at home would be Vazhaithandu Kootu or Chow Chow Poriyal

For the Urundai:
Toor Dal - 3/4 cup
Dry Red Chillies - 4 to 5
Sombu (Saunf) - 1 teaspoon
Jeera - 3/4 teaspoon
Salt - 3/4 teaspoon
Small Onions - 10, sliced thinly
Garlic Flakes - 4, sliced thinly
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs, chopped fine
Corriander Leaves - 1 stalk, chopped fine (optional)
Turmerric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Coconut, grated - 3 tablespoons

For the Kuzhambu:
1. Masala Paste 
Sombhu (Saunf / Fennel Seeds) - 1 teaspoon
Jeera - 3/4 teaspoon
Peppercorns - 1/4 teaspoon
Khus-Khus - 1 teaspoon
Clove - 1
Cinnamon - a small piece 
Pottukadalai (Fried Gram) - 2 tablespoons
Cashew Nuts - 5
Coconut - 1/4 cup

2. Milagi Malli Vizhudhu
Traditionally, Dry Red Chillies and Corriander seeds are ground to a fine paste using a stone mortar-pestle (Ammi). Now, you could mix chilli powder and corriander powder with a little water and use instead.
Dry Red Chilli Powder - 1.5 teaspoons
Corriander Powder - 1.5 teaspoons
Water - 1 teaspoon (or less; just enough to bind the powders)

3. Kuzhambukku
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard Seeds - 1/3 teaspoon
Sombhu - 1/3 teaspoon
Jeera - 1/3 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Small Onions - 7, slit down the centre
Garlic Flakes - 5 (choose small sized ones)
Tomato - 2, chopped
Lemon Juice to taste (about 2 medium sized ones)
Salt to taste

For the Urundai:
Soak the Toor Dal for approximately 3 hours. Check if the dal is soft - either pinch the dal or pop one into your mouth. You should be able to bite in smoothly. Drain well.
Take the Dry Red Chillies, Sombu (Saunf / Fennel Seeds), Jeera, and Salt in a mixer jar. Grind until smooth.
Then, add the soaked dal and grind to a coarse paste.
Add the other ingredients into the ground mixture and mix well. Check for salt.
Divide into even sized marbles and shape them into balls with a light hand.
Deep fry in hot oil until golden. (OR) Steam cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Keep aside.

For the Kuzhambu:
Heat oil and splutter the mustard, jeera and sombhu. Drop in the curry leaves and stir.
Now add in the onions and garlic. Stir fry over a high flame for a few minutes.
Then add in the chopped tomatoes and saute for a minute. Close with a domed lid and simmer for 2 minutes.
Open cover and add the chilli-corriander paste. Stir cook until oil separates.
Pour in about 2 to 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer.
Add the ground masala paste and simmer further.
Gently drop in the fried (OR) steamed Urundai (one by one) into the Kuzhambu.
Simmer for about 10 minutes. By this time, the Urundai should have absorbed the flavours and taste; and it should have thickened. If the gravy is too thick, add some boiling hot water to get the required consistency.
Take off heat and add lemon juice to taste.
Serve hot with Rice and Kootu / Poriyal.
Sharing this family favourite at the 61st edition of My Legume Love Affair hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen, started by Susan the Well Seasoned Cook and now run by Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen.


my fav posted this too in this week
Riaraj said…
Eveythng ok.. Bt u didnt metion whether the masala paste ingredients shld roast or grind it wthout roasting..?

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