Monday, March 14, 2011

Chettinad style Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu / Lentil Dumplings in Tangy Gravy

Chettinad is a region in southern Tamil Nadu, with Karaikudi as its capital. It is well know for its spicy culinary delicacies. Chettinad food, now is one of many reasons why people get to know about chettinad. Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu means lentil dumplings cooked in a gravy. This recipe has different versions. When I usually make this paruppu urndai kuzhambu I used to follow my mom's recipe. My huband motivated me to try the Chettinad style and briefed me what are the modifications that has to be made from my usual style. I tried and it came out really well.

For the dumplings:
Chenna dal- 1cup
Toor dal- 1/4 cup
red chillies- 3
Green chillies- 1
hing- 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
curry leaves- 2 string
fennel seeds- 1 tsp

For gravy
Coconut(shredded)- 2 tbsp
Poppy seeds- 1 tsp
Ginger- 1 inch
sambar powder- 1 tbsp
red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
tamarind- small lemon sized
tomato- 1 (medium sized)
turmeric- 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
curry leaves- 1 string
mustard seeds- 1 tsp
cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp
hing- a generous pinch
oil- 1 tbsp

Making the dumplings:
Wash and soak the chenna dal and toor dal for 2 hours. Strain the dals and grind them coarsely along with red chilliies, curry leaves, green chillies without adding water. Add salt, hing and 1 tsp fennel seeds to the coarsely ground paste and mix well. Make small balls out of it and steam them in a pressure cooker for 5 minutes or until the dumplings are half cooked. Do not cook it fully or over cook the dumplings. This might prevent the dumplings to get fully soaked in the gravy.
Making Gravy
Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of warm water for 10 minutres and make an extract. Finely chop the tomatoes. Grind the coconut, poppy seeds, ginger, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds into a smooth paste. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard, cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds. When the mustard crack add hing, curry leaves, chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and saute them until the tomatoes become tender. Add the tamarind extract, ground paste, chilli powder, sambar powder, salt, 1 cup water and allow it to boil. Drop in the dumplings and cook in a medium to low flame for 15- 20 minutes. If the gravy is too thin then break two of the dumplings in the gravy and mix well to get the right consistency for the gravy. Serve hot with rice.


  1. Love chettinad foods a lot..this is looks tempting and spicy..very inviting!!

  2. This sounds soooo delicious n spicy.. have bookmarked the recipe!
    Thanks for sharing dear :)

    US Masala

  3. Slurp! The gravy very yummy and spicy....

  4. really great the gravy ingredients

  5. It was great visiting ur Blog...
    Loved the nice collection of vegetarian recipes....

  6. slurrp....gravy makes me hungry,my fav...

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