Remember, I told you about a Veg cookbook I bought recently? Well, this recipe is from that one. The book has many easy and simple veg recipes that you can make on a daily basis. What attracted me most to this book is, the variety of recipes.
Most of the recipes in the book are new to me. The recipes are from different parts of South India, mostly Tamilnadu and Andhra. Though I’m familiar with the popular / famous dishes of these states, my knowledge about their everyday food is pretty lacking.
Like majority of Malayalees (or so I assume) the veg side dish for rice is a thoran (veg stir fry with coconut) or mezhukkupuratti (veg stir fry with basic spices). I think sometimes I’m so stereotypical when it comes to cooking. Say, when I look at a cabbage, it’s difficult for me to think of anything but Cabbage Thoran. How about you?
Anyways, this is something different from thoran and mezhukkupuratti. It needs a bit of prep work, but nothing difficult. I enjoyed making this dish, since I always love trying out something different. I especially liked the contrasting textures in this dish, the crunchy and flavourful lentil crumble to soft and silky beetroot stir fry.
I do hope you also enjoy this dish.
Here is the recipe…
Wash dals and soak in 1 cup water with dry red chillies for one hour. Drain and grind to a coarse batter by adding 1/4 cup + 2-3 tbsp water (refer notes). Add asafoetida powder and salt, mix well. Keep aside…
In the same cooking pan, add more oil and add mustard, urad dal, red chilli and curry leaves. Fry for a min. Add chopped onion and fry till it becomes soft, no need to brown…
Recipe adapted from “Simply South” by Chandra Padmanabhan
Beetroot Lentil Crumble (Beetroot Parupu Usili)
- 1/4 cup Toor dal (pigeon peas)
- 1/4 cup Chana dal (husked bengal gram)
- 3-4 Dried red chillies
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida powder (kayam)
- 1 big Beetroot 250-300 gms, grated
- 1 medium Onion chopped
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Urad dal (husked black gram )
- 1 Dry red chilli
- Curry leaves
- Oil I used coconut oil
Wash dals and soak in 1 cup water with dry red chillies for one hour. Drain and grind to a coarse batterby adding 1/4 cup + 2-3 tbsp water (refer notes). Add asafoetida powder and salt, mix well. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a wide pan and add grated beetroot and salt. Add 2-3 tbsp water and cover and cook, stir in between. Once it's tender, remove from the pan.
In the same cooking pan, add more oil and add mustard, urad dal, red chilli and curry leaves. Fry for a min. Add chopped onion and fry till it becomes soft, no need to brown.
Add the coarse dal paste and fry over low heat stirring frequently, till mixture is well cooked, crisp and resembles breadcrumbs (refer notes).
Mix in beetroot and cook for 5 mins. Serve hot as a side dish.
Make sure you dont add too much water while grinding the dal, it has to be coarse paste and not smooth paste. Start with 2 tbsp water and add more accordingly.
It takes a while for the dal mix to cook. It took around 10-12 mins on low flame for it to cook on low flame, once it's cooked, increase the flame to med-high to make it crispier. You can drizzle a bit oil in between to make it extra crispier. Once it becomes crispier, reduce the heat and add beetroot.
If you prefer it spicy, add 4 dry red chilies and add 1/4 -1/2 tsp of pepper powder in the end.