Beans Paruppu Usili – Dry curry with lentils and string beans

Background:

K and I love the Paruppu Usili/Morkuzhambu combo. So much so it is our weekend ritual. It defines our idea of a good Saturday or Sunday. Feast on this exotic combination and wrap up the afternoon with a siesta. Because usili takes a good amount of work compared to the other dry curries we make, it is accorded a special place on our Menu Honor Roll.

Stuff you will need:

Green string beans – 2 lb – chopped into small bits
1 cup – thuvar dhal
1 cup – mix of channa dhal/moong dhal and urad dhal
Salt to taste
Long Red chillies – 10
Asafoetida – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsps
Turmeric – 1 tsp

How to make it?

Cook beans with salt and set aside. Soak the dhals together for about an hour and grind with red chillies, salt and asafoetida using little water. Steam the ground dhal paste using idli plates. Remove, cool and crumble.

In a big kadai or wok, heat a generous measure of oil. When heated, add mustard seeds and wait till the pop. Add the crumbled dhal paste and fry till golden brown and dry. When done, add the drained cooked beans and mix in. Cook on low heat for about five minutes when the curry comes together. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Serves four

Special Notes:

Paruppu usili can be had all by itself or as a side with rice and morkuzhambu.

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Rang birangi dhal – Mix of lentils simmered in a tomato onion gravy

Background:

A good way to use up small amounts of dhals leftover. It is wholesome, nutritious and pretty filling. Goes well with rotis and or parathas. Also good as a hearty soup.

Stuff you will need:

A handful each of the following mixed, washed and soaked overnight or through the day.

Masoor dhal
Channa dhal
Kabuli channa
Cow eyed peas
Black whole urad dhal
Green whole moong dhal
Rajma

Onion – 1 large
Plum tomatoes – 4-5
Garlic – 1 pod chopped
Ginger – 1 inch cube chopped
Green chillies – 3 slit
Spring onionĀ  – 1 chopped to garnish
Shahi Dhal masala – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Ghee – 3 tsp
Kasuri methi – 1 tsp
Jeera or panch puran – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – a handful chopped

How to make it?

In a small pressure cooker heat ghee and add the panch puran or jeera. When it browns add ginger, garlic and green chillies. When they are fried, add turmeric, kasuri methi and dhal masala and stir a bit. Add onions and saute till light pink, add tomatoes and salt and close and cook till ghee separates out. Now add the soaked and drained dhal. Add three cups of water and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. When done garnish with spring onions and cut coriander leaves

Serves four

Special notes:

Adjust water to achieved desired consistency of dhal. A dash of lime juice may be added if needed.