Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu | A Recipe from Tamil Nadu by Lalitha Krishnan

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu from Tamil Nadu
Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

I have been meaning to write about Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu for the longest time. In fact ever since I started the blog, but have been putting it off. I finally made it over the long Holi weekend and what a wonderful treat it was!

Paruppu Urundai literally means Lentil Balls, while Kuzhambu means a gravy made primarily of Tamarind.

I first tasted this super delicious dish about 6 years ago at the home of Mrs. Lalitha Krishnan, who is the mother of one of my friends. She had made Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu for her daughter, who apparently loves the dish, and as I was visiting I had a second round of lunch at their home exclusively to taste this dish. 🙂

Mrs. Krishnan is a super cook and I have had many a sumptuous meal cooked by her. This is the first of many of her recipes that I hope to share with you.

How to Make Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Serves: 4

Soaking Time: 2 hours

Cooking Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients for the Paruppu Urundai

  1. Tuvar Dal or Split Pigeon Pea – 2/3 Cup
  2. Red Chillies – 4
  3. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  4. Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
  5. Salt to Taste

Ingredients for the Kuzhambu

  1. Sambar Powder – 1 tbsp
  2. Thick Tamarind Pulp – 2 tbsp
  3. Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp
  4. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Curry Leaves – A Few
  6. Salt to Taste

Method to Make the Paruppu Urundai

  1. Wash and soak the Tuvar Dal in 2 cups of water for 2 hours.
  2. Drain the water and leavethesoakedTuvar Dal in the colander for about 15 minutes to drain completely.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Drain the Soaked Dal
    Drain the Soaked Dal
  3. Add the soaked dal to the grinder.
  4. Add salt, red chillies, turmeric, and asafoetida.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Grind the Dal, Red Chilli, Turmeric and Salt
    Grind the Dal, Red Chilli, Turmeric, Asafoetida, and Salt
  5. Grind to a coarse paste.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - The Ground Paruppu Urundai Paste
    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – The Ground Paruppu Urundai Paste
  6. Add the paste to a coldwokorKadhai.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Dry Roast the Paste
    Dry Roast the Paste
  7. Dry roast the paste till the raw smell disappears and the paste dries out just bit. Do not fry the paste too much because then the Urundai will be rock hard.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - The Roasted Paste
    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – The Roasted Paste
  8. Let the paste cool.
  9. Divide the paste into 12-16 equal portions.
  10. Rolleachportion into a ball (urundai).

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Make the Urundai
    Make the Urundai
  11. Set aside the Paruppu Urundai.

Method to Make the Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

  1. Dissolve the tamarind paste in 1 cup of water.
  2. In a large vessel or wok, heat the sesame oil.
  3. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Heat Sesame Oil and Add Mustard Seeds
    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Heat Sesame Oil and Add Mustard Seeds
  4. Add the Sambar Powder, Curry Leaves, and diluted Tamarind Paste.
  5. Bring to a boil.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Add Tamarind Paste and Sambar Powder
    Add Tamarind Paste and Sambar Powder
  6. Add 2 cups of water and boil till the Kuzhambu reduces by a third. The Kuzhambu will be watery at this stage; it will thicken after you add the Urundai.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Add Water and Boil
    Add Water and Boil
  7. Reduce the flame.
  8. Add the Paruppu Urundai to the Kuzhambu. The Paruppu Urundai will sink to the bottom.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Add the Balls to the Boiling Kuzhambu
    Add the Paruppu Urundai to the Boiling Kuzhambu
  9. Over medium heat, continue to boil the Kuzhambu till the Paruppu Urundai float to the top. This is how you know the Urundai are cooked. The Kuzhambu would have also thickened and reduced in quantity at this stage.
  10. Turn off the heat.
  11. Add salt and mix well.
  12. Serve with steamed rice.
  13. Enjoy!

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu
    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu


  1. Aruna, I made this curry. Highly appreciated by all. It was very tasty but some of the urundais cracked and broke. How do you keep them as balls? What did I do wrong…any idea?

    1. Perhaps you need to make the Urundai paste a bit drier. That is why I had roasted the paste a bit.

      Another tip I had from someone was to add a bit of rice flour or wheat flour. I would think the latter especially would change the taste.

  2. oh what an interesting dish this is. Ive never eaten it of course, but up north we do have something very similar to this, its called mangochi ki sabzi which is essentially urad-mung dal pakodi simmered in thin yoghurt gravy. How similar is that to your paruppu urundai kuzhambu :)?!

  3. I could find so many delicious flavors here, Aruna. I bet this meal is so good. 😀 Thank you so much for sharing & have fun at the party. Have a lovely FF & weekend. xx

      1. Sonal.. I get what you are telling. My friends used to ask me how you can have sambhar daily. But there are n varieties of sambhar and gravies. 🙂

        I agree with Aruna. Any dish with paneer is North Indian and South India has its own North Indian. 😉 😉

        Between Aruna.. delicious kuzhambu. Whenever I do usili I save some do this kuzhumbu with it next day.

        1. I so agree, Srividhya. There are sambars and sambars. Gravies and gravies.

          The South Indian version of North Indian cuisine is much like Indo-Chinese. I would dare any North Indian to recognise it. 😀

      1. it is called Gojjambode, I think I have blogged about it on
        If not I shall send post it, the only hitch is I am out of town so I cannot send you the pictures.

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.