Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili Recipe

Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili Recipe
Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili is my Grandma’s signature side dish to go with rice and is also a very traditional tambram recipe that is most famously known as Iyengar paruppu usili or brahmin usili in my hometown . I love having it with Rasam or vatha kulambu. Its nothing but a cluster bean and lentil curry wherein a dal paste in made, steamed, crumbled and cooked along with kothavarangai (Cluster beans) to make a flavorful, healthy and lip smacking side dish.

Iyengar Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili
Your protein content in a well balanced meal is taken care of, if you make this dish when you had made a humble rasam or a spicy kulambu as the main dish along with rice. Its takes very simple ingredients that are available already in the pantry and consumes very less oil and you can increase or decrease your spice level by adjusting the quantity of red chilies that you use to suit your spice level.

Kothavarangai Recipes

Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili

Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Serves: 4Cuisine: South Indian Category: Side Dish

Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili Recipe


  • Kothavarangai (Cluster Beans) – 150 gms
  • Channa Dal/Bengal gram (Kadalai Paruppu) – 1/4 cup
  • Whole dry red chilies – 4
  • Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaf – 1 sprig
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp


  1. Wash and soak channa dal for 1 hour in enough water.
  2. Wash and trim the ends of the kothavarangai (Cluster beans) and chop it fine.
  3. Drain the water from the channa dal and place it in a mixie jar. Add whole dry red chilies, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, 2 pinch salt and grind to a coarse paste without adding water.
  4. Make goose berry shaped balls of the ground paste and steam it for 8-10 minutes. You can also flatten the balls before steaming. When you insert a toothpick it should come out clean. Transfer to a plate and let it cool. Crumble the steamed balls well with your finger tips and keep aside.
  5. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and when it splutters add urad dal and curry leaf and cook for 10-15 seconds will the dal becomes golden brown.
  6. Add the crumbled, steamed dal and saute for a few seconds. Add finely chopped kothavarangai, turmeric powder, salt, 1 tsp water and mix well.
  7. Close the pan with a lid and let it cook over low flame for 5-7 minutes.
  8. The mixture should look well merged and dry yet moist. By this time the kothavarangai must have cooked till soft and the raw smell of the crumbled dal have gone.
  9. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot with any spicy kulambu or rasam.

Kothavarangai Poriyal with Dal | Side dish recipes for rice


  1. Do not add water except for 1/2 to 1 tsp while grinding. The mixture should be thick.
  2. Many cook the kothavarangai separately and add it to the crumbled dal while cooking. But that is extra work and also leads to loss of nutrients. If you chop it finely, it will get cooked along with the dal itself under 5 minutes.
  3. You can also a pinch of asafetida while tempering for the dish but avoid it if you are looking for a devout vegan recipe.

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