Beans Paruppu Usilli (Steamed lentil with green beans) – BM # 30

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26th July, 2013

This is the last day of the blogging marathon 30 and also my last post under native dishes. After yesterday’s post about my favorite native memory, the Paneer soda, today I am writing about one of the essential side dish that is sure to be seen in every South Indian wedding lunch platter. Paruppu usilli is made basically with a mixture of 2 lentils or sometimes with three that are soaked, ground, steamed and then cooked with a vegetable. The most common vegetable that is used to make this is beans, either cluster beans (kothavaranga) or green beans. One of the other very commonly used vegetable would be vazhai poo (banana flower).

Since it is that time of the year when we begin to enjoy our vegetable yields from the backyard, my recipes are going to be mostly dictated by what is harvested on that particular day. Last evening, we harvested a bunch of green beans from the garden. It was not enough to make beans curry, so I ended up making paruppu usili with it. Paruppu usili is often paired with Moar kuzhambu and this is considered a classic South Indian Combo.

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • Thuvaram paruppu/toor dal/red gram dal – ½ cup
  • Kadalai parupu/channa dal/split Bengal gram dal – ½ cup
  • Payatham paruppu/moong dal/green gram dal – 2 tbsp
  • Beans – 1 cup (finely chopped)
  • Red chilies – 3
  • Asafetida – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – to taste
To season –
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Kadalai parupu/channa dal/split Bengal gram dal – 2 tsp
  • Red chilies – 2
  • Asafetida – ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
Procedure –
  • Soak all the three paruppu (dal) for about an hour.
  • Drain the dal well and then grind it into a coarse paste with salt, red chilies and asafetida.
  • Transfer the ground mixture into a greased steamer plate or in idli plates and steam it for about 10 -12 mins until the mixture appears cooked and glossy. When you touch the steamed mixture it will appear hard and it should not stick to your fingers.
  • Remove it and then break it into pieces and leave it aside to cool down.
  • In the meantime, clean the beans and chop it into tiny pieces. If the beans are very tender (like in my case), there is no need to cook them. We could directly add it when making the usilli and it would cook. If the beans are little tough, then either steam it in the microwave until soft or cook it in boiling water.
  • Once the paruppu mixture has cooled down to room temperature, transfer it into a blender and grind it once to make it powdery. 
  • Heat a wide pan and add oil to it. Add all the ingredients listed under seasoning and fry it for a minute. 
  • Now add the beans to it and let it cook for 3-5 mins. This is only if you are using tender uncooked beans. If you have cooked your beans prior, then you do not have to cook it again. Add just enough salt needed for the beans and let it cook. (Remember that we ground the dal with salt).
  • Now add the steamed and powdered dal mixture to the cooked beans and give it a good mix. Let it further cook for about 5 minutes so all the flavors could come together.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#30

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