Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Lentil Balls in Tamarind Gravy

February 8, 2015 Kuzhambu Varieties  12 comments

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is a traditional recipe of Tamil Nadu. Its a lip-smacking kuzhambu  prepared by cooking lentil balls in tamarind gravy. Lentil balls are steamed and then added to the kuzhambu. Alternatively it can be added directly to the kuzhambu without steaming. It serves well with rice, idli, dosa or even chapathi.


Now to the recipe….



[Preparation Time-10 mins : Cooking Time- 30 mins : Soaking Time – 2 hrs]


For the Paruppu Urundai/Lentil Balls

  • Toor Dal – 3/4 cup
  • Chana Dal – 1/4 cup
  • Dry red chilly – 2 nos
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Onion – 1
  • Jeera – 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – few

For the Kuzhambu/Tamarind Gravy

  • Sambar Onion – 10
  • Garlic Cloves – 6 to 8
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Tomato – 1
  • Tamarind – 1 big gooseberry size
  • Sambar Powder – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – as needed
  • Turmeric Powder – a pinch
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Mustard – 1 tsp
  • Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  • Coconut Milk – 1/2 cup





  • Soak toor dal and chana dal together for 2 hrs. Drain all the water and take the soaked dal, red chilly, jeera and asafoteida in a mixer.

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  • Grind it into a coarse paste. Do not add any water. U can just sprinkle some water for ease of grinding. Take it in a bowl and add finely chopped onions, coriander leaves and salt. Mix well and make small balls, Reserve about a ball sized of the mixture to add to the kuzhambu directly.

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  • Steam the balls in an idli pan or steamer for about 10 mins. Once the lentil balls are steamed, keep it aside. For the kuzhambu, heat a pan with oil and temper with mustard, urad dal and curry leaves. To this add sambar onion and garlic. Saute till onions become transparent. Now add chopped tomato and saute.

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  • Add sambar powder, salt and turmeric powder and mix. To this add tamarind extract and let it boil in medium flame for 5  mins. Reduce the flame and add the paruppu urundais.

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  •  Add the reserved paruppu urundai mixture and mix. Let the kuzhambu boil in simmer for 4-5 mins. Finally add coconut milk ( I added a thin version). Bring it to a boil and switch off the flame. Garnish with coriander leaves.

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Spicy, delicious Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is ready.

Seve hot with steamed rice. Tastes best after an hour.





  1. Do not add any water while grinding for the paruppu urundai. If it becomes watery it will be difficult to form balls and also the balls will break once added to the kuzhambu.
  2. U can skip the process of steaming the lentil balls and add it directly too. If so, simmer the kuzhambu and add it, boil in simmer till the balls float. Else it will break.
  3. Adding a small amount of the paruppu urundai mixture to the kuzhambu helps in thickening and also gives a good taste.
  4. U can skip jeera and add fennel seeds.
  5. U can make the balls with chana dal or toor dal or as a combo as I have made above.
  6. U can skip the coconut milk and add coconut paste too.
  7. The paruppu urundai kuzhambu will thicken after cooling. So adjust the conistency accordingly.
  8. While adding salt, be careful as we are adding in 2 stages – for the paruppu urundai and kuzhambu.

12 comments to Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Lentil Balls in Tamarind Gravy

  • Malathi  says:

    Nice one

  • traditionallymodernfood  says:

    Looks tempting:-)

  • marudhuskitchen  says:

    lovely..tradition recipe that is super tasty

  • amrita  says:

    looks yummy

  • Anusha Shine  says:

    Hi Sundari,
    Really tempting photos.. but we don’t add coconut milk…

  • veena  says:

    My favourite.. esp mum version.. This looks so yum too

  • sona  says:

    My grandma makes this kuzhambu and I just love it to the core.. Looks delicious..

  • Sujitha Ruban  says:

    i love to gulp the bowl.. ur clicks looks tempting..

  • padma  says:

    I love this traditional recipe:) Thanks for sharing dear:)

  • Suja hari  says:

    Very authentic and delicious !!! All I want is a bowl of hot steamed rice with this kuzhambhu !!!

  • Hema  says:

    One of my favorites, looks so delicious..

  • Nalini Somayaji  says:

    wow yummy delicious..parapu lentil balls…beautiful pics to follow..

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