A tasty south Indian paruppu usili, a vegetable side made with cabbage, chickpea flour and spices. Serve as a side with rice and dal for a tasty, healthy meal!
If you're Tamil or if you have read this blog for any length of time, you know all about Paruppu Usili, the side dish that makes healthy eating both decadent and delicious.
But if this is the first time you've heard about it, trust me, you're in for a treat.
There's really no way you can go wrong with this really simple, very traditional dish that rolls in the wonderfulness of veggies -- all kinds of them-- with the rich, nutty flavor of tiny lentil dumplings. I may have said this before on Holy Cow! but I'll say it again-- paruppu usili is perhaps my most favorite of all the amazing South Indian comfort foods I've learned from being married to a Tamil guy.
The basic paruppu usili paste for the dumplings (or rather crumbles) is a very simple one, and I often tweak it slightly to add more flavor to the vegetable I am using. For instance, I add a smidgen-- or more-- of garlic to my Broccoli Paruppu Usili, or sometimes I just go plain as with my Green Beans Paruppu Usili. In today's Cabbage Paruppu Usili, I added a teaspoon or so of sambar powder which took no effort but produced an amazing flavor.
More vegan Indian cabbage recipes
- Cabbage Kootu or South Indian Cabbage Dal
- Cabbage Rice
- Savory Indian Pancakes with Cabbage, Lentils and Brown Rice
Cabbage Paruppu Usili
- ½ head cabbage (finely shredded)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon udad dal (black gram dal)
- ¼ cup chana dal
- ¼ cup toor dal
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- A generous pinch of asafetida (hing)
- 2 dry red chillies
- 1 teaspoon sambar powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Salt to taste
- Soak the chana dal and toor dal for 30 minutes or more. Drain and add to a blender with the cumin, asafetida, chilies, sambar powder and turmeric. Add salt to taste and using just enough water to keep the blades moving, blend into a smooth paste.
- Remove the dal paste to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. The paste would be cooked on top. Turn over with a spoon so the uncooked paste on the bottom is now on the top and microwave 2 more minutes.Set aside.
- In a cast-iron or non-stick skillet, heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they sputter, add udad dal and stir, allowing the dal to brown lightly, about 30 seconds to a minute.
- Add the cabbage and some salt. Stir-fry the cabbage on medium heat until it is beginning to get tender, about 5 minutes.
- Now, with your fingers, crumble the dal paste into the skillet over the cabbage.
- Continue to stir-fry the cabbage until it is quite tender but has a slight bite, and the dal dumplings are a couple of shades darker.
- Check salt and turn off heat.