Paruppu Usili is a quintessential Tamil Brahmin dish, made of steamed lentils mixed with a vegetable. It is a very nutritious dish, especially for vegetarians as it got lentils to fulfill the daily protein needs. Green beans or cluster beans are the most commonly used vegetables to make paruppu usili, but other vegetables like cabbage and banana flower (vazhai poo) can also be used. Paruppu usili can be served with mor kootan / mor kuzhambu, sambar and rasam.
The lentil crumble can be made either with toor dal or chana dal, or a combination of both lentils. The lightly spiced lentil crumble is a delight to have by itself. In some households, the lentil are fried in oil until golden. This of course needs more oil, so I prefer this healthier version of steaming lentils. Mor kuzhambu and paruppu usili make a classic combination, but it also goes well with other South Indian gravies too.
Notes and Tips:
1. The moisture from the dals in enough to grind it, so do not add any water.
2. You can also grind the steamed dal mixture in a mixer instead of crumbling with hands, if you want smaller and finer lentil crumbles.