Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Paruppu Usli with Gawar Beans

As winter approaches, the weather is turning to cool but the political scene here in Seattle is warming up to hot.

Midterm elections, where the locals would elect members to both Senate and House of Congress are in November and the candidates of both parties are in full campaign mode. It’s not only war of words and but this is also a gender war. On one side, that is on Democratic Party side, two pretty ladies. One is who looks like a confident, capable person for the Senate and for the House, the candidate name is Darcy Burner. She looks like someone from a stupor of mind numbing desk job one day got real mad at the current state of affairs and decided to run for the office. I really like her; she looks very professional, intelligent face and cute nerdy haircut. On the other side for Republican Party, two guys. For Senate, a guy who looks like a used car sales man trying to make a quick lemony sale, that kind of cunning personality and for the House – this guy looks like someone who took steroids in teenage years, off-putting, muscle/no brain kind of type.

There is an ad war going on between these candidates on local TV programs including cable. From what I have noticed so far, Democratic Party ads usually mention what they are going to do for the people of Washington state and country. Where as Republican Party ads are mostly about how “illegals” and Mexicans are going to take away the money, benefits from US or bad people are coming to our shores, boo… be very afraid and hide in your closet always, but vote for us in November. Sickening to watch that kind of sick, hate crime inducing ads from this party. That’s what going on in Seattle airwaves currently, thought some of you politics buffs would like to know.

When it comes to my kitchen, what’s going on is, I have prepared Paruppu usli with some leftover gawar beans of last week. This is another way I like to prepare these beans and the recipe inspiration is from this paruppu usli curry I have prepared last year adapting Shammy’s recipe. Gawar beans (from party of vegetables) and chana dal (protein party) are steamed and then stir-fried with onions and seasoning. End result is a pleasant, nutty taste that would be great with rice and sambhar/rasam/majjiga pulusu combination.

Steam-cooked Gawar Beans, Grinded Chana dal- Green Chilli Mixture, Onion and Curry Leaves


Gawar Beans (Mattikayalu): Washed, ends stringed and cut into one-inch pieces. Steam-cooked or blanched for few minutes to tender – about 2 cups

Chana dal: 1 cup, soaked in 2 cups of water (to soften the dal) for about 2 hours. Water drained and the chana dal is grinded to coarse mixture along with 10 green chillies, one-inch fresh ginger and one teaspoon of salt in a food processor.

Onion: Big one, finely chopped to small pieces

Popu or tadka ingredients along with two teaspoons of peanut oil

Sauteing the Curry

In a big, wide skillet, heat peanut oil. Do the popu or tadka (toasting curry leaves, dried red chilli pieces, cumin and mustard seeds – in that order).

To this tadka, add and saute onions and also the grinded chana dal-chilli mixture. On medium heat, constantly stirring, saute the mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the raw smell of chana dal goes.

At this stage, add the steam-cooked gawar beans. Add turmeric and salt to taste also a pinch of asafoetida. Mix and cook by covering the pan for about another 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.

This curry tastes great when served hot and I have been preparing it as a side dish to rice and sambhar. Good combination.

Paruppu Usli with Gawar Beans, Okra Sambhar and Rice

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chana Dal,Indian Vegetables,Matti Kaayalu(clusterbeans) (Monday October 23, 2006 at 11:48 am- permalink)
Comments (24)

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24 comments for Paruppu Usli with Gawar Beans »

  1. Not very often would one get a chance to leave the first comment on your blog! I am grabbing it this time – hopefully !
    Paruppu Usili is my all-time favorite. It usually appears on my menu when I make Okra Mor Kuzhambu. I like it with sambhar too. But the traditional logic behind making usili on mor kuzhambu days is to compensate for the absence of dal protein in mor kuzhambu, and of course in resource constrained homes, they hardly combine two paruppu dishes!
    Paruppu Usili -Sambhar even better – it’s a power protein meal!!

    great one!


    Comment by Desimom — October 23, 2006 @ 12:02 pm

  2. Hi Indira,

    Looks Yummy!! Off late I am eating more (cooking more) I think it is the result of visitng Mahanandi more :).Thanks though !!

