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Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (Lentil Balls in Spicy Tangy Curry)

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_1 Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is a popular dish of Tamil Nadu. Lentils are the major ingredients in this dish with slight variations from home to home. I soak, grind lentils and shape it like balls to cook directly in the boiling gravy. In this method, the lentils dissolve slightly in the gravy to give a wonderful taste.

Lentils are known as Paruppu in Tamil and Ball/Sphere shape is known as Urundai in Tamil. Paruppu Urundai looks like  north Indian Kofta.


  • For Paruppu Urundai
    • Bengal gram – ½ cup
    • Toor dal – ½ cup Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_2
    • Pearl onions – 8 no
    • Garlic – 2 cloves
    • Green chilli – 4 no
    • Coconut – 1 piece
    • Turmeric powder – ½ tea spoon
    • Red chilli powder – 1 tea spoon
    • Rice flour – 1 table spoon
    • Fennel seed – 1 table spoon
    • Ginger – small piece
    • Curry leaves – few
    • Oil – 1 table spoon
    • Salt – as per taste
  • For gravy/curry
    • Tamarind – small lemon sizeParuppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_3
    • Pearl onion – 10 to 12 no
    • Garlic – 3 cloves
    • Green chilli – 2 no
    • Tomato – 2 no
    • Grated coconut – 3 table spoon
    • Fennel seed – 1 table spoon
    • Red chilli powder – 2 tea spoon
    • Turmeric powder – ½ tea spoon
    • Coriander powder – 2 table spoon
    • Mustard, fenugreek, cumin seed – ½ tea spoon each
    • Coriander curry leaves – few
    • Oil – 1 table spoon
    • Salt – as per taste


  • Paruppu Urundai: Soak Bengal gram and toor dal for 2 hours; grind it to a coarse paste in the mixer for few seconds.

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_4 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_5 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_6

  • Finely chop onion, green chilli, coconut, ginger, garlic and curry leaves (I did it in the food processer).

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  • Add this with ground gram paste; add rice flour, oil, salt, red chilli powder, fennel seed, turmeric powder and mix well.

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_9 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_10

  • Gravy: First grind coconut, fennel seed with 2 piece of onion to a fine paste; then chop remaining onion, tomato, curry leaves, coriander leaves, green chilli and crush the garlic; soak tamarind and extract the pulp.

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_11 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_12 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_13

  • Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu: Heat a pan with oil and do the seasoning with mustard, fenugreek, cumin seed and curry leaves; add crushed garlic, chopped curry leaves, coriander leaves, green chilli and fry for few minutes; then add onion and fry.

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_14 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_15

  • Add tomatoes and fry for few seconds.

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_16 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_17

  • Now add all dry spices, salt and mix well.

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_18 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_19

  • Add tamarind juice, 8 cups of water and boil for few minutes; add ground coconut paste and mix well.

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_20 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_21

  • Take small amount of lentil paste, shape like a ball and add in the boiling gravy carefully; add some more balls like this and let the gravy boil (make sure that that each ball is free to boil without touching each other; the number of balls to be put can be decided accordingly).

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_22 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_23 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_24

  • Lentil balls as they get cooked, will start floating one by one; after it starts floating, add next shift of balls and cook; repeat this process for remaining lentil paste (for the given quantity of ingredients, I got nearly 12 balls).

Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_25 Paruppu_Urundai_Kuzhambu_Lentil_Balls_Spicy_Tangy_Curry_26

  • Now Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is ready; garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.


  • Here is the cutaway section of a Paruppu Urundai.



  • After adding lentil balls, never stir the gravy till all lentil balls float on the surface. The gravy will get thickened by the small amount of lentils dissolved in gravy. The balls do not break or dissolve fully as we add little rice flour to bind them.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Trendsetters May 26, 2010, 11:08 pm

    lovely color….mouth watering…my favs…

  • Manju Rajender May 26, 2010, 11:38 pm

    My all time favourite. A proteinaceous treat. Love ur blog Kamala :)

  • Sushma Mallya May 27, 2010, 10:41 am

    Nice & different, i have never tried it before but looks really good..

  • Swathi May 27, 2010, 10:18 pm


    Parippu urundai curry looks really good. I miss my mom now, as it her favorite.

  • Vanishree Venugopal June 1, 2010, 5:54 pm

    gr8 recipe…i hv tried it before too…i also do it with a difference…i pressure cook the paruppu urundais before adding them to the gravy to save some time.

  • Raji July 26, 2010, 7:18 pm

    My cousin has tried it but the urandai become hard. i tried in this way i got it soft.

  • Priya Balaji March 9, 2011, 3:00 am

    Thanks for uploading such a good dish. I did today .It came out very well.

  • anitha May 27, 2011, 11:36 pm

    hi i tried this recipe yesterday i dont why the balls became very hard like stone would you please suggest me i want to try again thanku in advance and have a nice weekend bye.

  • Kamala May 29, 2011, 6:30 pm

    @ Anitha
    If the lentil balls were hard like stone, the reasons may be
    (i) if you grind soaked lentils to a fine paste instead of coarse paste
    (ii) if you overcook lentil balls in the curry
    (iii) if the rice flour quantity is more; rice flour is used only to bind the lentil balls
    Thanks for your response.

  • ajitha madhan June 22, 2011, 7:43 pm

    its really good. its my favourite item . thank u kamala

  • vino June 4, 2012, 6:49 am

    Hi mam, i tried this last friday, it was amazing, i have also tried this before with my knowledge, but this time i cooked based on your recipe… it was perfect, too good.. yeah the lentils should not be fine paste but coarse, also water should not be added to the coarse… thank you

  • Reshma June 16, 2012, 2:54 pm

    Really yummy tried it out and it turned well…..thanks for posting it..expecting more such dishes from you.

  • anonymous February 26, 2015, 10:00 am

    Wow awesome kulambu. Very neat and easy pictorial explanation the stepwise pictures are super. Please tell the tomotto in grams or cup measure. The tamarind in grams or spoon measure.

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