|¼ cup||Bengal gram|
|2 tbsp||Split red gram (toor gram / thuvaram paruppu)|
|2 nos||Dry red chili|
|¼ tsp||Fennel seeds (perum serakam)|
|1 tbsp||Fresh grated coconut|
|4 nos||Shallots (sambar onions finely chopped)|
|2 nos||Garlic (minced)|
|6 nos||Curry leaves (finely chopped)|
|2 stks||Coriander leaves (finely chopped)|
|1 no||Tamarind (lime size)|
|3 nos||Onion (finely chopped)|
|1 no||Garlic (crushed)|
|1 tsp||Red chili powder|
|3 tsp||Coriander /dhania powder|
|¼ tsp||Tumeric powder|
|¼ tsp||Sambar powder (optional)|
|¼ tsp||Salt (or to taste)|
|¼ tsp||Cumin seeds|
|5 nos||Fenugreek seeds|
|5 nos||Curry leaves|
|3 stks||Coriander leaves (for garnishing)|
|2 tsp||Coarsely ground coconut paste|
|1 no||Drumstick (or 5 frozen pieces)|
Soak Bengal gram and split red gram for at least 2 hours. Drain and ground coarsely along with dry red chili, fennel seeds, grated coconut, turmeric and salt (from table-1). Soak the tamarind in warm water and squeeze out the pulp.
Mix chopped shallots, garlic, curry leaves, pinch of asafoetida and coriander leaves to the ground lentil. Make small lime size balls and keep aside.
Now, there are two ways of steaming these lentil dumplings.
1. You can either arrange them in slightly greased idli plates and steam for 10 to 12 minutes. OR
2. You can make the gravy little watery and add these directly to it while it boils. This method is the authentic version and slightly tricky for beginners.
So, lets go with the first method and steam the lentil dumplings and keep them aside.
Now for the gravy part…. these urundais easily drinks up all the juice from the gravy and leaves very little sauce by the time we sit to eat. Make sure you finish it within an hour or always make the dumplings and gravy ahead of time and later heat the gravy and then add the dumpling to it and simmer for few minutes. (Choice is yours).
Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Add in the chopped onions and garlic, fry till they are golden. Add the chopped tomatoes, cover and cook for few minutes. Now add the drumsticks, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, sambar powder and fry for 2 minutes or until the oil separates. Now add the tamarind pulp, salt and 1/2 cup water. Bring to one boil and simmer.
At this stage you can either
1.add the uncooked lentil dumplings and cook in the gravy for 4 minutes. Drop them in batches of 5, so as soon as its dropped, the gravy cooks them and they rise to top. Repeat the process for the rest.
2.add the steamed dumplings and simmer for 3 minutes.
When done, add the ground coconut paste, simmer for a couple of minutes and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with plain rice, poriyal and papadams.
Drumsticks are optional but when added gives nice flavour to the dish.
Try different variations like 1. use thinly sliced brinjals to increase the quantity and consistency 2. Use shredded carrots, beans and cabbage while making urundai to increase the take of veggies for picky eaters.
Meat version of this slightly different and includes coconut milk.
This recipe should yield about 15 Urundais (each about a size of lime). Mini idly (one used for making sambar idlis) plate is being used for steaming the dumplings.