Kothavarangai (cluster beans) parupu usli

kothavarangai usli

Paruppu usli, a famous tam-bram recipe, is usually made with beans/cluster beans and a mixture of toor and channa dal. It goes very well with mor kuzhambu, vathal kuzhambu or rasam. I sometimes just mix it with plain rice and ghee and have it as such 🙂 There have been a lot of interpretations of making this recipe. I have used the recipe that my mom usually makes at home and I grew up eating. I have tried to give the alternative methods to do it as well. The method I have adopted here gives crispy usli as compared to steaming the dals which is also widely followed by many.


  • 2 cups chopped cluster beans (kothavarangai)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp toor dal
  • 2 1/2 channa dal (kadala paruppu)
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • one sprig curry leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil as necessary


Soak the toor dal and chana dal in water along with dried red chillies for 20 minutes.

Steam the cluster beans to cook them. Alternatively, saute the beans with little oil and cook them until they are almost done and set aside.

Drain the water from soaked dal and coarsely grind them with  red chillies, curry leaves, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and a pinch of asafoetida.  (Do not make a smooth paste. You should grind it coarsely. If you have few whole dals here and there, that’s ok!)

In a pan add 1-2 tbsp oil. When hot add the mustard seeds, remaining cumin seeds, urad dal, a pinch of asafoetida and let the mustard seeds crackle.

Then add the ground dal mixture, salt to taste and saute them until they are well cooked and their raw smell is gone. You will know that it is ready, when they no longer stick together like a dough and become crumbly and start browning. (You will have to keep sauteeing the dals to avoid them from burning.)

When done, add the beans to the dal mixture and mix well. Let them cook until the beans are well cooked! Adjust salt finally as necessary. Serve hot with rice 🙂


The method mentioned above gives crispy usli as we use a little extra oil to cook the dals.

Alternatively you could steam the ground dal mixture in a idli pan. When done, crumble the dal and add it to the cooked and tempered beans. This will  give you soft and healthier usli. (I usually saute the dals directly as mentioned in the recipe and use a non stick pan to consume less oil )


This entry was posted in PORIYAL (VGGGIE SIDES), Recipes, SOUTH INDIAN and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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