Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili/ Cluster Beans Lentil Curry

Paruppu (Lentil) Usili is a very popular dish and is done on all auspicious occasions be it weddings or festivals! Its called Usili, when we powder the the lentil and mix it with veggies...The best part of this dish is, we can alternate the taste by using different veggies like beans, cluster beans, capsicum, banana flower or even broccoli :)..

Its not often we find cluster beans here and if we do, we make it a point to grab them. I land up making two different portals/karamedu of cluster beans and this one is invariable the first thing i make :). Though it consumes a little oil, as against other veggies..you have alternative methods like steaming them on idli plates and later powdering them..

Ingredients ( Serves 4-5)
1. Toor dal - 3/4 cup
2. Channa dal - 1/4 cup
3. Cluster beans/Kothavarngai - 2 cup
4. Curry leaves - a sprig
5. Red Chillies - 4-5
6. Green Chillies - 2-3
7. Hing - a pinch
8. Salt - to taste
9. Oil - 5-6 tbsp
10. Mustard seeds - 2tsp
11. Urad dal - 2 tap

Preparation Time!!

1. Soak the lentil in water for 1 hr. Chop the clutter beans finely and then add a little salt & sprinkle water. Pressure cook to 2 whistles. Drain water (if any) and keep aside

2. Drain water from lentils, after an hour. To this add, red chillies & green chillies, hing, curry leaves, a little salt and blend to a semi-coarse paste

3. Heat a pan, add 2-3 tbsp of oil. Once warm, add mustard seeds. As it splutters, add urad dal and saute till light brown. Then, add the ground paste

4. Mix well and everytime you mix, try to mash it, so that the dal cooks  and splits open. As it absorbs the oil and cooks, add 1 tbsp of oil and continue till done ( Its done, when the lentils separate and become grainy..see pic 3 below).Then , add the cooked beans

5. Mix the beans well and cook for 5-6 minutes. Adjust salt. Remember, the lentils & beans both already have a little salt in them!!

* You have to soak lentils for a minimum of 1 hr duration
* Dont add additional water, the moisture by soaking lentils is good to grind to a paste. In case, its dry sprinkle water & grind..Dont grind to a Fine paste!
** Cluster beans take a little longer to cook, hence 2 whistles. In case of beans, it would be just 1 whistle
*** You could skip green chillies & use red chillies altogether
**** Like i mentioned above. you could steam the ground paste in idli plates and then pulse it in a blender. Its a tad time consuming but no compromise on taste!!


  1. Delicious parippu usli with kothavarangai, getting fresh soft ones is major task here.

  2. Love this, I make it after steaming, saves on the oil and time..

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Really look forward to your opinions, comments & suggestions :)...Glad you took time to say something on my dish..Its a yay! moment for me :)