Thalicha Paruppu | Paruppu Kadaiyal


Today’s recipe is one of my comfort foods. Called as Paruppu Kadaiyal (Tamil) or Utti Pappu (Telugu), it’s one of the simplest and yet, one of the best comfort foods available in Indian cuisine. All you need is half a cup of split pigeon peas, called as Thuvaram Paruppu (Tamil) or Kandi Pappu (Telugu) and a pressure cooker. When I am feeling down, I think of the Pappu that my mom makes with hot rice and a dollop of ghee and my mood lifts up instantly. For cooking the dal in a pressure cooker and especially if you are pressed for time, soak the split pigeon peas (dal) in some warm water for 10 mins. Cooking the soaked dal in pressure cooker is super simple. Fill the pressure cooker with enough water to cover the dal. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 whistles – let the pressure drop. Gently mash the dal – which is called as Kadaiyal in Tamil. No other flavoring is required except for common salt. Mix it with hot rice and ghee – I am sure you would be in food heaven.

For this recipe though, since I wanted to use it along with my Poondu Puli Kuzhambu, I added a simple tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Also I used gingely oil or virgin sesame oil for making the tempering which is yet another classical combination. This is not much of a recipe, for it’s too simple but I still wanted to record it for the wonderful food memories I have associated with it.


To make Thalicha Paruppu | Paruppu Kadaiyal

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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What I used –
  • Split Pigeon Peas/Thuvaram Paruppu/Kandi Pappu/Toor Dal, ½ cup
  • Gingely Oil/Ghee, 1.5 tsp/1 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds, ½ tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, ½ tsp
  • Dried Red Chillies, 1 or 2
  • Asafoetida, ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, ¼ tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a few
  • Salt, as needed
  • Water, as needed


How I made –

1. In a bowl, soak the split pigeon peas/thuvaram Paruppu/kandi pappu (dal) in enough warm water for atleast 10 mins. In a pressure cooker, add the dal along with the water (should cover the dal) and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Once the pressure drops, gently mash the cooked dal. Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.


2. In a small pan, heat oil or ghee. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chillies cut in halves. As the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add asafoetida and curry leaves. Add this tempering on to the cooked and mashed dal. Mix well.


3. Serve hot with rice and ghee on top.


Notes –
  • Optionally, fried onions can be added.
  • The heat required for this comes from the red chillies. If you desire spicier version, add green chillies while cooking the dal. Optionally, red chilli powder can be added.
  • The same can be cooked without the pressure cooker. Use a thick bottomed vessel and cook the dal on medium flame until mushy. Refrain from constant stirring or the dal sticks to the bottom.

11 thoughts on “Thalicha Paruppu | Paruppu Kadaiyal

  1. Heaven indeed! I don’t have a pressure cooked so use a cast iron pan – I’m interested and grateful for the instruction that you should resist the temptation to stir all the time lest it will stick.

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