    Comment by vijju — October 23, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

  3. First time when I prepared paruppu usli, we had it with chapatis. When I blogged about it, few kind souls hiding their horror, I guess, 🙂 kindly suggested in comments, that I should have paruppu usli with sambhar or yogurt preparation.
    Next time when I blog this recipe, okra mor kuzhambu will be on my menu.
    Thanks Desimom!:)

    Vijju::), thanks.

    Comment by Indira — October 23, 2006 @ 12:20 pm

  4. Occasional commenter her: Desimom is right. In the villages of Tamil Nadu, this traditional usili is prepared when the main dish is either rasam, puli kozhambu (is it called pulusu in telugu?) or More Mozhambu and it usually compensates for the lack of dal in these meals and hence balances out the protein contents. Also my grandma used to make this dish when she had to cook for too many visitors (30-40 sometimes) and she did not have time to prepare enough veggies for all of them!
    With sambar, the meal may turn out to be a bit heavy – but it is a protein packed punch indeed. Great to see this recipe featured again. BTW/ after living in the US, I have figured out that paruppu usili is great when made with broccoli (all the tastes meld well together) and love it even though I can hardly stomach broccoli in a non-oriental dish otherwise.
    Good luck with your wonderful blog.

    Comment by ash — October 23, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

  5. My mom makes similar dish called patoli with black chick peas and green beans. I just love the texture of the ground chana dal or chick peas. Great pics Indira and thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by Pavani — October 23, 2006 @ 12:53 pm

  6. As mentioned in some of the comments, this dish, called patoli in my family, is usually combined with a pulusu of some kind…all this talk of food combinations and balancing poteins makes me wonder how our traditional family members would react to the protein wallop in a typical American sandwich like bacon-egg-cheese!! I remember being astounded by a meal Rachael Ray was digging into on her 40$-a-day show – a giant steak with a huge chunk of grilled fish on the side along with vegetables and fries!! And here we’re talking about feeling heavy after eating some usili/patoli with sambar 🙂

    Comment by Sandhya — October 23, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

  7. There is only one way that I have always mad guvar (a maharashtrian dish that my husband taught me with kala masala), but this is a pleasant new change to try. I usually use the “Deep” brand frozen guvar from indian stores, and it turns out just as good as fresh!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

    Comment by Alison — October 23, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

  8. Looks delicious ! Is there a reason why you didn’t steam cook the coarse dal paste ? That’s how usili is traditionally prepared. This question is for my own learning not to find mistakes with your method.

    Comment by krithika — October 23, 2006 @ 3:07 pm

  9. Same pinch 🙂

    I made the same dish today..

    Comment by Arjuna — October 23, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

  10. Hi Indira

    I have been seeing your web site for quite some time. very neat work and it clearly depicts how much you concentrate while cooking.

    BTW this parrupu usli is made up of Thur Dhal mainly and it always prepared with puli kuzumbu or morkuzumbu in south. It gives a good combination.

    Have a good day


    Comment by viji — October 23, 2006 @ 7:06 pm

  11. The pics look great as usual, and just like the others haave already commented, my mom too usually paired it with majjiga pulusu, and I have been following that :-). More than the protien rich idea, its the dryness in this curry that prompts you to pair it alongside a soupy dish like pulusu/sambar/rasam

    Comment by Priya — October 23, 2006 @ 7:32 pm

  12. Hi Indira –

    Your write-up about the political segment was highly enjoyable!

    If you don’t mind, I wanted to share with you the link to my blog site that I have been working on. Your hard work on your blog has been a great inspiration to me to work on this!

    To give you a quick intro – the blog is borne out of a love for children’ literature and being a mother of two daughters now – we are totally into the world of kids’ books in our family these days! Please do take a look, and I will be thrilled and honored if you are the first one to visit the blog and leave comments! 🙂 Would love your feedback!

    thanks so much!

    desimom aka saffron tree aka prabha

    Comment by Desimom — October 23, 2006 @ 11:28 pm

  13. oops!! sorry forgot the link…

    Comment by Desimom — October 23, 2006 @ 11:29 pm

  14. A very nice meal, looks great!

    Comment by krista — October 24, 2006 @ 7:11 am

  15. Hi Indira, nice recipe. We make paruppu usli with tur dal. Will give chana dal a shot next time. In my opinion this goes best with molagu sambhar or seeramolagu rasam (black pepper sambhar or jeera-pepper rasam).

