Step by step guide to make Paruppu Thogayal; a traditional South Indian lentil dip. This naturally vegan dish is sometimes referred to as Paruppu Thuvaiyal. Ideal for days when you are in a pinch or just want to wrap up the kitchen and put your feet up.
Just as I remember rasam and rice, I am almost forced to drool when I think of the Paruppu Thogayal my aunt used to make for such days. She used to make some Vatha Kuzhambu alongside this and we used to transform into gluttons whenever she made this.
Paruppu Thogayal is the answer to all your woes on days when the fridge is empty of vegetables. This humble yet nutritious recipe does not even call for onions and garlic.
What is Paruppu?
Paruppu in Tamil means lentils. All lentils are loosely referred to as Paruppu and these are considered as a staple food in many houses. We use lentils to make spice blends, Dals, Sambar and in recipes like this Thogayal.
We will use a combination of split white urad dal and Chana dal in this recipe. Both are very rich in nutrients and are highly recommended for people who do not consume animal based protein.
This is that magic ingredient which makes or breaks this recipe. The tang from the tamarind makes this simple dish fabulous in every sense. If you cannot source tamarind, you can always use 1 tbsp tamarind paste in this recipe.
You will need grated fresh coconut for making this. While you can use unsweetened desiccated coconut, the taste, texture and flavor will be a bit different. If you used the latter, you will have a Thogayal that predominantly tastes of coconut than of lentils. My recommendation is to skip the coconut if you do not have it.
A Thogayal is very different from chutney. Chutneys are liquid in consistency but a Thogayal is like a thick paste. So, please add only the amount of water mentioned here. You can use 1 to 2 tbsp more water if you are unable to grind the ingredients easily but I will not recommend using more than that.
Thogayal without coconut
What I love about this recipe is that it is so versatile. There are a myriad ways to make this. I make at least 4 different versions of this recipe and the one I have included in the recipe card is our family favorite. This version calls for coconut.
Personally, I love coconut because it makes the Thogayal smoother and creamier in terms of mouth feel. But if you are packing this as an accompaniment in the lunch box or if you want to store this in the fridge for a longer time, then you can skip the coconut completely.
Chettinad Paruppu Thuvayal
In this version, only Moong dal, red chilies and grated coconut are used. You will be needing 1/2 cup of split yellow moong dal, 3 to 4 cloves peeled garlic, 3/4 cup grated fresh coconut and about 7 to 8 dry red chilies.
To make this style of Thogayal, heat a pan with 1 tsp Indian sesame oil. When it is hot, add the chilies, garlic, and moong dal. Reduce the flame to the lowest heat and sauté the dal until it turns golden and aromatic. When done, remove from heat immediately and transfer the sautéed dal and chilis to a plate.
Allow this to cool. Now combine this with 3/4 cup grated fresh coconut, salt to taste and 5 to 6 tbsp water. Grind to a coarse paste. Heat a small pan with 1 tsp sesame oil. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and 1 sprig curry leaves. When the mustard seeds pop, pour this tempering over the ground paste. Mix well. Serve with rice.
Andhra style Kandi Pachadi
While we use Urad dal, Chana dal or Moong Dal in Tamil Nadu, they use Toor Dal in Andhra to make this Thogayal. In Andhra, they call it as Kandi Pachadi or Kandi Pappu Pachadi. This recipe calls for a whole post on its own and I hope I get to share that as well with you all.
Different ways to make this Thogayal
- Use only Urad dal and coconut. You can skip the Chana dal entirely too.
- Try replacing the white Urad Dal with whole black Urad Dal. This is much more nutritious than the white Urad dal.
- A combination of Urad, Chana and Moong Dal is also very delicious.
- The best way to enjoy this is with some hot rice and a drizzle of Indian sesame oil or ghee ( if you are not vegan).
- You can also serve this as an accompaniment to tangy Kuzhambu like Dhania Kuzhambu and Vathal Kuzhambu
- We also love eating this Thuvayal with curd rice.
- You can dilute this Thogayal with 1 cup water and serve it as a side dish with Idli or Dosa too. This also pairs well with Arisi Upma.
- If you are sick and craving for some comfort food, make this Thogayal a bit tangy and spicier and serve it with some hot Rasam and rice. You are welcome. 🙂
- I have used small pieces of coconut in this recipe. If you are a beginner, I suggest that you pulse these pieces down to a coarse powdery mixture and then use it in this recipe.
- You can also use frozen grated/shredded fresh coconut for this recipe. If you choose to do so, please thaw the coconut before using.
- I have used 1/2 cup water for the quantity of dal and coconut mentioned here. Since this has to be ground to a coarse thick paste, I recommend that you begin by adding water by the tablespoon and then grinding. This way, we can easily adjust the consistency as required.
Roasting the lentils
Soak the tamarind in 1 cup warm water for 20 mins. Drain all the water and set aside. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil. Add the dals and chilies and sauté till the dals are a light brown in colour. Add the tamarind to this. Mix. Remove from heat and transfer all the roasted ingredients to a plate. Keep aside and let it cool.
When everything is cool, transfer them to a blender along with coconut and salt. Pulse this mixture a few times to make grinding easier. Once the mixture has been pulsed, add 3/4 of the water and grind again. We are looking at a thick coarse paste like consistency here.
If you find the mixture too dry, add the remaining water and grind again to a thick paste. When done, transfer the ground Thogayal to a serving bowl.
Heat a small pan with sesame oil. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and when they pop, add the urad dal and curry leaves. Wait for the Urad dal to become a golden brown. When done, pour the tempering over the ground Thogayal.
Mix well. Serve with hot rice and some Potato Podi Curry.
- 1 Frying Pan
- 1 ladle
- 1 Blender
- 1 set of measuring cups and spoons
- 1 tbsp Sesame oil
- 2 tbsp broken white urad dal
- 2 tbsp chana dal
- 8 grams tamarind
- 3/4 cup grated coconut
- 10 dry red chilies
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Urad dal
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 12 Curry leaves
Roasting the lentils
- Soak the tamarind in 1 cup warm water for 20 mins.
- Drain all the water and set aside. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil.
- Add the dals and chilies and sauté till the dals are a light brown in colour.
- Add the tamarind to this. Mix.
- Remove from heat and transfer all the roasted ingredients to a plate.
- Keep aside and let it cool.
- When everything is cool, transfer them to a blender along with coconut and salt.
- Pulse this mixture a few times to make grinding easier.
- Once the mixture has been pulsed, add 3/4 of the water and grind again.
- If you find the mixture too dry, add the remaining water and grind again to a thick paste.
- When done, transfer the ground Thogayal to a serving bowl.
- Heat a small pan with sesame oil.
- Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and when they pop, add the urad dal and curry leaves.
- Wait for the Urad dal to become a golden brown.
- When done, pour the tempering over the ground Thogayal.
- Mix well. Serve with hot rice
For Instant Pot & Air Fryer Recipes
Instant Pot timings may vary based on your geographic location. Air fryer settings and timings may vary based on the capacity and the model of the Air fryer.
Nutrition values are provided here as a courtesy and are only a rough guide. Please consult a health care provider if you have any concerns.