Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Kothavarakkai Paruppu Usli

As I have been saying vegetarians include a lot of lentils in their day-to-day cuisine. This paruppu usli is a signature dish of the Iyengars down south. I have seen this paruppu usli made often in many of my friend's house; but my mom never used to make it. I have learnt it from my friend's mom and have been often making it. This is a very good side-dish for rasam and rice. I love to have it just with rice and some papad.

Paruppu usli can be made with any vegetable. That too green vegetables are the best. I have made this with beans, long yard beans, kovakkai (tindora), cabbage and the latest with kothavarakkai. In paruppu usli the main ingredient is channa dal. This is gound, steamed and added to the vegetable. We can also use a combination of dals here like a mixture of toor dal, moong dal and channa dal. Onions are optional here. I have made it the typical Iyengar way - so onion and no garlic is used here.


Kothavarakkai / cluster beans - 250 grams
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Coconut (grated) - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

To grind:
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Channa dal - 1/2 cup
Dry red chillies - 2 nos
Asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste


  • Soak the toor dal and channa dal for about an hour.
  • Grind the dals along with other ingredients listed under "To grind" without adding water to a coarse paste.
  • Make small balls of the grounded paste and steam cook for 7-8minutes in a idli cooker. 
  • Remove the cooked dal balls. One cool, smash them, keep aside.
  • In a kadi, add oil. Once the oil is hot add mustard.
  • Once mustard splutters, add the urad dal and curry leaves.
  • Add the chopped kothavarakkai, salt and turmeric powder.
  • Sprinkle some water; cover and cook until the kothavarakkai is cooked well.
  • Add the smashed dal, and grated coconut. Mix well and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the dal is blended well..

Serve with rice!


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  1. Delicious ! I have fallen for these cluster beans , they sound so flavourful and a perfect pick for the theme .

  2. This one is surely one protein packed this poriyal!

  3. A classic dish and we love it with Vathal kuzhambu. Yummm. Love that serveware.

  4. Never get boredof this protein packed usili, love it to the core.

  5. I have fallen in love this dish. I want to try it asap.

  6. I have to try this classic beans dish. A healthy and protein packed dish.

  7. Usili is an awesome lunch side dish.. Simply love it with Sambar and Papad..

  8. Such a unique way to prepare a protein rich dish.

  9. Usili is so tempting! Love it with all veggies possible. Yours looks fabulous

  10. Protein rich poriyal recipe... looks amazing.