    Comment by Hema — October 24, 2006 @ 9:15 am

  16. Hi Indira, how are you liking it in Seattle? In Kerala, atleast where I grew up we didn’t eat a lot of dal. It was generally used for dosa/idli and a dish with grated coconut. When I went to Delhi as a student the runny dal at the canteen spoiled dals for me. With so many Indian bloggers, especially you, dal finding its way into our diet.
    The campaign ads can be horrendous and the candidates saying’ I support this’ makes you wonder about the candidates.

    Comment by Gini — October 24, 2006 @ 10:02 am

  17. First off, Welcome back!
    Secondlt, Happy Deepavali to you and all the other posters here.
    Thirdly, what a coincidence…
    I made this usili with frozen Gawar on Saturday along with drumstick ( moorungakai ) mor kuzhambu.
    I make it with toor dal just as the others have written.
    I steam the dal paste.
    One tip I learnt from my MIL this time: if the dal paste becomes a bit too mushy ( not coarse), let it cool and then scoop it all up and then pulverize it in Sumeet mixie for just a few seconds… it redeems the dish nicely.

    Comment by thodarumm — October 24, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

  18. Hi ash: Thanks for the informative comment.
    Paruppu usli with broccoli sounds like something I’d like to try.

    Pavani: I have never heard of a ‘patoli’ before. blog the recipe, please? 🙂

    Sandhya; I know, I don’t know about others but my parents would be horrified.

    Alison: gawar with kala masala sounds good too. I like kala masala flavored vegetables.
    Thanks and you are welcome.:)

    Krithika: I think the reason behind the steamcooking is mainly to aid the digestion. When I first tried this recipe last year, I wanted to experiment. So skipped steamcooking, directly went to frying the dal. End result was crispy, midly sweet and almost like toasted bread crumbs taste. We liked it and also able to digest it easily without any stomach troubles. So I’ve been preparing the sameway since then.

    Arjuna: . 🙂

    Hi Viji, Krista, Hema, Priya: Thanks for your comments.

    Desimom: Congratulations on your new site and best wishes!

    Hi Gini: Still finding our way through but we like it here. For the first time after coming from India, we are using our legs. We walk to library, to grocery shopping, for everything. All are in quite walkable distance. It’s nice to be able to walk to grocery shop and pick stuff for that day or week. Downtown is crowded always and pretty safe during regular office hours. So far, Seattle is not bad at all.

    Nice to see you here Thodarumm. Thanks and Shubha Deepavali to you as well.
    That’s a nice coincidence and thanks for sharing the tips.

    Comment by Indira — October 24, 2006 @ 6:24 pm

  19. Glad to hear that you are settling in well. Walking is something I miss too. But happy that you have found it again!

    Comment by Gini — October 25, 2006 @ 6:57 am

  20. I daily visit your blog. Gavar Bhaji is looking delicious. I am going to make the same thali today. Thanks for giving such a nice idea

    Comment by Manju Bansal — October 30, 2006 @ 3:29 am

  21. Hi Indira! Tried out all three recipes of urs with cluster beans and each one was simply *divine*.Thanks for sharing these delectable dishes!

    Comment by sree — December 2, 2006 @ 10:24 am

  22. I came across your website when I was searching for Andhra Vantalu in google. Your website is incredible. You have spent lot of time and effort to build this amazing and wonderful website. I really want to appreciate you and also want to thank you for all your hard work.
    I saw this recipe for ‘Patoli’ made with cluster beans which I wanted to make from a long long time. Now I can try your recipe.
    Thank you so much for constructing this website for people like me who want to try our home Andhra dishes. Assume that I’ll be one of the frequent visitors of this website:-)

    Comment by Srilakshmi Vijay — March 28, 2007 @ 5:51 pm

  23. Hi Indira,

    I’ve been seeing and doing some of your reciepes for more than year.. It is really superb especially some simple curries you present.Parru usili is made in Tamil Nadu and generally brahmins prepare this with vatral kohzumbu which is like pulusu without any dhal.

    Comment by Bhargavi Gopal — June 19, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

  24. the recipes on your website. They are refreshingly new and easy to cook and very tasty indeed. Hubby likes them too. This one came out so good, I’m making it tommorrow for a get-together. I mistakingly made it with chana dal instead of roasted chana dal…it came out good too. Thanks for your contributions.

    Comment by Mallika — August 25, 2007 @ 6:14 pm

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