Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili

Paruppu Usili is a traditional side dish prepared with dal. Usili can be prepared plain with dals or in combination with vegetable like French Beans, Cluster Beans, Snake Gourd, Banana Stem or Cabbage. Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili goes well as an accompaniment with Rice and Mor Kuzhambu or Rasam.

Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili

Today’s recipe is Kothavarangai Puttu or Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili, which is my family’s favorite. In our family, we call it Kothavarangai Puttu. Cluster beans are finely chopped and sautéed with ground chana dal mixture and cooked. Usili is normally made with by soaking a mixture of chana dal and tur dal, then ground to a coarse paste along with red chillies. But, both my Mom and Mom-in-law make the Usili using chana dal and green chillies instead of red chillies. Addition of fennel seeds make this Usili very flavorful and when mixed with ghee and rice, they make a very healthy and filling lunch box menu too.



Kothavarangai (Cluster Beans) – 200 gms
Onion – 1 big
Green chilli – 3 or to taste
Garlic – 8-10 cloves
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Coriander leaves – few sprigs
Curry leaves – few
To grind
Chana dal (Kadalai paruppu) – 100 gms or ½ cup
Sombu or saunf (Fennel seeds) – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
To temper
Oil – 3 tsps+1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ¾ tsp
Jeera or cumin seeds – ¾ tsp
Urad dal – ¾ tsp


Prep time – 10 mins
Cook time – 30 mins
Total time – 40 mins
Serves 4

  1. Wash and soak the chana dal for an hour. Add salt and fennel seeds to the soaked chana dal and grind it to a coarse paste in a mixer jar. Do not add any water while grinding.
  2. While the dal is soaking, wash the cluster beans or kothavarangai, trim both the ends and chop them finely. Chop onion, green chillies and coriander finely. Peel the garlic. Set aside everything until use.
  3. Heat about a cup of water in a pan; add chopped beans, turmeric powder and salt needed for the beans. Cook until soft and tender. Strain the cooked beans and set aside. You can discard the leftover water (if any) after cooking the beans.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds to it and let them splutter. Add urad dal and jeera and fry until the urad dal turns golden brown.
  5. Add the onions, green chillies, garlic and curry leaves. Add salt needed for the onions and sauté until the onions turn golden brown in medium flame.
  6. Add the cooked beans and the coarsely ground dal mixture. Mix well.
  7. Cover with a lid and cook for 10-12 minutes in low flame. Stir in between to avoid dal sticking to the pan and to prevent lumps. If needed, add one tsp of oil.
  8. Once the dal gets cooked and the raw smell goes, switch off the flame.
  9. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Kothavarangai Puttu or Paruppu Usili goes well as a side dish for Rice and Mor Kuzhambu or Kara Kuzhambu. You can also enjoy the Usili by mixing it with rice and ghee.

Kothavarangai Paruppu Usili


  1. Usili can be made with any vegetable like French beans, Cluster beans, Cabbage or Snake gourd.
  2. Do not add water while grinding the dal.
  3. You can use red chillies instead of green chillies and grind it along with the dal.