Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili



Kothavarangai, gawar phalli or cluster beans is a vegetable which I was introduced to only after my marriage. Till then, though I used to see them in the markets, I had never tasted it. People visiting Kaashi, for the first time, to perform the ancestral rites, have to abstain from eating one leaf, one fruit and one vegetable for the rest of their lives. This is called as Phalapatra Tyagam. The leaf is common to all, i.e. the banyan leaf. The fruit has to be something other than the mango, banana and jackfruit and any vegetable. It happens that both my grandparents and parents, decided to abstain from cluster beans and hence the vegetable never entered our house. (I’m not sure which fruit was abandoned)  It was only after my marriage that I had it for the first time and it is my husband’s favourite. At first I did not quite like its taste as it has a slight bitterness to it. But when made in this usili form mixed with lentils, it does taste good.



Paruppu Usili is a dry vegetable and lentil based preparation, served as an accompaniment to plain rice and Sambar or Rasam. The vegetables commonly used with the lentils are Beans, Broad Beans, Banana Blossom, Cabbage and Cluster Beans. There are numerous ways of preparing this dish. Some people prepare using only tuar dal some with only channa dal. Some like a mix of both.



Serves - 3 to 4
What you’ll need
  1. Kothavarangai/Cluster Beans – 200 gms
  2. Tuar Dal – 2 tbsp
  3. Channa Dal – 2 tbsp
  4. Dried Red Chilli – 2 (adjust according to taste)
  5. Asafoetida – 2 pinches
  6. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  7. Salt to taste

For Tempering
  1. Oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  4. Curry Leaves – few sprigs

Method
  1. Wash and soak the dals along with the red chilli, for 20 minutes to half an hour.
  2. Drain the water completely from the dals and grind coarsely with chilli, asafoetida and salt. Do not add any water while grinding.
  3. Grease an idli stand, take a little of the ground dal and pat it on one of the idli grooves. Repeat till the ground dal is over.
  4. Steam this in a cooker for 6 to 7 minutes, or till a knife inserted comes out clean.
  5. Cool, remove from the mould and pulse in a mixer till the dal resembles a coarse powder.
  6. Wash the cluster beans, string them and chop finely.
  7. Pressure cook the chopped beans for 3 whistles. Remove from the cooker after the steam releases.
  8. Heat a Kadai with oil. Season with mustard seeds, once they start popping add the urad dal. Once the dal turns golden brown, add the cooked beans.
  9. Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Stir and fry for 3 to 4 minutes or till all the water is evaporated.
  10. Now add the steamed powdered dal and mix very well. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes and remove from heat.



Healthy and delicious usili is ready. Serve as an accompaniment with rice and Sambar or Rasam.

Note: 
Make sure the vegetable is completely dry before adding the powdered dal mixture else the curry would become very mushy.

28 comments:

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Delicious paruppu usili,my favorite.My mom makes it very often with cluster beans,as I rarely get that veggie,make it with beans...

Sobha Shyam said...

I guess this beans is amarakka as we call in malayalam and we do use this, but never made this with dal combo...lovely preparation dear :)

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Yummy stir fry...I like this beans...

PT said...

very different combo..

Mélange said...

Looks delicious and tempting Kaveri.You know I love usilis and the method..You made it really nice.

Prathibha said...

I like this as it tastes quite delicious just that labor intensive work

Chandrani said...

Usili looks healthy and yummy.


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jeyashrisuresh said...

Lovely presentation. yummy usili

Ganga Sreekanth said...

awesome.. .nice presentation !

Rashida shaikh said...

This is new to me...

Priya said...

Nutritious usili, its been a long i prepared some,give me that bowl feel like having it simply with a bowl of rasam rice.

Roshni said...

Interesting read Kaveri.. i used to not like this much cause the ones you get in trivandrum are always 'muttal' (hard) ones... Now I do not mind eating it.. kind of like it.. and paruppusali is my fav way of eating it.

Sanoli Ghosh said...

Dal with cluster beans.....very nice combo dear. Looks yummy and delicious.

Prathima Rao said...

Simple & healthy!!! Nice presentation :)
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Suja Manoj said...

Tempting usili,looks so yummy

halal foodie said...

this is something very new to me , looks delicious !

kitchen queen said...

Aha I am hungry looking at the parupu usili which is my favourite and made off and on.

Usha said...

Usili looks inviting !!

First time here you have a lovely space. Have added your blog to my blog roll so that I can keep up with your updates :)

Julie said...

Totally new dish to me,looks healthy & nutritious..I don't like cluster beans much,but this looks tempting:-)
Ongoing Events of Erivum Puliyum @ Palakkad Chamayal-Fenugreek Leaves OR Green Chillies

Kavitha said...

usili looks very inviting and love ur clicks :)

Hema said...

Delicious usili dear..

SouthIndianHome said...

Me too made usili in Vazhapoo only recently.Nice idea of powdering the cooked dhal which gives a nice texture. I dont know why I have never done that though my MIL gave that idea once.

Jemini said...

Looks delicious, cluster beans is one of my avial ingredient and sometimes i prepare cluster beans stirfry. this is new for me and will try.

mystylerecipes

Spice up the Curry said...

looking very yummy

The Yogi Vegetarian said...

Intersting story behind thid one, thank you ;)

Swathi Iyer said...

Kothavrangai usili looks delicious Kaveri. I make throan with them. We love it.

Vidhya said...

I love kothavarai, but hadn't made this in long time.Wish I could eat this off my computer screen.

Anisha Ranjit said...

It's interesting fact about giving up one leaf, one fruit and one vegetable after going to Kashi. I too never like them if they are cooked just by themselves but I love it's thoran with grated coconut. This one with lentils is also grate to mask that slight bitter flavour.

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