Delicious South Indian lentil stew recipe

Are you ready to take your taste buds on a culinary adventure to South India? Then let me introduce you to Parippu, a mouth-watering South Indian lentil stew that will have you coming back for seconds, and maybe even thirds!

As an Israeli chef who loves experimenting with new spices and flavors, I can tell you that this dish has it all. From the aromatic curry leaves and mustard seeds, to the warming cumin and turmeric, every bite is packed with bold and vibrant flavors.

But what makes Parippu so special is not just its taste, but also its versatility. This lentil stew can be served as a main course with rice or quinoa, or as a side dish to your favorite curry. It’s hearty enough to satisfy even the biggest appetite, yet light enough to enjoy any time of day.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is for you. So go ahead and gather up those ingredients, put on some South Indian music, and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Parippu - South Indian Lentil Stew
Parippu – South Indian Lentil Stew

Looking for a hearty and healthy meal that packs a punch of flavor? Look no further than Parippu, the South Indian Lentil Stew. This dish is perfect for any meal of the day, from breakfast to dinner, and everything in between. It’s easy to make, affordable, and nutrient-rich.

One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is its simplicity. The ingredient list is minimal, with most of the items found in any well-stocked pantry, making it easy to whip up on a busy weeknight. Additionally, you can customize the spice level to suit your taste buds, ensuring a delicious meal that’s tailored specifically to you.

Another reason why Parippu is so appealing is its versatility. You can serve it as a side dish, make it into a soup or even incorporate it into other dishes as a thick dal. The possibilities are endless!

But what really makes this dish special is the explosive combination of flavors resulting from key ingredients like curry leaves, onion, cumin seed, and mustard seeds. Together they create a savory broth when simmered gently with lentils until they reach the perfect level of tenderness.

Lastly, if you’re looking for an easy way to introduce Indian cuisine into your life or broaden your culinary horizons, Parippu is the ideal gateway dish. With its unique blend of spices and ingredients, this recipe has been passed down through generations and truly captures the essence of traditional South Indian cooking.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an easy-to-make healthy meal bursting with vibrant flavors and textures that’s versatile enough to eat any time of day or incorporate into other dishes – Parippu might be just what you need!

Ingredient List

“Satisfy your taste buds with this flavorful Parippu!”

Here are the essential ingredients you will need for Parippu, a flavorful South Indian lentil stew that will surely satisfy your taste buds:

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Asafoetida powder
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground turmeric
  • Salt

These are the basic ingredients needed to prepare a classic Parippu. However, if you want to add more flavor and texture to the dish, there are other ingredients you can use as substitute or variation which we will be discussing in the next section.

The Recipe How-To

“Warm up with a bowl of delicious South Indian comfort food.”

Step 1: Rinse the lentils and soak

In a pressure cooker, add 1 cup of red lentils along with 2 cups of water. Rinse the lentils until the water runs clear. Then soak the lentils for about 30 minutes. This helps to reduce cooking time.

Step 2: Cook the lentils

After soaking, drain the lentils and add fresh water.

Add 3 cups of water, 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped tomato, and a few chopped greens into the pressure cooker. Greens such as spinach or kale adds extra nutrition to your dish.

Step 3: Spices and Flavorings

Add salt, turmeric powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, and curry leaves. For heat, you can add some chopped green chilies according to your spice tolerance.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds once hot. Once they pop, add in a pinch of Asafoetida powder and sauté for a few seconds before adding it to your pot.

Step 4: Pressure Cook

Stir the ingredients well and cook on high flame until it first whistle. Then reduce the flame and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes.

Your dal paruppu kulambu is ready! Alternatively, this can also be cooked in a slow cooker if you want a thicker stew like consistency instead.

Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or flatbread.

Enjoy this delicious South Indian Lentil Stew Recipe with your friends and family!

Substitutions and Variations

“Get ready for a cozy night in with a piping hot bowl of Parippu.”

One of the best things about cooking is that you can always get creative and experiment with different ingredients to make a dish your own. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try with this South Indian lentil stew recipe:

– Lentils: You can use different types of lentils in this recipe, such as chana dal or moong dal instead of red lentils. Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the type of lentil you choose.

– Greens: In addition to spinach, you can also use other leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard or collard greens in this recipe. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

– Spice level: If you prefer a milder spice level, reduce the amount of green chilies used or remove them altogether.

– Coconut milk: While coconut milk adds richness and creaminess to the stew, you can omit it if you prefer a lighter version. Alternatively, you can use low-fat coconut milk or substitute with regular milk or cream.

– Vegetables: This recipe is versatile enough to add in vegetables of your choice. Try adding cubed potatoes, carrots or diced bell peppers for added color and nutrition.

– Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker variations: For a quicker cooking time, consider using an Instant Pot/pressure cooker to cook your lentils. The cooking time will be reduced considerably – cook for just 8 minutes on high pressure followed by a quick release.

– Slow Cooker variations: If you’re short on time and want to set it in the morning for dinner later, slow cookers are perfect option! Simply add all the ingredients and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 8 hours.

These substitutions and variations will enable you to tailor this classic South Indian dish to your liking without compromising its flavors. Have fun experimenting with these ideas until you find something that suits your palette!

Serving and Pairing

“The perfect dish to share with family and friends.”

Now that you have prepared this amazing South Indian Lentil Stew or Parippu, it’s time to enhance your dining experience with some serving and pairing tips.

The traditional way to enjoy Parippu is by serving it with steaming hot rice. The combination of the soft lentils in the thick stew with hot rice creates a comforting and wholesome meal. To add flavors and texture to the dish, serve it with a side of papadum or crispy fried poppadoms. You can also accompany it with some tangy pickle or salad for a refreshing bite.

