Daal Curry/Paruppu is a staple side vegetarian tamil dish used in conjunction with a main spicy curry and can be made using several types of daal’s, aka lentils. It's mild taste helps offset whatever spicy curry it's consumed with. If learning how to cook Tamil food is on your list of things to do then knowing how to make Paruppu is quintessential. Remember the Chicken Curry, Fish Curry and Mutton Curry recipes I previously shared? Well, customarily most tamils wouldn’t just eat that with rice alone, they’d have it with another minimum 2 side dishes/curries. Today's post is dedicated to making Paruppu/Daal Curry using Moong Daal (which are Mung Beans skinned and split, rich in soluble dietary fiber and protein).... and I am clearly kinda learning how to cook out of sequence here seeing as how I’ve learned how to make Chicken Curry but I’ve been letting Paruppu sit on the back burner till now. Wanting to learn from the best, I asked my Aunt Theva to teach me how to make the tastiest Paruppu (my entire extended family will vouch she is an incredible cook).
Hence, this is my Aunt Theva's recipe for yummy Paruppu/Daal Curry - all credits belongs to her.
Note*: Paruppu is also commonly made using Masoor Daal and Toor Daal. In addition, the terms 'Dal' and 'Daal' can be used interchangeably. If you are shopping at Indian grocery stores, you will most likely see "Dal" on the package labels.
- moong dal - 1 cup
- onion - 1/2 diced
- green chilli - 1 finely chopped
- garlic - 5 cloves smashed with no peel
- curry leaves - 12 finely chopped
- turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- garlic powder - 1 teaspoon
- asafoetida powder (optional) - 1/4 teaspoon
- salt - 1 teaspoon (taste test, you may need a bit more or less)
- milk - 1/2 cup
- Ground Mix
- black pepper seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- jeera/cumin - 1 tablespoon
First prepare the ground mix:
Grind 1 tablespoon of Jeera/Cumin with 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper seeds in a coffee grinder and have ready on the side.
In addition, also have a kettle with some boiling water ready in case you need more while you're cooking.
Approximately 10 minutes later, spoon out foam surfacing to the top of the pot and discard. Immediately, add ½ the diced onion, 1 chopped green chilli and 3 cloves smashed garlic (no peel) along with 12 finely chopped curry leaves (this makes it easier to chew and eat).
5 minutes later, add ½ a teaspoon of turmeric powder.
At this point if you don’t have a bit of water sitting above the daal, then pour ½ cup of boiling water, otherwise your Paruppu Curry will end up burning. See pic below: the first picture displays what it shouldn't look like and if it does, pour extra boiling water to sit just slightly above the daal. At this point, the daal is still in the process of cooking and it requires water for absorption in order for it to expand and get soft.
3 minutes later add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt (taste test and add more if required), 2 teaspoons of the ground mix consisting of black pepper - jeera/cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida powder (optional but it helps aid digestion) and lower heat to medium.
2 minutes later, add the extra 2 cloves of smashed garlic with no peel.
*Test if the daal is done cooking by taking a bit out with a spoon and mush it with your fingers, if it mushes to a creamy consistency it’s done, if not, it needs to cook longer. In my case, it wasn’t done. In addition, when it’s almost done cooking, you will see bubbles appear in the middle of the pot.
4 minutes later (now the moong daal mushes for me), add ½ a cup of cold milk, increase heat to med-high and about 4 to 5 minutes later, remove from heat.... and we've got another tamil dish buckled under our belt and well on our way to cooking a whole tamil feast :)
...and if you want to turn this into a soup, purée it and you've got an awesome Lentil Soup.