Sunday, September 29, 2013

Thokku Kattu or Kollu Paruppu Rasam

Prep time: 5 min                       Cooking time: 15 min                          Serves: 4

Kollu/ Kaanam in tamil is the pulse also known as hurali/uruli(in kannada), muthira (in malayalam), kulith (in marathi) and gahat or kulath (in hindi)... wait wait.. i am not so multilingual, this is from wikipedia, listed here so that you all can get associated with this wonderful lentil. It is rarely ever  found as a regular ingredient in North Indian kitchens and is only slightly more popular in the South. But this NO-OIL recipe is something which no paruppu/dal loving person should miss. It is very tasty, quite filling and what more, it is considered to be very very nutritious.
Don't get put off when I say horsegram is used for horse and cattle -feed... It is very much fit for our consumption too and the internet says it has wonderful health benefits (reduces insulin resistance thereby slowing down carbohydrate digestion, rich in polyphenols, flavanoids and proteins, etc...) 

And happy news for those people on a diet regimen is- It is VERY filling and a meal keeps you full for 6-7 hours!

This recipe here is for kollu paruppu/dal(called thokku in kannada) and rasam (kattu in kanada). It is quick and easy to prepare and tastes heavenly with steaming hot rice with a tiny dollop of ghee with the paruppu :-)


Horsegram - 150 gm, checked for stones (carefully since they are mostly of the same hue)
Garlic - 10-15 cloves, peeled
Curry leaves - 7-8 sprigs
Tamarind - a small lemon sized ball
Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp heaped
Salt - to taste

Pressure cook the horsegram with 2-3 cups of water for 7-8 whistles (yes, it takes time to get cooked properly). By this time, the dal would be cooked well but skin would be intact. Let steam release naturally and then strain the dal. Do not throw off the water. This is our main rasam ingredient :-)

Meanwhile, soak the tamarind and extract the juice in a large vessel. Grind the garlic, curry leaves and red chilly powder together into a coarse paste with just a sprinkling of water. Add a major portion of this paste (leaving out, say a teaspoon or so, in the mixer jar) to the tamarind juice and to this, add the water strained out from the dal. (This would be dark brown in colour - as you can see in the pic. The colour is more due to this water rather than the tamarind). Dilute with a cup of water if necessary and add salt to taste. Heat this concoction in a thick-walled vessel over low flame until the top turns frothy and just before it begins to boil, turn off the flame. Your kattu/rasam is ready.

Now, to the leftover paste in the mixer jar, add the cooked dal (in batches if necessary) and 2-3 ladles-ful of rasam and grind to a coarse dal-like consistency as shown in the pic. Add a little salt to taste and mix well. Voila, paruppu/thokku/dal is ready too in a jiffy. Serve this with hot steaming rice, a dollop of ghee on top (i repeat because it tastes wonderful so) with the paruppu. 

Note: If you don't mind a bit of oil, then the best combo for this is fried kovakkai/kothavarangai vathhal or raw-plantain roast.

( Vathhal means, dried-salted crisps of :
kovakkai - tindora/ivy gourd
kothavarangai/cheeni avarakkai - guar/cluster beans)