Kathirikai Paruppu Kulambu | How to make Paruppu Kuzhambu | Lunch Box Series : LBS#68

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I know I am getting back to my Lunch Box Series after a long time. Not that I don’t carry packed lunches to work. I simply didn’t have anything new or sometimes lack of time, that forced me to drop this series completely. All the lunch box recipes are very quick to make, most of them take under 30 mins or max 40 mins in different phase to get done.
Making something different for the lunch box, made me take the extra step to click the pictures as I went about. The entire thing was done within 40 mins, with me doing the breakfast as well. So I am not sure exactly how much time I must say for the lunch box recipes alone.
Anyway if you want something quick to get done, you know what to try. Today’s special is all about Paruppu Kulambu, specially from Tirunelveli. In the Paruppu Kulambu that I had already shared, I mentioned a colleague of mine who hails from this city. I happen to have a conversation with another colleague of mine along with this friend. Guess what everybody talks only about food with me. So it’s no wonder we started talking about what’s made often at their place. They again spoke about Paruppu Kuzhambu and how differently it’s made. So I asked this friend to share the recipe and she connected to her Mom. Her mom said I can use any vegetable and I had only Brinjal and so it became Kathirikai Paruppu Kulambu.
I was happy when I had my colleague taste and certify that I had the exact replica of what her mom makes. This was only time I almost followed to the T and confessed about the additions I made. She said her mom forgot to mention those and I was smart in adding them myself! There is recipe writing for you.
Today’s Lunch Box had
Kathirik Paruppu Kulambuai 
Beans Aloo Curry
Plain Rice
Curd Rice                                                                                                                               
One main predominant thing that they kept saying was about using Pearl Onions for all the dishes. Even though I know Amma uses it very much, I haven’t been paying particular attention on the aspect of the cooling effect these onions are supposed to have. This brought to focus how much we ignore such important things while we cook. I decided I should be paying more attention to these things going forward.
I was also surprised of usage of Fennel Seeds in a sambar. I have only used Fennel Seeds for Kurma till now. Altogether this was a fantastic meal!



Kathirikai Paruppu Kulambu
Ingredients Needed:

Toor Dal – 1 cup
Hing – 1 big pinch
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fennel Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 medium
Brinjal – 4 medium
Red Chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Rock Salt to taste
Tamarind Extract – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves handful

For the paste

Fresh coconut – 2 tbsp
Pearl Onions – 5

For the Tempering

Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard, Urad dal – 3/4 tsp
Pearl Onions – 4 – 5
Curry leaves handful

How to make the Kathirik Paruppu Kulambuai

In a pan, take the cooked dal along with enough water. Add hing, then add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds. Let it start boiling.

Next add chopped tomatoes, followed by brinjals. Add chili powder, coriander powder, salt and tamarind extract. Continue boiling in simmer

For the paste, peel the pearl onions, chopped coconut and grind to a coarse paste. Add this paste to the boiling dal. Mix well.

In another pan, add oil, temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and pearl onions. Saute till the onions are browned. Pour this into the boiling dal.

Continue cooking for another 10 mins after adding coriander leaves.

Switch off when the Kulambuai thickens.


I added cooked dal, else you can pressure cook toor dal in pressure
cooker along with hing, tomatoes and certain vegetables till soft and
continue the same process.

Kathirikai Paruppu Kulambu | How to make Paruppu Kuzhambu | Lunch Box Series : LBS#68

Course Lunch Box, Main Dish - Gravies
Cuisine Tamil Nadu
By Diet Vegetarian
Dish Type South Indian Dals
Author Srivalli
Tried this recipe?Mention @cooking4all or tag #cooking4all!

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  1. Hi, I have been a silent blog surfer and i really appreciate ur time and effort u dedicate to ur blog.
    Just a query can I use the big eggplant for this kulambu. Thank u for ur time.
    Regards, Eswari

  2. Eswari Thank for delurking..:)..with regards to the size, how big are you thinking about?..We have about 3 – varieties right..use any of them..of course not that really huge one we use for making chutney, unless of course you want to chop them small..:)..

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