Jan 9, 2013

Urundai Kozhambu (Chickpeas Dumplings)

Beans and legumes are powerhouses of protein. But, unlike animal protein, these need to be consumed with a carbohydrate, to be absorbed optimally by our bodies.
It is for this reason, that several south Indian dishes are designed as a combination of carbohydrate and protein. Easy examples of this combination are idli, pongal and paruppu sadham (rice with lentils).

Urundai kuzhambu (literally dumpling stew) is both protein rich and healthy as the dumplings are poached in the stew directly, as opposed to being deep fried.

Needless to say, this recipe comes from my little white book of recipes.

For the dumplings:
  • Kadalai paruppu (broken chickpeas) - 1.5 cups
  • garlic - 10 cloves
  • green chillies - 3
  • salt, to taste
For the stew:
  • tamarind water - made from a key lime sized tamarind
  • chilli powder - 1 tbsp
  • turmeric - 1 tsp
  • garlic - 2 cloves
  • onion, minced - 1 big
  • tomatoes, chopped - 2 big
  • asafotida - 1 tsp
  • coconut paste - 1/4 cup 
  • cilantro, chopped - 5 sprigs
  • salt, to taste
for thalippu/ sauteing:
  • mustard seeds - 2 tsp
  • fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
  • cumin - 1 tsp
  • curry leaves - 10-15
  •  oil
  1. Soak the broken chickpeas in enough water to cover it, for 4 hours.
  2. Grind this with all other dumpling ingredients, until coarse. Take care to add little to no water, so the batter remains at cookie dough consistency.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the tamarind water, turmeric and chilli powder.
  4. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil on medium high heat. When the oil is ready, add the sauteing ingredients. When mustard spatters, add onion and whole garlic to it.
  5. Stir occasionally until onions have turned translucent.
  6. Add the tomatoes and little salt to quicken the cooking process.
  7. When everything looks mashed and well cooked, add in the mix from step 3.
  8. Add enough water to make a thin stew. Bring this to a boil.
  9. When the stew comes to a rolling boil, drop pinched-off lime-sized portions of the batter. 
  10. Take care to drop these dumplings around the outer edge of the pan. As the dumplings get cooked, these will move to the center of the pan and will float up. 
  11. With a skimmer, remove the dumplings to a plate.
  12. Wait until the stew has reached a rolling boil again and drop in more dumplings. 
  13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 until the batter is used up. If the stew has thickened between batches, add a little more water to maintain it at a thin consistency.
  14. Now add the coconut paste and bring to a simmer.
  15. Remove from fire and add back the dumplings.
  16. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.


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