Paruppu usili (vegetable lentil crumble) is one of the most popular south Indian side dishes served along with rice & kuzhambu. We can also serve this dish as a mid-morning snack to weight watchers, or pack it for school children. It makes them feel full and it contains protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals required for an active mind & body.
Usili may be prepared with vegetables like carrots, beans, cluster beans, broad beans, long beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, plantain flowers, etc. Also, we can use a combination of more than one vegetable for making usili. Similarly, we can use other lentils like red gram (thuvaram paruppu), red lentils (masoor dal) or Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu) to prepare usili. We like to take the delicious crumbly veggies & lentils along with rice & kuzhambu, and it goes well particularly with puli kuzhambu and mor-kuzhambu.
Recipe for carrot & beans usili:
Time Taken: 30 min
Serves : 4
- Carrot – 1 No. (large)
- Beans – 15 Nos.
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
- Coconut – 3 pieces (2 inch each)
- Lentils (moong dal/ paasi paruppu) – 1/2 cup
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Green chillies – 2 Nos
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida (hing) – 1/2 tsp
How to prepare paruppu usili:
- Wash & soak lentils in a bowl of water for half an hour .
- Wash carrots & beans and chop them into small cubes.
- Steam the vegetables in a steamer until they become soft & keep aside.
- Grind soaked lentils, green chillies, cumin seeds and ginger into a smooth paste without adding water.
- Transfer the lentil paste to a greased bowl, close it with a plate and pressure cook the lentil dough (simmer for 10 min after bringing to high pressure).
- When lentil cake reaches the room temperature, chop it roughly.
- Grind coconut into a coarse powder without adding water.
- Add chopped lentil cake and blend at lower speed to nicely combine together and keep aside.
- Heat a pan with oil, add mustard seeds, when they start to splutter add curry leaves.
- Add steamed vegetables, asafoetida & half a teaspoon salt and saute for a minute.
- Add lentil mixture & remaining salt and mix them well.
- Now colorful usili is ready to serve.
- I prefer to cook/ steam the lentil mixture rather than stir frying it as it does not require much oil.
- If you use other lentils, you may have to soak longer and follow the same cooking method.