Saturday, September 4, 2021

Paruppu Urundai Sambhar

This lip-smacking sambhar is one of our traditional recipe and is a family favorite. For sure, this is a favorite for many people. In simple words, this is dal dumplings/urundai (balls) in dal sauce/gravy or sambhar. This south Indian delight is best served with rice.

This south Indian classic is a childhood favorite for many. Whenever this is made, it is a special day. It is a treat for us! The dal balls provide good protein and with rice is a comfort meal. There are two ways to make the balls - one steamed and other cooking in a pan. This recipe uses the latter.

While making this, it is important to note that, it is important to shape the when the dal mixture is warm. Else, it is hard to shape them. Just warm enough to handle. The dal should be ground to a smooth mixture which when cooked and cooled is easier to work with. After adding the dal balls, it is important to simmer on a reduced flame for a few minutes, else it may leach and loose the shape. Also do not boil for a long time after adding the dal urundais. The sambhar will thicken with time. It is ok to add some warm water to thin down. 


For sambhar

Tamarind - approx. 1 tbsp
Water -4 to 4.5 cups plus 1 cup
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Sambhar powder - 2 and 1/2 tsp
Toor dhal - 2 tbsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

For tempering

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 or 2 sprig
Cilantro - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp

For the dumplings/parupurundai

Toor dhal - 3/4 cup
Red chillies - 3 to7
Salt - 2/3 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Rice flour - 2 tsp
Oil - 1/4 cup


Soak the tamarind in a cup of water. Extract the juice completely with another three and half cups and set aside.

Soak two tablespoons of toor dhal in a cup of water, pressure cook, mash, and set aside.

Soak three-fourth cups of toor dhal in water for 30 minutes.

Grind to a smooth paste along with red chilies, salt, turmeric, and asafetida sprinkling with water as needed.

Heat quarter cup oil in a pan and add the ground dhal mixture. Cook stirring often for 5-7 minutes, till it gathers as a mass and doesn't stick to pan or spatula. Set aside to cool a bit.

In another sauce pot, add two teaspoon oil for tempering and heat. When it is hot, add the dried red chilies, mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaf, and asafetida. Carefully add the tamarind water. Add salt, turmeric, and sambhar powder listed under "for sambhar" and simmer for 5-6 minutes.

In the meantime, to the warm dal mixture, add rice flour and knead.

While it is still warm, divide the dough into equal portions and roll into a ball.

Add a cup of water and mashed toor dal to the simmering sambhar and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes.

Add the dal balls into the simmering sambhar. Lower the flame and simmer for couple of minutes. Switch off the flame. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve with rice.


  1. This is one of our favorite side with rice. The kids love the paruppu urundai! The pics look so tempting.

  2. A classic sambhar. The protein rich and delicious side dish pairs well with rice.