Lunchbox Ideas 18: Paruppu Usli, Methi Sambar And More
Lunchbox Ideas 18
Short Break : Undu Urali Kozhukattai / Kara Kozhukattai [ Savoury steamed rice balls tossed with tempered split black gram , dry red chilli, curry leaves and grated coconut], Musk melon
Lunch: Rice with Methi Sambar [ Fenugreek greens and lentils cooked with tamarind water and sambar powder], Paruppu Usli [ Stir fried steamed veggies mixed crumbled steamed spicy lentil paste]
Prep Work For The Previous Evening-
1. Soak the daal for the usli overnight.
2. Prepare the rice dough for the kara kozhukattai and refrigerate in an airtight box once cool. [ coat with a thin layer of oil before refrigerating to prevent it from drying out and turning crumbly]
3. Wash and keep about 3 cups of methi leaves ready to be used the next morning.
4. Grated coconut can be stored in the freezer [this lasts for over a week to 10 days and is super useful]
5. You can also pressure cook toor dal for the sambar the previous evening itself. Store refrigerated once cooled.
6. Chop the beans and store refrigerated in an airtight container.
1. Pressure cook 1 cup of toor dal with 2 cups of water and a pinch of heeng for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is well cooked.
2. Chop the methi leaves roughly.
3. Heat 2 tsps of oil in a wok and add 1 tsp of mustard seeds.
4. Once the mustard splutters, add the chopped methi leaves.
5. Stir and cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add 1 large cup [ 3 tomatoes] of chopped tomatoes and 1 chopped green chilli.
7. Mix well and cook until the tomatoes become soft.
8. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of tamarind water [ soak a lemon sized ball of tamarind in 1.5 cups of water for 5 minutes to make the tamarind extract. Strain and use]
9. Add 1.5 tbsps of sambar powder and salt to taste.
10. Mix well and allow to come to a brisk boil.
11. Add the cooked dal. [slightly mash the dal before adding]
12. Add a little water to adjust the consistency if required.
13. Once it comes to a boil ,allow to simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat. [ Stir to avoid the dal from getting burnt]
14. Turn off the heat and serve.
Undu Urali/ Kara Kozhukattai
For the rice dough-
1. Mix 1 cup rice flour with 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt and 2 tbsps of oil. [Mix well to avoid any lumps]
2. Place on low to medium heat and cook , stirring continuosly, until the mixture comes together into a soft round ball of dough.
3. Transfer into another vessel and allow it to cool a bit.
4. Grease your hands with a little oil and make small marble sized balls of the dough.
5. Place these on a greased plate into the steamer and steam cook for 10-15 minutes.
[I used an idly steamer to do this]
6. Open the lid of the steamer and allow the rice balls to cool for a bit before tempering them.
For the Kara kozhukattai
1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan.
2. Add 1 tsp of mustard seeds, 1 tsp of split black gram/ urad dal, 1 red chilli [broken in half], a sprig of curry leaves and a pinch of heeng.
3. Stir well and add 1/2 cup of grated coconut once the urad dal turns a light shade of brown. Fry for about 30 seconds.
4. Toss in the steamed rice balls and add salt to taste.
5. Mix well and turn off the heat.
Here’s a link to make the sweet version of Kozhukattai.
1. Soak 1/2 cup of channa dal and 1 tbsp of toor dal in water overnight. [ even a couple of hours will do]
2. Drain the water and grind the soaked dals with 1 red chilli, 1 tsp of cumin/jeera seeds and 1/2 tsp of salt into a thick paste. [Do not add water]
3. Pat into thin discs and place on a greased plate. Steam cook for 10-15 minutes. [ I used the idly steamer for this]
4. Allow to cool before crumbling the steamed lentil paste into a crumbly “Usli”.
5. Steam cook 2 cups of chopped beans. I did this in a pressure cooker with very little water for 1 whistle. This way the beans are cooked fast and well but not turned into a mush. Drain the left over water before mixing in with the usli.
6. Heat 1.5 tsp oil in a pan and add 1 tsp mustard seeds.
7. Once the mustard splutters, add a pinch of heeng followed by the crumbled usli.
8. Stir fry for a bit and add the cooked beans.
9. Add salt to taste and mix well.
10. Cook over medium heat tossing the veggies and usli together for about 2-3 minutes.
11. Turn off the heat and serve.
* I steamed the parappu usli and the kozhukattai dough simultaneously to save time.
Hope you liked this simple yet hearty south Indian fare..
Try this Lunchbox idea too.