Parupu urundai kulambu / kuzhambu or lentil dumplings in tamarind and coconut sauce, is a delicacy of the kongu region or the kongu nadu region.
The sauce can be altered according to one’s individual taste, by varying the spice level and tomatoes too can be added if needed. The process of making lentil dumplings is pretty much a standard way.
For Parupu urundai
Toor dal – 1 cup Coconut shredded – ¼ cup or less (Depending on your taste) Jeera / Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp. Green chillies - 1 or 2 Dry red chillies – 1 or 2 Curry leaves – 1 sprig. Garlic - 1 or 2 (optional) Salt – As required
1. Soak the toor dal for an hour. 2. Grind all the above ingredients into a coarse paste without adding any water. . If your ground mixture turns out watery, add a bit of rice flour before it is steamed. 3. Now there are two ways to prepare the dal dumplings or parupu urundai. • Make the ground mixture into small bite sized balls and steam in an idli steamer. • Take a non stick pan and add 1 tbsp of oil, when the oil is hot add the grind mixture and fry till alll the extra water evaporates. Allow the mixture to cool and make small bite sized balls.
I follow the second method, because it is a lot easier than the first one and I like my dumplings cooked in the sauce.
To grind for the sauce
Shallot/ pearl onions – ½ cup.(Red onions can be used if there are no shallots) Shredded coconut – ¼ cup Coriander powder – 1 tbsp Sambar powder - 1 tbsp Dry chillies – 1 or 2 (Depending on the spice level). Medium sized tomato – 1 (optional)
Heat 1tbsp of oil in a pan, add the onions then the tomatoes and saute well till it is cooked well. Finally add the coconut, sauté for 2 minutes and at the end add the coriander powder, sambar powder and mix well. Cool the mixture and grind into a fine paste
Shallot / pearl onions – ½ cup.(Red onions can be used if there are no shallots) Tamarind – small lemon sized Turmeric Salt Oil Mustard seeds – 1 tsp Hing/ Asfoetida – pinch Curry leaves – 1 sprig
1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, do the tadka or thallipu by adding the mustard seeds , curry leaves and asfoetida. 2. Add the onions and sauté it well till it is brown. 3. Add the ground paste and salt, once it is boiling add the tamarind extract. 4. Now slowly drop the dumplings or lentil balls into the sauce and put the pot on slow flame. Do not stir it often, since the lentil dumplings will break and get dissolved.
Once the lentil balls or paruppu urundai is soft and cooked well, switch of the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.