Paruppu Thogayal | Lentils Dip - Well roasted golden-brown lentils, coarsely ground along with smoked tamarind & other seasonings.
One of my favourite weekday meals to prepare. Very simple, light and refreshing. It includes Rice, thogayal & Morkuzhambu. I also sometimes include veggies or sundal as another side. This is a complete meal that does not require hours and hours of sweating in the kitchen. Since this is a lentil based thogayal, we generally pair this with mildly spiced yoghurt based Kuzhambu like Mor sambhar, Iru Puli Kuzhambu or Thengai araicha Kuzhambu.
Traditionally, this thogayal recipe is made with tuvaram paruppu. The proportion of the lentils is usually 1:2:4 - Ulutham paruppu, Kadalai Paruppu & Tuvaram paruppu.
But this recipe, from a TV show, calls for a equal proportion, and it also has a slight twist. Roasting tamarind in a open flame. Smoking tamarind is new to me. I have never heard of any dish that calls for this. I was intrigued in this recipe only because of this ingredient and it was worth it. It give a sweetish & distinctive aftertaste. I feel, Kodampuli aka Malabar tamarind, that is used in Kerala cooking could also be a good substitute here. You can read more about Kodampuli here. But do not over do on the tamarind, as it might overpower the entire taste.
To get a perfect Paruppu thogayal, in consistency & texture
- Roasting the lentils is essential in getting the perfect thogayal recipe. The well roasted golden brown paruppu is the backbone of this dish and it imparts that familiar thogayal flavour.
- On the peripheral it might look more like a chutney but there are significant differences. You must add very little water while grinding for a thogayal and it should be slightly coarse. Another major difference is it does not have any tempering added in it.
Click here to check my other thogayal recipes.
This recipe is adapted from Chef Venkatesh Bhat's Cookery show.
Paruppu Thogayal | Lentils Dip - Well roasted golden brown lentils, coarsely ground along with smoked tamarind & other seasonings.
- ⅓ Cup Tuvaram Paruppu | Yellow Split peas
- ⅓ Cup Kadala Paruppu | Bengal Gram
- 1 teaspoon Milagu | Black Peppercorns
- 6 no's Garlic cloves Medium sized, About 6-7, optional
- 3 tablespoon Fresh grated coconut
- 6 no's Vatha Milagai | Red chillies About 5-6
- Marble sized Tamarind
- Salt to taste
- A pinch Asafoetida
Insert the tamarind onto a skewer and roast this on the direct flame until it changes colour on all sides, approx for 1-2 minutes . Then add little water, soak for few minutes and extract the juice.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan on med-high flame and add the garlic cloves. Keep stirring for 30 seconds and then add the black peppercorns, stirring for another 30 seconds.
Then reduce the flame to medium, add the lentils and keep stirring frequently until it turns golden brown.
When it starts changing colour, add the chillies and keep stirring until the raw smell of all the ingredients goes off and both the lentils emit a nice aroma.
Turn off the flame and add asafoetida & grated coconut. Stir it well and the heat of the pan is enough to roast the coconut. Transfer everything to a plate. Let the roasted ingredients cool.
Now add everything into a mixer along with salt and the tamarind extract. Grind it to a thick coarse paste by adding a tablespoon of water at intervals; as and when needed to grind.
- Always use freshly grated coconut for Indian cooking unless specified otherwise or when you don't have access to the fresh coconut. There is a significant taste difference if we use the dry version or the desiccated one. When you use, reduce the amount a little. For the above recipe 2 tablespoon is enough if you are using the desiccated coconut.
- The key to achieving a great tasting thogayal is to roast the paruppu (lentils) well. They should become brown. If not the raw smell of the dahl gives the dish a different taste, not in a good way.
- Roasting the tamarind imparts a nice and distinctive flavour to this dish. You can also use normal tamarind if you are not able to do it.
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