Paruppu Urundai Kulambu / Lentil Balls in Tamarind Gravy

This is how we prepare Paruppu Urundai Kulambu at our home. As it involves bit lengthy process and needs an extra care, I mostly avoid it to prepare. But I would say that it is worth to do the lengthy stuff for the awesome taste that you get at the end.

This typical south Indian dish has its own traditional way for preparation which is now tweaked according to our convenient and as a result we have few methods for preparation. One of which is blogged here with pictures. I have also mentioned other methods and it is absolutely your wish to follow your convenient way.

Dal dumplings/balls which look like koftas are cooked in tamarind gravy and sometimes in yogurt gravy and thus the dumplings absorb the flavor from gravy and you get an exotic taste at the end. I'll post the lentil dumplings in yogurt gravy in upcoming days.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4


For Lentil Balls:

Channa Dal/Toor dal/Mixture of both - 1 cup
Dry Red chillies - 4 nos
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - a big pinch
Asafoetida - a big pinch
Onion - 2 tablespoon, finely chopped
Coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves - few

For Gravy:

Onion - 1 large size, chopped
Tomato - 2 nos , chopped
Green chilli - 2 nos, chopped
Tamarind - 1 small gooseberry size, (soak in a cup of warm water for 15 minutes and extract juice from it.)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Oil - 3 teaspoons
Salt - to taste

For Seasoning:

Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard and Urid dal - 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek - 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 string


For Lentil Balls:

1) Soak Channa Dal for 30 minutes to 1 hour in water.
2) After an hour, drain the water from the Dal and add dry red chilli, cumin seeds, salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida.

3) Grind it to a coarse paste. Add finely chopped onion, coriander and curry leaves with this and mix well.

4) Make small size balls and steam them in a idly maker exactly for 10 minutes.

5) Lentil balls are ready to go with gravy.

For Gravy:

1) In a wide pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil.
2) When it is hot, add chopped onion and curry leaves. Saute till onions turn soft.
3) Add tomato and green chilli. Continue sauteing till tomato mashes well.


4) Allow this mixture to cool and grind to a fine paste by adding water.


5) Wipe off the same wide pan and add ground paste.
6) Add tamarind water, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well.
7) When it boils and starts a gravy consistency, add balls.

8) Turn the flame to low and cover and cook for 10 minutes or till you get your required gravy consistency.
9) When the gravy is ready add the seasoning.
10) Serve hot with steamed rice.


1) In traditional method, the lentil balls are prepared and directly (instead of steaming them) cooked in gravy. It requires extra care as the lentil balls might break while cooking. But it can be done by practise. In another way, you can shallow fry the lentil balls in oil and add them with gravy.
2) You can also add ginger garlic paste and coconut paste with this gravy which enhances the flavor and taste.
3) My MIL will not add tamarind instead she adds more tomatoes to get tangy taste. You can also follow this method if your prefer.
4) If you find it grinding the onion makes the method too long, skip the step of grinding and directly add the tamarind. In this case, you can add the seasoning in the initial step itself.
5) Do not overcook the lentil balls as they may become hard.

This recipe goes to Akheela's Food palette series finale rainbow colours
Simply Food's Flavors of South India
Umm Mymoonah's Any one can cook series-34

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I too make almost same it!

wow too good but i dont steam the urundais.. the clicks r so good n makes me to go with a cup of hot rice..

Sooooo tempting....Awesome clicks..

Lovely pictures. Couldn't take my eyes off. I love this dish.

I make it the similar way too,one of our family favs.

never tasted this looks rich and creamy...lovely pics

Gravy looks so tempting..delicious and healthy curry,bookmarked

Looks really tempting.. I prepare the gravy only with tamarind and add the balls directly.. Let me try urs asap..

i have never tasted this curry, but ur recipe is tempting me to try it out, looks so delicious and a healthy curry, initially I thought lentil balls are fried or so, steaming the lentil balls is so good..!!

I love this paruppu urundai kuzhambu and yours look so delicious and tempting.

Never heard of steamed lentil balls.......very innovative.....Bookmarked.

The pics look way too good, especially the second one n the recipe is something I want to try right away!

thank you for linking this delicious looking kulambu looks wonderful

Beautiful clicks and the curry looks awesome!!! yummy!!

First time here... you have a very beautiful blog... The clicks are awesome..

I have shared few awards...pls come and collect it from my space..:)

they look so yummmm uma- loving it !

My favorite .. I make it the same way too. Nice clicks.

Zesty Palette

these look perfect..and very pretty pictures!

Richa@ Hobby And More Food Blog

tempting!!!!!nice presentation!!!

my mom and mil makes this but i have never tried on my own. wonderful clicks and looking very nice too

Fantastic clicks and looks scrumptious!

I can survive for many days with this delicious kuzhambu..makes me hungry..

This is one of favorite kuzhambu...beautiful clicks...liked your version

wow..You clicks makes me hungry here very much...

My favorite kulambu...

The kuzhambu is very alluring and delicious! Yum!

Wow this looks so delicious with such tempting pictures ...

Looks great, I suppose I can steam them some way.

nice recipe Uma.....the sourness of tamarind will be a great combination with the vadas.
A Girl's Diary
What's On Your Kebab Platter:win a gift

Healthy lentil dumplings in a spicy, delicious gravy!!! Sure to give this a try...
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

hi uma, lovely dish, you are a great cook.
you deserve recognition..
I have an award for you. please collect at my site. Do let me know if you cant download, gimme your email address, I will send to you by email .Thanks

kulambu looks tempting... I was planning on making it and I got my recipe right here :)

amazing clicks..perfect urundais in delicious it!!

most favourite recipe.. i too prepare it the same way but rarely as its very lengthy.. but looking at urs has really tempted me to prepare this sooner :)

Tempting gravy! Never tried this before. Superb snaps Uma!

Thanks for visiting my space...
Never heard about this curry,looks soooo tempting and mouthwatering !

Thanks Vineetha.


Thank you for the comments. Lovely blog!!!Paruppu urundai koyambu looks yummy!!!

Awesome dish.. Clicks are beautiful...

i like your pictures and would like to invite you to share them on

hey Uma why dont you send this to my event:
Event: Kerala Kitchen

This recipe looks so delicious!! It caught my eye on taste spotting.

Is this dish also called Malai Kofta?? I cant wait to try making it for my family.

Hi Gourmet Gateways,

Thanks for your kind words. This recipe looks like malai kofta but both the dishes are different. Please try out to feel the taste of it.


wow...looks so good i wish i could dive into the pitures and eat it! lovely recipe. i ate this dish at south indies restaurant and loved it...i couldnt rest until i found a recipe and yours matches what i ate very closely :)

Hi Uma!

I recently did your Prawn Masala Curry, which was the first indian recipe where I actually managed to get the taste right.

I would like to do this dish but unfortunately lack a Idli Steamer. Is it possible to cook the lentil balls with some other cooking method (perhaps conventional steaming)?

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