Sunday, October 24, 2010

Asparagus Paruppu Usuli (Lentil Mix)

Oct 24th 2010

Usuli is another south indian side-dish that is extremely tasty but often not made by our generation because it falls under that too much prep work category. Easy as it is, I have seen it being delegated to that "must-have-list" when mom or mom-in-law comes visiting.

I like this dish for the simple reason that the paruppu (lentil) mix that you add to your vegetable of choice can be prepped in advance one weekend when you have some time to spare and can be used another weekend when you don't have too much of that elusive time. Additionally it is a lifesaver when you have guests over suddenly. And it is a good way to get your vegetable and protein within one meal.

Difficulty level : Easy - Medium

Time: 30 min ( Prep Time), 20 min ( Cooking Time)

  • Thoor dhal ( 1 cup)
  • Chana dhal ( 1/3 cup)
  • Urad dhal ( 1 tbsp)
  • Red and green chillies ( 2 -3 nos each)
  • Asafoetida or hing
  • salt
  • Curry leaves
  • Turmeric powder
  • oil
  • mustard (1 tbsps)
  • chana dhal (1 1/2 tbsp)
  • urad dhal (1 1/2 tbsp)
  • Asparagus (a bunch)
Method de Preparation
  1. Soak the first three dhals together in water for about an hour. Drain for a 1/2 hour and then grind coarsely in the blender with the chillies, hing, curry leaves and some salt. This paste should be quite thick like hummus for example. Don't soak or drain for too long as then the dhal will end up becoming too soggy and will not separate out.
  2. Add a tbsp of oil to the paste and mix well and cook in a pressure cooker without the weight (meaning used a steamer) for a good 10-15 min until you see a lot of steam come out.  This is a good time to close your eyes and visualize how you would like to let out steam the same way! Turn off heat and allow both yourself and the cooker to cool.
  3. Meanwhile wash and chop the asparagus finely. Bend the asparagus and the point where you see it no longer bends and that is the part that needs to be discarded, however I uniformly just discard the last 1 inch or so. Use any other green vegetable here - beans, broccoli, Avarakkai, Kothavarangai etc. I especially like asparagus because I think the taste compares to the mother of paruppu usulis - vazhaipu paruppu usuli (Banana flower).
  4. Take oil in a pan, add mustard and when it splutters, add the chana and urad dhal and a few red chillies too if you like. Finally add a couple of curry leaves and add the steamed mix and separate it out into powder like consistency. If you are making more than what you will use at one go, at this point make separate packets and freeze once cooled.
  5. Cook the asparagus sprinkled with water and salt/turmeric and a little bit of oil in a pan. When you find the vegetable softened and cooked (~ 4-5 min) add the required amount of usuli to it and your paruppu usuli is ready.
  6. Serve this with rice and ghee or with any kind of Morkhuzambu.



MaySan said...

I am yet to try usili with asparagus. Thanks for this post, will try it soon.

Sri said...

ooo even I din't know asparagus could be done with usuli...usuli is my all time favorite. :-)

My Cooking Journey said...

I make usili very frequently, but never tried it with Asparagus. Good way to incorporate locally available vegetables into South Indian cooking. And you increased my curiosity to this vegetable by relating its taste to vazhai poo...Thanks

Priya said...

Thats a beautiful looking healthy asparagus usili..

Gayathri said...

I am definitely trying this out today! :)

Anu Karthik said...

@ MaySan : maybe next weekend :P
@ Sri: so this is you - I was thinking this was someone else :)
@ Sandhya: Hope you like it :) Thanks!
@ Priya: Thank you very very much!

Lavanya said...

I was planning to make beans parupu usili today.. Should try it with asparagus some time.. Thanks for the recipe.

Anu Karthik said...

@ Laavi: you are welcome :)

Shalini said...

i have never tried cooking paruppu usili. looks nice. thanks for sharing it

Gayathri said...

Turned out very yummy. Steaming the paruppu was a little tricky but no disasters.
Thanks for the recipe!

Anu Karthik said...

@ shalini: most welcome :)
@ Gayathri: glad you liked it. The steaming does get better with time.

Priya Naveen said...

Hi Anu,

Made this asperagus usili and it came out very well.My hubby n kid just loved it.I saw a recipe in your website n now I am not able to find it.It is vegetable manchurian or gobi manchurian.If you could tell me under which month you have posted that would be great.Planning to do this today for dinner.Would greatly appreciate if you could tell me.


Note:How do I see your reply?

Anu Karthik said...

Hi Priya,

thanks for getting back to me, and I am glad you all liked it very much. I don't have a post yet for manchurian I think.Is it something else you have seen or? I am also working on getting the search button to work and developing an index. I think that will help some. And you can see my reply here or my subscribing to comments below when you will receive it in your e-mail.

Priya Naveen said...

Thanks for getting back Anu.That's bummer n I don't remember what I saw :(. If I could suggest, if you add subtitiles like snacks, appetiser, gravy, rice etc etc.It would be easy for us to search.

Just my 2 cents.

Thanks once again

Anu Karthik said...

@Priya: That feature already exists currently and you can search through that.

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