Inspired by: Mahanandi, Taste corner, Saffronhut, Food in the main, Sugar & Spice, Menu Today………A lot of inspiration there! Parippu usili is a stranger to me; I have never seen or tasted it before. I saw a lot of bloggers blogged about parippu usili, but never thought I would try it out until I see this picture. I think I saw this picture while I was hungry, so it went directly to the top of my must try list. This is a very simple dish. All the ingredients needed should be readily available in any Indian kitchen. So I had no obstacle on the way. Most of the times, the recipes on my must try list stay there with one or other ingredient missing. Almost all of the above mentioned bloggers have posted their detailed recipes. This is how I made it.
Soak ¼ cup chana dal plus ¼ cup toor dal for at least 2 hrs. Grind it coarsely with a couple of red chillies and salt in a food processor without any water. I overlooked turmeric, most recipes have it.
Steam cook the ground dal mix. I spread the mixture in the pressure cooker plates and steamed it in the cooker for 12 minutes without the weight on. Alternatively, you may nuke this mixture until done. Details here.
Let it cool completely and crumble the mixture using your hands.
Heat a tbsp of oil and fry this mixtire until it is dry. It is advised in some recipes that we use a non-stick pan for frying this. I don’t use non-stick cookware, so I fried in a very heavy bottomed stainless steel pan. Initially it was sticking to the bottom, and I was disappointed. I consoled myself that my grandmother didn’t have non-stick pans, and she was and is a great cook. But when the mixture got dry, it stopped sticking to the pan. I could fry it nicely.
Usili mix pictures posted by other bloggers seem to have a very coarse texture, mine turned out most like a powder(which reminded me of my first attempt at mysore pak. It turned out powdery exactly like the texture of this usili mix!). I think I ground the usili mix nicely instead of coarsely! Next time I will be careful.
Heat up another pan and add 1 tsp oil.
Add tadka – mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies, curry leaves.
Add chopped vegetables and salt – cabbage and green beans are what I used.
Cook for 5 to 10 minutes with occasional stirring.
Add the usili/dal powder mix and cook for another 5 minutes.
Protein packed side dish is ready to serve.
Serve with rice and rasam.