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  • Preeti Shridhar

Purp Usli

First published on 28th October 2019, changed picture on 14th December 2020

Purp Usli, native of Tamil Nadu, is a dry dish made with lentils and vegetables. The vegetables generally used are beans, cluster beans, Cauliflower. I like to use beans and cluster beans. It's rich in proteins. You can use Tur dal or chana dal. I prefer making it with Tur dal. It is an excellent side dish with sambhar rice. I actually like to have it with hot rice and a dollop of ghee. Purp Usli is generally made on special occasions in Tam Bram houses. It is a little time consuming but the effort is justified as the end result is just heavenly. When I got married, my husband actually explained the procedure to me so that I could make it for him as he is very fond of it. There are two ways to make it. One is the way I have explained, by steaming the paste. The other method is to fry the raw paste till it is cooked. I find that more laborious and also much more oil is used in this method.

Ingredients: Tur dal 1/2 cup Beans 150 gms. Chopped into 1" pieces Salt 1/2 tsp Asaefotida a pinch Whole red chili 2+1 Curry leaves 1 sprig Oil 2 tbsp +1 tsp Water 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup Turmeric pd 1/4 tsp


  1. Wash the dal and soak it with 2 while chilies for 2 hours.

  2. Drain it, grind it with soaked chilies using minimum water.

  3. The dal paste should not be very fine but slightly coarse.

  4. Mix in 1/4 tsp salt.

  5. Grease a pan in which you will steam this dal paste.

  6. Spread the dal paste in this pan.

  7. Steam it for 20 minutes.

  8. To check if it's done, insert a toothpick, it should come out clean.

  9. Keep it aside to cool.

  10. Meanwhile boil the beans with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt.

  11. Strain them to remove excess water.

  12. Once the dal paste has cooled completely, break it thoroughly using your finger tips.

  13. Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a pan, saute the beans for a minute to remove any excess moisture.

  14. Keep it aside.

  15. In the same pan add remaining oil, add asaefotida and mustard seeds.

  16. Once the seeds crackle, add curry leaves, whole red chili, turmeric pd, saute for 30 seconds.

  17. Now tip in the dal mixture.

  18. Saute for a couple of minutes, break the lumps, if any with the back of a spoon.

  19. Now add the beans.

  20. Saute for another 2 minutes.

  21. Remove from fire.

  22. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  23. Serve with sambhar, rice.


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