Single Articles

Urundai kuzhambu


Urundai kuzhambu is a main course dish made of lentil balls in tamarind gravy. It’s a spicy and tangy dish, goes well with hot steamed rice.  I learned this recipe from my mother. Later, I googled and found few details about this dish. Its origin is from chettinad cuisine and its one of the spiciest dishes in the chettinad cuisine, I use my homemade chilli powder for this dish. Usually, kuzhambu varieties will taste better the next day than the day it is prepared. So is this too. Let’s try this


Recipe type -  Main course

Cuisine - South Indian

Serves   - 4

Author - Anuja Deenadayalan




  • 100 gm chana dal

  • 2 medium size onions

  • 1 medium size tomatoes

  • 2 green chillies

  • 1 teaspoon of fennel powder/ seeds

  • 1 teaspoon of mustard

  • 1 teaspoon of urad dal

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seed

  • 3 teaspoons of (homemade)chilli powder

  • ½ teaspoon of fenugreek seeds

  • ½ teaspoon of asafoetida powder

  • A pinch of turmeric powder

  • Tamarind size of gooseberry 

  • Cooking oil 4 teaspoons

  • Salt to taste

  • To Garnish Few Curry leaves and coriander leaves.



  1. Soak tamarind in water for 15min (it will be easy to extract the juice)

  2. Soak 100gm of chana dal in water for 1 hr.

  3. Drain the water and grind this in a mixer coarsely with fennel seeds and little salt. 

  4. Add 1 finely chopped onion and 2 green chillies to this mixture. 

  5. Mix it well and make them into small round balls. 

  6. Steam these balls in idly cooker for 10min and keep them aside.

  7. Take a pan with 4 teaspoons of oil and add mustard, asafoetida powder, urad, cumin and fenugreek seeds.

  8. Once they splutter, add some chopped onions and sauté well until they turn translucent.

  9. Add salt at this stage, so the onions will be cooked evenly and quickly.

  10. Next add the tomatoes and saute it well. 

  11. Add 4 teaspoon of (homemade) chilli powder.

  12. Add some water to it and let it boil in low flame for 10 minutes.

  13. Add the tamarind juice extract to it and let it boil for few more minutes till the raw smell goes.

  14. Now add the steamed lentil balls to the gravy and let it boil for 5 minutes.

  15. Garnish it with curry and coriander leaves.


Spicy and tasty Urundai kuzhambu is ready!


Tips / variations:  

  • Make sure you make the gravy a bit more watery consistency as, after adding the lentil balls the gravy will become thick. 

  • This lentil balls can be made cooked directly in the gravy too but, I steam it as I prefer this ought to be a healthy way. 

  • Adding shallot will enhance the taste of the dish.


Shelf life: 

  • Using gingelly oil will enhance the taste and extend the shelf life of the dish.

  • It can be stored for more than 2 or 3 days if refrigerated. 


Nutrients value:

  • Onions are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. 

  • Chana dal is rich in fibre and helps to lower cholesterol. It is a source of zinc, calcium and protein.