Usili or Parupusili as it is commonly known is a very simple side dish. Generally it is mixed with veggies like beans, cabbage and banana flower and is named as so and so usili.
The veggie mixed usili is had as a side dish with rice. But this can be made plain as well, just the dahl mix. We, especially I, like having this plain. We mix this with rice & ghee and have mor kuzhambu as side. Usili means crumbled or to be more specific it is the action of crumbling the mix with hands.
Since this is made with dahl, sambhar is not prefered. Any other kuzhambu, slightly tangy and less spicy is favoured. The best combinations are Vatha kuzhambu and Mor kuzhambu. Again there is a cultural difference in eating this. While in my house we mix the usili with rice and have the kuzhambu on the side where as in my hubby's place its the vice versa!
A protien packed dish with cooked crumbled toor dahl. Any boiled vegetables can be added to this to make it a wholesome side dish or it can be mixed with rice and ghee and had as a main dish. (Refer notes)
- ½ Cup Toor dahl
- 2 tablespoon Channa dahl
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 6-7 Red chillies
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 3-4 Curry leaves torn
- 3 Red chillies
- Soak the dahl in water for about 1-2 hours. Then drain the water completely and along with asafoetida, salt and chillies, grind it to a almost fine paste.
- Meanwhile grease a plate or idli plate with little oil. Spread this evenly in the plate and steam it for about 10 minutes or until the dahl mix gets cooked. It will become pale in colour and when you open the lid, the aroma fills.
- Keep that in a vessel and let it cool. Then crumble the mix with your hand, as much as you can.
- Heat a Kadai, add oil and once hot, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then add the red chillies, curry leaves and the dahl mix.
- Keep stirring it and check for salt. If needed, add and mix well.
- Turn off the flame and serve along with rice.
- If you want to add veggies, cook them separately and mix it with the dahl mix in step 5. You can add beans, cluster beans, broad beans, cabbage and banana flower. You can also experiment with other veggies.
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