Usili is a dry preparation with dal and vegetables. Dal in the form of usili, is a pleasant change from the usual liquid and mushy forms such as sambar. Paruppu Usili is served as one of the curries in feasts.
One of our friends, who happens to be a media celebrity, loves this dish very much. As his career demands him to be trim and slim, he is very careful about his meals. Since he has taken a liking to this dish, he relishes a bowlful of the Usili and washes it down with a glass of buttermilk. That is it, and he is done with his lunch!
Tur dal (Red Gram Dal) – ½ cup
Dry red chillies – 4
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Salt -3/4 tsp
Finely chopped Kottravaraikkai (Cluster beans) – 1 cup
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Cooking oil - 2 tbsps or more
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Urad dal (Black Gram Dal) – 1 tsp
Curry leaves –a few
1. Soak both the Red Gram and Bengal Gram dals along with the dry red chillies for ½ an hour.
2. Cut cluster beans finely, and cook with enough water and a pinch of salt and keep it aside.
3. Drain the soaked dals and chillies thoroughly, and grind along with asafoetida and salt, into a coarse mixture. Take care not to over-grind into a paste.
4. Heat oil in a wok and add mustard seeds.
5.When mustard splutters add black gram dal and roast till it is golden in colour.
6. Next add turmeric powder, curry leaves, followed by the cooked cluster beans.
7. Sauté till water evaporates, and the beans are dry, then add the ground dal mixture and mix thoroughly.
8. Spread the whole mass evenly inside the wok and cover with a lid.
9. Cook over low fire for about 3 minutes, until the dal is cooked.
10. Now remove lid and turn the vegetable and dal mix and again spread it evenly inside the wok and continue to cook in low fire, this time without the lid.
11. Keep turning and spreading out the dal and vegetable mixture until finally the whole mass breaks up and crumbles into a sandy textured mixture, giving out a pleasant aroma.
12. Paruppu usili is now ready. If you like a slightly crunchy texture, you can add a little more oil and roast as long as you wish till it becomes sandy and gives out a pleasant aroma!
A mixed vegetable Paruppu Usili can be prepared by sautéing minced onions, capsicum, carrot, peas and cabbage before adding the ground dal. Vendhaya Keerai (Fenugreek leaf ) Paruppu Usili is a very healthy and popular dish.
Follow step 1 and 2.
3. steam the coarsely ground dal for fifteen minutes.
Next follow step 4, 5 and 6.
7. Crumble the steamed dal and add it to the vegetable seasoning.
8.Keep stirring till the Usli becomes dry and crumbly.