Parippu in Malayalam literally translates to split beans or dal. Mildly flavored Mung dal curry, simply referred to as Parippu, is the first course in a traditional Kerala Sadya (feast). There are many other versions of Parippu – the ones to go with ghee rice , or rotis or with vegetables. But the Parippu for Sadya is the simplest and most delicious of all.
Sadya Parippu is very mildly flavored. There are no strong flavors here. A dash of cumin and coconut complements the Mung dal. No traditional tadka (sesonings) either. Usually you have this with rice and a dollop of ghee. This is definitely a light way to start the meal that winds its way through multiple courses of spiced and sweet dishes. As far as certain people in my household is concerned this dal with a dollop of ghee and a crunchy papad is all you need to make a meal :-).
Just 1 oz of Mung bean packs enough protein as an egg . It is also a source of many vitamins , minerals and calcium. Whenever I sing the nutritional praise of a food item , my kids roll their eyes as if to say “Hmm there Mommy goes again, as if all that is going to make this taste good !!”. But this was one meal that they all loved from the get go. Mellow, silky smooth and easy to digest.
This is an easy recipe as make . The skinned mung beans are dry roasted and cooked. Afterwards it is mashed and flavored with ground coconut and cumin . That is the basic parippu recipe and our favorite kind as well. Spice lovers add a green chili or 2 while cooking beans, and optionally you can add a curry leaf . No tempering or any such distractions here , just the wholesome taste of the beans .
Here is a the recipe in pictures :
Wash and drain the mung dal in kitchen towels until all the excess moisture is absorbed. Take a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker and heat over medium heat. Once the pan is hot add the mung dal to it and dry roast stirring often. Roast the dal till it is dry and begins to turn color. Pour enough water to cover the dal by about one inch, and add garlic, turmeric and green chilies if using. Cover and cook till done. If using a pressure cooker follow directions for cooking beans. This can be made without the pressure cooker as well. The dal takes a little longer to cook, and you might need to add more water.
While the dal is cooking, grind the coconut and cumin to s smooth paste adding a little water. Mash the cooked dal well. If it is dry add a little water to loosen it and bring it to a slow simmer.
Add the ground paste. mix well . If needed add enough hot water for desired consistency. Adjust salt and add a spig of curry leaf if desired. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat . Taste, adjust seasonings and turn off the heat .
The way I make it there is rarely any curry leaves or chilies. Try it without the optional ingredients, you will be surprised to discover how much flavor is packed into the tiny mung bean !! For an authentic taste serve over hot parboiled “Matta” rice (not pictured) with a dollop of ghee. If looking for a very vegan experience, replace ghee with extra virgin coconut oil.