Paruppu usili (Lentil based curry)


15 min


20 min

I have always noticed a lack of exposure of South Indian Cuisines to international audiences. Whenever I refer the term “Indian Food”, most of my non-Indian friends, connect Indian cuisine to Naan, Dhal, Chicken Tikka Masala and Chai. Yeah! they are really yummy foods of the North and I am not here to deny that. I do love them and I cook them quite often in my kitchen. I have been pondering for days together to start a separate label for the dishes from South India but something or the other work kept coming along my way. I have decided to create it today. The Deccan Plateau is a large plateau in India, comprising of southern part of the country. I would be sharing the dishes from Tamil nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in this kitchen. Hence the name “Deccan Kitchen”.


This space would carry information on the authentic recipes of the South, the aromatic spices, their uses and origins. “Deccan Kitchen” will project and promote the South Indian cuisine to all my foodies. It will be platform to remove the notion that Indian Cooking is tedious and complicated. The posts will be made simple and straightforward, so everyone will find it easy to whip it in their kitchens.

I would be sharing information about my native state today – Tamil Nadu, situated in the southern most part of India. It’s a beautiful State with warm people, vibrant culture and mouth-watering cuisines. It has a variety of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. Everyone’s door is open to guests and the word “hospitality” is synonym for Ta
mil Nadu. Rice and lentils are an important part of Tamil cuisine.

The post for today is “Paruppu Usili”, traditionally they are made with beans but today I am  with asparagus.
This dish is may combining cooked asparagus with cooked dhal (lentils). Two varieties of dhal are used here : Channa dhal and Toor dhal in equal proportion. These dhals can be bought from any Indian Grocery shops. This is a very common dish in any Tamilian household and this mildly spiced dish is super tasty and is loved by everyone. The cooked asparagus blends beautifully with the steam cooked lentil mixture and the dash of asafoetida, curry leaves and dried red chillies add the right amount of flavor to the dish. A warm plate of this aromatic curry goes perfectly well with rasam or sambhar.

Here is a straight forward recipe to make it in a easy and no-hassle way.

For the lentil mixture:
  •  1 cup toor dhal
  • 1 cup channa dhal
  • 1-2 dry red chilly
  • 8-10 curry leaves
The tadka:
1/2 – 1 lb Asparagus – chopped
1 tsp asafoetida (Available at Indian grocery shop)
1 tbs oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1tsp urad dhal

Salt to taste
5 cups water

  • Soak the lentil mixture in 2 cups water for 2-4 hours. Keep them aside.
  • Wash the asparagus thoroughly and chop them into thin roundels.
  • Heat about 3 cups of water with little salt in a cooking vessel on a high flame . Once they begin to boil, add the asparagus and cook for 15-20min till they become tender. Once done, drain them in a colander and set them aside.
  • After the soaking time, remove the water completely and grind them to a thick paste. If the required, add a very little amount of water. The lentil paste should not be soggy. Place them in a stainless steel vessel and pressure cook them in a cooker/pan for 3-4 whistles. Once cooled, remove from the vessel and crumble them with hand.Transfer to a fresh plate/bowl.
  • Heat the oil in a kadai/pan. Once they get heated up, add mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Then add the urad dhal and asafoetida.
  • After a min, throw in the cooked asparagus and give it a complete stir. Add the crumbled lentil mixture and cook for another 10 min. Adjust salt to taste. Serve warm with rice.
1. Ideal warm salad for South beach dieters. This can be eaten during all the phases. Paruppu usili is a protein packed dish.

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  1. The beans usli looks delicious! This is a new recipe to me and different from the way we usually prepare in our state. Loved the combo of lentils and beans. You have a great blog. And thanks for dropping by my blog 🙂

  2. this recipe is new to me..but souds interesting..will give this a try sometime

  3. We too cook this..looks yummy…u hv a nice space dear..
    Do visit mine when u get time..

  4. I'm ALWAYS explaining to people that what you get in the restaurants here is mostly north indian food and south indian food is so different! I love a good paruppusli. I usually make extra of the dal mixture and freeze it for future use 🙂

  5. Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving your lovely comment. You have a great blog here and South Indian food always makes my mouth water 🙂

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