March 11, 2016

Paruppu Usili (Steamed Lentils Fry)

Paruppu Usili is a protein rich  Tamil Brahmin's Signature side dish and is made usually with lentils and veggies like cluster beans, beans & plantain flower. Apart from being served as side dish it tastes yummy and distinctive when you have this by mixing in hot steaming rice with few drops of ghee. The unique taste of paruppu usili is unbeatable. Some times when there is no vegetable at home, we make plain paruupu usili and have it as side dish with morekuzhambu. Traditionally it is made without steaming but frying it more with sesame oil. Nowadays we steam it and then fry with less oil,  yet we get the same taste....

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Ingredients for making Paruppu Usili:

Pre time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Serves 4 people

Thur dal 5 tb spoons

Bengal gram (Chana dal) 2 tb spoons

Red chillies 4 or 5

Chopped beans or cluster beans from 250 gms

Oil 3 tb spoons

Mustard seeds

Urad dal 1 tea spoon

Curry leaves

Hing powder 1/4 tea spoon


(Note: Adding some  Chana dal gives some crispiness to the dal mix when fried. Thurdal  gives softness. When both combined gives a very good combination)

How to make Paruppu usili?

  • Wash and Soak the dals and red chillies together for 2 hours.

  • After 2 hours drain the water completely out  and grind them to coarse batter with required salt and keep aside.

  • Boil or pressure cook  the chopped vegetable with required salt sprinkling some water  adding turmeric powder and keep aside. Boil the vegetable with necessary water so that you need not drain out the water after vegetable is cooked well.



  • Grease a plate or idli plate with oil and spread the dal batter on it.

  • Steam it in a cooker without adding weight or in a rice cooker for 15 minutes. Or even you can microwave it for 3 to 5 minutes.

  • After it becomes cool, just crush it with your hand to pieces as shown in the picture.



  • You can also put it in a mixie jar and run for a second to get even dal crumbles instead of crumbling it with hand.

  • Now heat a heavy bottomed pan with oil.

  • Do the seasoning with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and hing powder.

  • Add the steamed and powdered dal mixture and keep the flame low.



  • Keep stirring for some time.

  • The lumps will vanish and it will become a crumbled dal mix. 

  • Now add the boiled and drained cluster beans or any other vegetable to it and mix well.

  • The paruppu Usili is ready now.