Ulundham Paruppu Sadham (Blackgram rice) is a unique rice dish popular in Tirunelveli and surrounding regions and this rice is typically served with ellu thuvaiyal for lunch. We usually serve this nutritious meal to young girls during their cycle every month and also to pregnant women as blackgram is beneficial to strengthen their hip bones. Nevertheless it can be served to kids, men & old people alike.
Black gram lentils, sesame seeds and fenugreek seeds are believed to boost women’s fertility. Sesame seeds are great sources of vitamin B6 required to conceive & also to prevent miscarriage as it balances hormone level. Black grams are rich sources of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium & magnesium, so it helps to increase the hemoglobin count & also to increase the bone mineral density.
How to serve ulundham paruppu sadam:
Typically black gram rice with sesame chutney is served along with aviyal, sweet mango pachadi, or vendaikai pachadai (any one or more). But sometimes it is simply served with appalam (or pappadam), koozh vatral, or vengaya vadagam alone. Generally black gram rice is served in 2 portions: first we mix a portion of blackgram rice with sesame chutney, pour sesame oil generously over the rice and savor this rice with aviyal or vendaikai pachadai and also with appalam/ papadam/ koozh vatral. Finally we mix black gram rice with fresh curd and relish with sesame chutney, manga pachadi and vadagam as shown below.
Ulundhu Sadam Recipe
- Boiled rice (puzhungal arisi) – 1 cup (200 g)
- Split black gram lentils (de-skinned) – 1/2 cup (100 g)
- Cumin seeds or fenugreek seeds* – 1 tbsp
- Garlic – 9 cloves
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Water – 4 cups (800 ml)
*It is preferred to use cumin seeds during winter & fenugreek seeds during summer to maintain the body temperature.
- Crush garlic & cumin seeds coarsely using mortar & pestle and keep aside (or we can crush garlic alone when fenugreek seeds are used).
- Dry roast black gram lentils in medium flame before washing along with rice.
- Add washed rice & lentils, minced garlic, salt & water into a pressure cooker and bring to a boil.
- Pressure cook the rice-lentil mixture (simmer for 10 min when it reaches high pressure).
- When the pressure is released, gently mix rice and dal and garnish with coconut gratings.
- Serve hot ulundham paruppu sadham with ellu thuvaiyal.
Sesame chutney is similar to Mediterranean Tahini sauce, but we make this chutney spicy. When we serve this chutney as a side for black gram rice we prefer to make this spicier as all other dishes served in this meal are not spicy, but you may adjust tamarind & red chillies to suit your palate. Now the recipe for ellu thuvaiyal is as below:
- Sesame oil (nallennai) – 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds (ellu) – 1/2 cup
- Red chillies – 10 Nos.
- Coconut – 5 pieces (2 inch)
- Tamarind (as shown in the picture below)
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Heat oil in a pan in medium flame and roast red chillies till they puffed up.
- Remove chillies from pan before getting burnt or blackened.
- Add sesame seeds in the same pan.
- Roast them in low flame flipping every 10 sec until they stop bursting.
- Grind all ingredients into a fine paste adding little (50 ml) water.
- Black sesame seeds are typically used for this chutney, but some children may not like dark grey colored chutney as shown on a banana leaf in the third picture. So we can use black sesame or white sesame or both in equal portions.
- We have to keep flipping sesame while roasting to prevent them getting burnt, and the thuvaiyal tastes bitter when burnt.
- We can even prepare this chutney without adding coconut.
- You may add water according to the desired consistency of chutney, some may like it being runny or viscous.
- My grandmother used to add a teaspoon of powdered palm jaggery (karuppatti) to enhance the slightly bitter flavor of sesame seeds.