Dry Curry, Sizzling Tastebuds

Paruppu Usuli / Beans-lentil spicy curry


Paruppu Usuli is the corner stone of South Indian cuisine, esp that from Tamilnadu region. This dry curry finds its way to most festivals and occasion menus. Delicate veggies (beans / cluster beans) mixed with steamed lentil savoury cakes, this is a food connoisseur’s delightJ

The dish listed here is slightly adapted from my MIL’s version, and S was raving about about his mom’s version when we married many moons ago, and I finally managed to coax out the recipe from her when she visited us recently. This curry goes amazingly well with Vettal Kozhambu / Curd Rice / Rasam.

Preparation time : 20 mins + soaking time. Cooking time : 20 mins. Serves : 3


·         Tur Dal – 1 cup

·         Finely chopped beans / cluster beans – 1 cup

·         Turmeric – ½ tsp

·         Red chillies – 3 no

·         Hing – 1 tsp

·         Salt – to taste

·         Grated coconut – 2 tbsp


·         Oil – 2 tbsp, Mustard seeds – 1 tsp, Curry leaves – few, Urad dal – 1 tbsp


1)      Soak the dal and red chillies in slightly warm water for 1 hr. Drain.

2)     Grind the dals + chillies with very little water & hing to a coarse paste

3)     Transfer to a dish and add turmeric, salt, coriander leaves.

Pic 1

4)     Steam this paste in an oiled idli steamer (without weight) for 15 mins.

5)     Meanwhile, prepare the tempering with oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal.

6)     Add the finely chopped beans / cluster beans. Add very little salt and water and cook for 6- 10 mins till cooked but not mashy.

7)     Unmould the steamed savoury cakes and cool (from step 4 above). Crumble into burji consistency. Additionally, you may eat these healthy  savoury cakes as it is (refer pic 1)

Pic 2

8)     Add this crumbled dal cakes to the steamed veggies (pic 2)

9)     Add grated coconut and serve with Rasam / Kozhambu or just curd rice.


1)      Take care to drain all the water from the soaked dals and then grind to a coarse paste.

2)     If you don’t want to steam the dal as cakes, you may fry the ground dal paste in oil and keep stirring on low flame till it becomes dry and crumbly. However, in my experience this takes way too much time and energy to do so.

3)     You may also make this dry curry with  steamed plaintain stem (Vazhai Thandu)


Check out the Blogging Marathoners doingBM#5along with me

Curry in a hurry under 30 min:Priya Suresh,Srivalli,Usha

Seven Days of Colorful Dishes Kid’s Special:Vardhini,

Seven Days of Indian Sweets: Harini,Suma,Veena

Seven Days of Regional Specials: Aarthi,Kalyani,Pavani,Shylaja

Summer Coolers: PJVaishali

Under 15 mins Quick Breakfast:Sushma Pinjala,

Sending this to Blogging Marathon – Regional Specials and also Suma’sCooking with whole Lentils – Toor Dal , originally by Kiran





  1. This looks so yummy…I love usili

  2. MySpicyKitchen

    A traditional recipe.. We make lentil dosa curry for the weddings. Not exactly on the wedding day but the day before. If I recall, I think the dosa is made with besan, chanadal flour, cut into strips and made into curry. It tastes good.

  3. Sounds good. My mom makes this but I have not made it so far. I have bookmarked it a while ago, but never got around making it. You know how it is, roght? 🙂

  4. Paruppu usili looks amazing. Loved the idea of steaming as a cake. Will have to try your version soon. Enjoyed all your Regional special recipes this week in the marathon.

  5. Priya Suresh

    I love paruppu usili with curd rice and rasam, delicious and my fav curry..

  6. KrithisKitchen

    Paruppu usili is my favorite.. tastes perfect with cluster beans!
    Event: Serve It-Chilled

  7. I do this the same way by steaming .. looks good Kalyani.


  8. Suma Gandlur

    I also make it the same way. In Andhra, the dish is called patoli.

  9. This is my alltime favourite.Can have it any time.Your looks perfect and delicious

    South Indian Recipes

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