28 July 2014

Beans with Dal curry (Paruppu Usuli/Usili)

Paruppu (Dal/Lentils) Usuli or Paruppu Puttu as it's commonly known in South India is a curry that is made with lentils blended with spices and cooked along with vegetables of choice.
This is one of my many favourites from the repertoire of my mother's cooking and when served along with South Indian kadhi and Pepper rasam, the deliciousness (and balancing factor) of the dish simply sky-rockets!!!
I have mentioned here the recipe for using French beans with the dal, however this curry can be prepared using any vegetable imaginable - carrots, banana flower, cauliflower, raw banana, cluster beans...or even Broccoli !!
 Ingredients :
French Beans - 250 gms (chopped)
Toor Dal (split pigeon peas) - 1 cup
Chana Dal (Bengal gram) - 1 tbsp
Dry red chilies - 2
Hing (Asafoetida) powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 4 to 5 tbsps
Rai (Mustard seeds) - 1 tsp
Urad dal (split black gram)  - 1 tsp

Method : 
1. Wash and soak the Toor dal and Chana dal for about 30 minutes. Drain and leave in a colander or sieve.

2. In a mixer, blend the drained dals, red chilies, salt and hing. Use very little water, say about 1-2 tbsps and grind to a coarse paste (fine semolina/rawa consistency)

3. Spread this mixture on a steamer/Idli plate and steam cook for about 15-20 minutes

4. Meanwhile, cook the chopped beans (or vegetable of your choice) with a pinch of turmeric till tender. Drain and keep aside.

5. Remove the cooked dal and spread it on to a wide plate and let cool. Once down to room temperature, lightly crumble using hands to prevent any lump formation. A neat trick is to give it a very quick run in the mixer, just 2 quick turns, which will help break down the dal clusters formed during the steaming.

6. Heat oil in a pan and add the urad dal, followed by rai. Once rai splutters, add the cooked dal and mix well to let the oil coat the lentils all through and cook evenly, for 5 to 7 minutes. Again, make sure no lumps are visible.

7. Now add the cooked vegetables and mix well. Check for salt, and let cook for about 4 to 5 minutes more. Optional to garnish with curry leaves.
Remove and serve hot.