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Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Lentil Balls in Tamarind Gravy

Posted By Vardhini On May 10, 2011 @ 5:08 am In Gravies,Indian,Side Dishes | 37 Comments

Growing up this was a delicacy which was made once in a while. We used to wait our turn to get the taste of these lentil balls. Lentils are packed with protein making this dish a healthy one. We make this dish by first grinding the dal. Then we either fry the batter and then form balls or form balls and steam them. Some people directly drop the uncooked balls in the gravy but since it is risky and might result in the balls breaking I have not tried that. Whichever method you choose this is one wholesome and healthy dish.

1 cup toor dal
3 red chillies
2 tsp oil
vadagam for seasoning(optional – can use mustard seeds instead)
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 medium tomato
Lemon size tamarind
3-4 tsp sambar powder
turmeric powder

Soak the toor dal and red chillies for a couple of hours. Grind the dal and chillies with salt and asafoetida.

To the ground batter add 1/2 of the chopped onion. This tip was given by my mom and I feel it makes the balls more soft. Make small balls and arrange in a vessel to steam.

The balls are steamed. Let it cool a bit before removing them from the vessel.

To make the kuzhambu first heat oil and splutter vadagam or mustard. Then add the remaining onion. When cooked add tomatoes and then tamarind juice.

Now add the turmeric and sambar powder.

Let it boil for few minutes. Then slowly add the balls one at a time.

After a couple of minutes simmer the flame and let the kuzhambu remain on the stove for 5-8 minutes. Avoid stirring a lot as the balls may break.

That is it. Yummy protein packed kuzhambu ready to be served. We had paruppu urundai kuzhambu rice and brussel sprouts curry. Wholesome and healthy meal.


1. Vadagam is a seasoning where the main ingredients are mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and onion. This adds a lot of flavor and aroma to the kuzhambu.
2. I found that the balls were tougher when I fried the gravy and then made balls. Adding onions and steaming made them very soft.
3. The balls soak up the gravy so have the gravy a little bit on the watery side.
4. For better taste let the balls stay in the gravy for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.

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