Kadalai Paruppu chutney

If I pounce on the special music season supplementary pages from the day’s newspapers, skip the kutchery reviews, concert schedules and artiste interviews and turn to the last page to read the article on the canteen specials at sabhas, what will JKB (SindhuBhairavi movie) make of me? I worry sometimes.

Does that make me a Gnyanasoonyam too?
On trips to forests, Jagan looks for the tusker and I look out for the little shack that sells tea and Maggi. What does that make me? Apart from fat?


I love road trips and early morning ones at that. I am excited and talkative. I am upbeat and positive. I continue this way until the breakfast stop at a highway hotel – fluffy idlis, fragrant ghee roast and crispy ulundhu vadais with sambar, an assortment of chutneys and piping hot filter coffee. I am contented and ready to sleep the rest of the journey but I am usually not allowed to.

I love it that I get to eat breakfast at the table along with the rest of the family. And those freshly ground chutnies are my favourites – each piece dunked in a different chutney. I collect chutney recipes like I collect hmm.. biryani recipes, like others might collect shoes or stamps. I’ve never thought twice to walk up to someone and ask for their chutney recipe.



You cannot have too many chutney recipes. This Kadalai paruppu chutney however comes from my Maamiyaar’s repertoire. You can vary it a few different ways by switching the red chillies for fresh green chillies or throwing in one or two pods of garlic instead of ginger and so on and still make a great chutney every time irrespective of how you change it up.

Scoop up this chutney with idlis, dosai or upma. Enjoy! 


kadalai paruppu chutney

Kadalai paruppu chutney

Jayanthi Padmanabhan
Easy, delicious chutney to go with anything!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 4


  • For the Chutney
  • Kadalai paruppu/Channa dal – 2 tbsp
  • Grated Coconut – 1 whole coconut
  • Whole dry red chillies – 5 you could substitute green chillies instead
  • Curry leaves – from 2 stems
  • Urad dal – 1 tbsp
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece peeled and chopped
  • Tamarind – ¼ tsp sized
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • For the Tempering
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 stem
  • Asafoetida – a pinch


  • Heat a pan. Add 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add urad dal and channa dal and fry for 1-2 minutes on low to medium heat. Add chillies and curry leaves and fry for a minute. Add grated coconut, chopped ginger and tamarind and fry on low heat till the coconut is nicely roasted – about 3-4 minutes. Switch off. Cool, add salt and grind adding water as necessary to your desired chutney consistency.
  • To the same pan add 1 tbsp oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and asafoetida. When the dal turns golden, remove from heat pour the mixture over the ground chutney and mix well. Serve with idli, dosai or upma.


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