For those who prefer to have Parippu as a standalone dish, you can also serve it as a hearty soup by adding more water and simmering it over low heat. The flavorful broth will take on the additional liquid and transform into a thick dal soup that can be relished on its own.

Pairing the right drink with Parippu can elevate your dining experience. This dish has a good balance of spice and creaminess, which pairs nicely with light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais, or a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. For non-alcoholic options, try serving Parippu with tamarind juice or buttermilk, which help soothe the spices in the dish.

Parippu is also versatile enough to be paired with various dishes, especially those that are also from South India like dosa, idli or uttapam. The lentil stew goes well with these fluffy savory pancakes as they complement each other in both taste and texture.

Whatever your choice of serving and pairing may be, one thing is certain – you won’t be disappointed by this flavorful South Indian Lentil Stew. It’s perfect for any occasion – from a cozy family dinner to a lavish feast with guests. So go ahead, indulge in this comfort food and let your taste buds explore the flavors of South India!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Fill your home with the aromatic spices of this Lentil Stew.”

Making the parippu lentil stew ahead of time is a great option to save time on a busy day. You can make a big batch of this South Indian delicacy and store it for the week. You can refrigerate the stew in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze it in portions for up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to serve, you can reheat the stew on the stovetop or in the microwave. If reheating on the stovetop, add some water and heat on low heat while stirring occasionally until heated through. If reheating in the microwave, add a splash of water and cover with a microwave-safe lid or plate.

If you find that the consistency has thickened after storing, simply add some water or coconut milk to thin it out before reheating. This will bring back its beautiful texture and flavor.

Parippu lentil stew is also a great make-ahead option for parties and gatherings since you can easily prepare it in advance and reheat just before serving. It pairs well with rice, naan, or any bread of your choice.

Overall, storing and reheating parippu lentil stew is easy to do without losing any of its delicious flavors.

Tips for Perfect Results

“A vegetarian dish that even meat-eaters will love!”

Making the perfect lentil stew can be a bit challenging, especially if you are a beginner. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you ensure that you end up with a delicious South Indian lentil stew every time you make it.

Firstly, make sure to rinse and soak the red lentils for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. This will help to soften the lentils and reduce the cooking time. If you’re in a hurry, you can also use an instant pot or a pressure cooker to speed up the process.

When cooking the lentils, make sure to add enough water and stir regularly to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You can also add some coconut milk towards the end of cooking for extra creaminess.

Using fresh ingredients like curry leaves, green chilies and onions is important for this recipe as they add aroma and flavor to the stew. If possible, opt for organic produce as it usually has better taste and nutritional value.

In terms of spice, adjust the amount based on your preferences. However, if you’re unsure about spiciness levels, start by adding small amounts and gradually increase until you are satisfied with the taste.

Don’t forget to let the stew rest for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. This allows all the flavors to meld together and results in a more tasty dish.

Lastly, feel free to experiment with different greens or vegetables such as spinach, carrots or potatoes to create variations of this recipe. Who knows? You might just discover a new favorite dish!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Parippu, a South Indian Lentil Stew recipe, is a must-try dish for anyone who loves the flavors of Indian cuisine. Whether you are an experienced cook or new to cooking, this recipe is easy to follow and yields delicious results that you won’t be able to resist.

The combination of spices like mustard seeds, cumin seed, and turmeric blend together perfectly with the lentils and vegetables to create a flavorful stew that will leave you satisfied and wanting more. This stew is not only healthy but also versatile, allowing you to customize it to your liking with substitutions and variations.

You can serve Parippu as a side dish or as a stand-alone meal accompanied by rice or bread. Additionally, you can store and reheat this stew easily for quick and delicious meals throughout the week.

Why not make this traditional Indian recipe a regular part of your menu planning? With its rich history in South India and Tamil Nadu, Parippu has become a staple in many homes, and now it can be in yours too.

So go ahead and give Parippu a try. You won’t be disappointed – I guarantee it!

Parippu - South Indian Lentil Stew

Parippu - South Indian Lentil Stew Recipe

Parippu is south Indian dal. This is a modification of the parippu recipe in The Food of India published by Murdoch Books. You can switch out the greens for another vegetable like chayote squash or green beans. You can also add carrots. To increase spiciness, just increse the amount of spice, but keep the cumin, tumeric, corriander ratio the same. Serve it over rice, and if you like, crumble potato chips on top.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine South Indian
Calories 311.5 kcal


  • 8 ounces red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 3/4 ounces unsweetened coconut and 1 cup water (or 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk)
  • 2 small green chilies, chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lb greens, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 10 curry leaves (optional)


  • Wash lentils.
  • If using coconut & water, place these in a blender & puree to create coconut milk. (It will not be as creamy as real milk, but that is just fine.).
  • Put lentils in pan with 2 cups water, the 1st onion, tomatoes, coconut milk, green chilis,tumeric, ground cumin,corriander, asafoetida, and salt.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 1/2 hour until lentils are very mushy and have lost their shape. Add water if necessary to keep it a thick soup consistancy.
  • After 15-20 minutes, add the greens.
  • Heat the oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds.
  • When they pop, add cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin is brown, add remaining onion and curry leaves. Cook until onion is golden brown.
  • Add onion mix to the lentils and cook for 5 minutes to meld the flavors.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 423gCalories: 311.5kcalCarbohydrates: 44.8gProtein: 16.9gFat: 8.7gSaturated Fat: 1.2gSodium: 597.1mgFiber: 8.5gSugar: 4.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Healthy, Indian, Lentils, Low Cholesterol, Vegan
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