This is the paruppu urundai kuzhambu or the lentil balls in a tomato gravy. They taste absolutely divine, especially when the same sambar and poricha kuzhambus get boring. It not very difficult, just that you need to soak the lentils before you make them. The lentil balls when cooked in the tomato gravy turns out soft and as they are cooked in the gravy itself are very tasty.
There are many ways to make the lentil balls. I have made mine with Bengal gram, but the same can be done with tuvar dhal too. The lentils can also be steamed before you add them in the tomato gravy. This should easy for someone making it the first time.
Ingredient for the urundai:
Bengal gram – ¾ cup
Onion (diced finely) – 1 no
Red chillies – 3-4 nos
Jeera – 1 tsp
Saunf – ½ tsp
Coconut (grated) – 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves(chopped) – 4 -5 tbsps
Soak the gram dhal for 2 hour min. in a mixer grinder, grind the jeera, saunf, coconut and red chillies to a coarse powder first. Drain the water and grind the dhal to a coarse mixture, not very coarse but very smooth either. Grind the dhal without adding any water. Mix the diced onions and coriander to this mixture and keep aside.
Ingredients for the kuzhambu:
Onions (diced finely) – 2 nos
Tomato – 2 nos
Garlic – 5-6 flakes
Tamarind pulp – from 1 lemon size ball
Sambar powder – 2 tbsps
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
(or mustard, fenugreek seeds,
jeera&curry leaves) – 1 tbsp
Coconut – ½ cup
Saunf – ½ tsp
Heat oil in a deep kadai and add the thalikare vadam or the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, jeera and curry leaves. Add the onions and the garlic and fry till the onions are soft. Now, add the tomatoes and fry well. The tomatoes should get soft and mix well with the onions and tomatoes. Now, add the sambar powder, turmeric powder and fry for a minute. Add the tamarind pulp and enough water(1/2 cup) and mix well. Cover and let the gravy come to a boil. While the gravy is coming to a boil, grind the coconut with the saunf to a fine paste. When the gravy has boiled well for 5-6 mins, add the ground coconut and keep the heat on medium. When it comes to a slight boil again, make balls from the urundai mixture and add to the kuzhambu. Close and let them cook for another 5-10 mins on a medium heat. You will know the urundais are ready when they start to float on top.
Serve hot with rice and potato curry.
If you are doing this for the first time and are scared to handle the lentil balls, make balls out of them and steam them for 5 mins before adding them into the gravy.
The lentil ball can be made with tuvar dhal also or a mix of both. They all taste the same.
Also if you do not like the smell of saunf like many people, you can leave them and grind the coconut with jeera instead.