Dhal or Parippu

I am going to start with Dhal or ‘Parippu’ [pah-roo-poo] because it’s super easy to make and a must have in any Tamil spread which usually consists of rice and at least 2 or 3 curries.

When comparing dhal recipes with my Western friends we have found that my mum uses an extra ingredient – ground ‘pepper&cumin’ – which gives the dish a final kick.



  • 1 cup Masoor Dhal (split organge lentils)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 medium chillies (green or red) chopped how you like it – length ways or in circles
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk – however normal milk or soy milk is fine too. If you want it milky – add more.
  • 1 medium onion chopped lengthways * I love fried onions so would put two in
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 6 or 7 curry leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 3/4 tsp salt *salt is really important in Tamil dishes – so don’t be sparing.
  • 2tsp  ground pepper&cumin spice * If this is the only curry you are serving use 3
  • 1tsp oil
  1. Heat the oil in a fry pan and add the mustard seeds
  2. Once the seeds start to pop, add the onion, garlic and curry leaves
  3. Once the onion starts turning golden, remove fry pan from the stove and set aside
  4. Wash lentils 3 times and cover with water in a pan
  5. Add turmeric and bring to boil
  6. Reduce the heat and add salt, chillies and onion mixture
  7. Once the lentils are soft, add 1/4 cup milk and the pepper&cumin and remove from the stove

9 thoughts on “Dhal or Parippu

    • Hi Jody, thank you for visiting my sight and for your support. I really appreciate it. Having spent a bit of time in Tamil Naadu, I felt the food was very similar. The thosai, iddly and sambar etc. Yum. I want to go back there. Your blog is great. I enjoyed the Thakkali chutney recipe. One day I would love to post on of your recipes on My Tamil Kitchen.

      • Thanks for your message Brami ! And would love to collaborate with you, sure we have a lot to share 🙂 I’m working on a Tamil illustreated-recipe cookbook (with recipes from my mum and grandma), would love to show you some of the drafts I’m working on !

    • @alisonorme always fresh if possible. Dried otherwise. Dish could take maybe 10-15min. You need to use the orange lentils

  1. Bless you for this recipe! You’d think it’d be easy but, for some reason, I’ve always struggled with paruppu curry. It ends up being too salty or turns into a really thick consistency after cooling down or something else of the sort. But, since I started using your recipe my paruppu curry has never gone wrong. Thanks to you I no longer fear the red lentil.

    For my own personal taste, I found that 2 tsp of the cumin & pepper mixture was overpowering so I use 1 or 1.5 tsp. I hope you keep posting more recipes like this. Thanks!

    • Thank you. Appreciate the feedback. I live in fear that others are trying these recipes and thinking they are terrible. I on the other hand keep increasing the cumin and pepper mixture amount.

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