The last few days have proved to me, how much I am attached to my blog, I had lost my internet connection last Saturday and got it back just an hour back, I felt so lost without it. Though I have taken breaks from blogging, this is the first time I was forced to do it because of this internet problem, made me so sulky and irritated. Coming to today's dish, Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu, basically it's deep fried lentil balls in a tomato-coconut gravy. There are a couple of versions of this, I follow my mother's recipe, the lentil balls soaked in the gravy tastes so delicious, simply love it with some plain rice or even as a side dish for idlis, dosas or rotis, a must try dish..
Need To Have
For the Urundais/ Lentil Balls
- Chana Dal/ Bengal Gram - 1 cup
- Dried Red Chillies - 3
- Fennel Seeds - 2 teaspoons
- Onion - 1 medium, chopped
- Chopped Coriander Leaves - 1/4 cup
- Curry Leaves - 10, roughly torn into small pieces
- Salt - to taste
For The Gravy
- Onion - 1 medium chopped
- Tomatoes - 2 big chopped
- Garlic - 5 cloves
- Grated Ginger - 1 tablespoon
- Green Chillies - 2
- Tamarind - a small marble size
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
- Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
- Coriander Powder - 3 teaspoons
- Cinnamon - 1" stick
- Cloves - 2, coarsely crushed
- Fennel Seeds - Coarsely Pounded , 2 teaspoons
- Chopped Coriander Leaves - 2 tablespoons
- Curry Leaves - 10
- Grated Coconut - 3 tablespoons
- Cashews - 5
To Prepare The Urundais
Soak the chana dal/ bengal gram for 2 hours and grind it with the red chillies and fennel seeds without adding any water ( using the pulse button in the blender).
To this, add the chopped onions, coriander, curry leaves and salt and mix it. Make lemon sized balls with it.
Heat some oil for deep frying. Add the lentil balls, five or more at a time (depending on the amount of oil you are using for deep frying) and deep fry them. Don't wait for it to turn brown, remove it when you see it changing into a light golden color. Drain and keep them.
To Prepare The Gravy
Grind the grated coconut and cashews and keep. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup hot water, extract the juice and keep.
Heat some oil, add the crushed fennel seeds, cinnamon and cloves. When it starts sizzling, add the chopped onions, green chilli, garlic and ginger, saute for 2 minutes till the onion turns pink in color.
Now add the tomatoes and saute till it turns mushy. Then add the turmeric, chilli and coriander powders and mix for a minute. Add the tamarind extract and about 2 cups of water, salt, bring it to a boil and simmer it for 5 minutes.
Now add the ground coconut-cashew paste and boil it for a couple of minutes. At this stage, add the deep fried lentil balls/ urundais and simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chopped coriander and curry leaves and switch off. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes for the balls to soak in the gravy, then serve it.
If you fry the lentil balls too much, they will not soak up the gravy.
When you add the fried balls at the end, the gravy should be slightly thin, otherwise, once the urundais soak the gravy, it'll be really thick and without any gravy left.
Though I used 1 cup chana dal, I made only 15 balls and used in the gravy, the remaining I saved up for making vadais.
If you make more urundais, increase the gravy.
Can leave out the tamarind and use only tomatoes for this gravy, add one more small tomato or a tablespoon of crushed tomatoes instead of the tamarind.
Can double the amount of coconut for a much more richer gravy.