Tuesday, 28 August 2012

"Ona Thappan Ezhunellum Nerathoru Thaalapoli..." - Sadya Parippu

With just one more day to go for Onam 2012, I can’t wait to eat the authentic Onam feast tomorrow at one of the restaurants in Bangalore. Crossing my fingers and toes for an awesome and sumptuous meal.

One of the most modest and humble entries on the Onasadya is the Parippu. Served with piping hot rice, a drop ghee and crisp pappads (pappadams), this dish is absolute bliss! It is one of the simplest dishes on the menu and it definitely helps adjust the palate to accommodate the following “explosion of flavors” from the myriad of dishes served on the banana leaf. Keralites generally prepare Parippu in different ways, sometimes with an onion-tomato base or a mixture of ground coconut or a touch of freshly squeezed coconut milk.

However when it comes to a Sadya, this dish is dressed up in it’s simplest form. Cooked with a hint of green chillies and ginger and seasoned with aromatic coconut oil and curry leaves, the Parippu is “Simplicity at it’s best”. Like any Sadya, this dish too has a variety of ways in which it can be cooked depending on each region and can be cooked with either Green Gram Lentils (moong dal) or Split Pigeon Pea (toor dal).

I don’t think I can ever imagine a Sadya without kickstarting it off with this yummy and nutritious dish.


Split Pigeon Pea (toor Dal) – ½ cup (refer notes)
Shallots/Pearl onions (finely sliced) – 6 to 7 (refer notes)
Garlic (finely chopped) – 2 cloves (refer notes)
Ginger (finely chopped) – 1 piece (small)
Green chillies (slit lengthwise) – 2
Water (just enough to immerse the dal) (refer notes)
Coconut oil/ghee – ½ to ¾ tbsp (refer notes)
Curry leaves – 1 to 2 sprigs


Pressure cook the split pigeon pea/toor dal along with the pearl onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies, a few curry leaves, a pinch of salt and water for 1 or 2 whistles. (adjust cooking time according to your pressure cooker) Open the lid of the pressure cooker after 3 to 4 minutes. Mash the dal lightly. Check for salt and adjust accordingly. Pour in fresh coconut oil/ghee and crushed curry leaves. (crushed between your palms to enhance flavour) Cover and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot with rice, a drop of flavourful ghee and crispy pappadams.


1. I used split pigeon peas to cook this dish. These lentils don’t need too much water to cook. You can also use green gram lentils (moong dal) to prepare this dish. If you are using green gram lentils, make sure you add atleast 1 and ½ cups of water for ½ cup of the lentils to make sure the lentils are cooked well and ensure the right consistency.

2. When you are preparing the Parippu for Sadya, you can avoid the use of garlic and pearl onions. Of course, adding it will do no harm!

3. You can add either fresh coconut oil or ghee at the end. But I prefer the use of coconut oil because the dish is served with ghee anyway.

4. This dish has a semi-thick consistency. So make sure you adjust the gravy consistency accordingly.

5. To make it healthier, you can add winter melon or ash gourd or yellow cucumber cubes (1 big piece of any 1 of the veggies)  to the cooked dal and cook it for another 2 whistles or till veggie is cooked. For an authentic Onasadya, this is not added.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe. I’m sure you now understand why I said this dish is definitely “Simplicity at it’s best”. Enjoy!

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