Before the advent of readily available sambar masala powders in the shops, in the old days people had to make simple “ paruppu kuzhambu ” with tur dhal (red gram) and locally available vegetables without adding much spices etc. This is a specialty still liked by many folks in the interior south of Tamil Nadu.  Though it lacks the strong flavor and pungent taste of sambar, it has it’s unique taste and smell.

Servings: 3
Cooking Time: 1 hour


1.      Tur Dhal (red gram ) : 0.5 Cup ( 100 grams )
2.      Shallots (Small onion) : 10
3.      G. chili : 5 no
4.      Tomato : 1 small one
5.      Vegetable of your choice – preferably drumstick and 2 brinjals (Egg plant)
6.      Curry leaves and Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs each
7.      Cloves of garlic: 2 no
8.      Mustard : 0.5 Teaspoon
9.      Cumin Seeds : 1 Teaspoon
10.     Turmeric Powder: 0.5 Teaspoon
11.     Asafoetida : 1 pinch
12.     Salt: 1 Teaspoon
13.     Oil – Gingelly: 1 Tablespoon
14.     Coconut Gratings: 1 Tablespoon
15.     Water : 3 Cups

Paruppu Kulambu
Paruppu Kuzhambu


Wash the tur dhal and soak it in one and a half cup water for an hour. Clean and chop the shallots, tomato, vegetables and slit the g. chili. Grind lightly the coconut gratings along with half of the cumin seeds and 2 g. chili and keep aside. In a cooker boil the tur dhal along with the turmeric powder, garlic, asafoetida, 5 Shallots, 3 g.chili, tomato and the diced vegetables for 10 minutes till the dhal and vegetables are well cooked.  In a skillet add the oil and heat it over moderate flame and put the mustard seeds, the remaining cumin seeds, shallots, and finally curry leaves and fry for a couple of minutes.  Then add the cooked dhal with vegetables and add the salt and the remaining water with the ground coconut paste and let it boil for 5 minutes. Stir it well and before taking off the stove add the coriander leaves.

Tips:  This kuzhambu is suitable for rice mostly and people prefer the thinner version of this curry.  The coconut gratings can be added to the curry either ground slightly or as they are.