Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kumbakonam Kadappa - (Flavourful Lentils & Potato Gravy)

Call it the lunch packing blues or anything to that effect , I am constantly mired by what to wrap for my daughter's lunch. It has to be tasty, simple, healthy and not repetitive and also it has to appeal visually.To beat the packing woes, I plan well in advance the menu for the week and that helps immensely. For instance, this dish fits all the parameters and can be sure to get a rocking thumbs up

I am sure anybody who has been/visited South India and especially the temple town of Kumbakonam will not have missed the flavourful dish called as Kadappa. Veggies & lentils sizzle in onions & tomatoes and are merrily spiced up with fennel, coriander seeds and coconut. Carrots & beans can also be part of this dish and it is a perfect partner-in-crime for tiffins like dosa & idlis. Rice & chapatis also were great with this versatile dish. I call it versatile because it can be played around to suit your palate. Make it with or without tomatoes, Add a dash of lemon juice instead of tomatoes or spice it the way your taste buds clamour for, the dish gets a happy reception. The protein packed mung and the goodness of potatoes meant that my daughter was mighty happy with her lunch of kadappa & idlis. 

What's in it :-
For the gravy :-

  • Mung Dal/ Dehusked mung bean/ Paasi paruppu - 1 cup - cooked & roughly mashed
  • Potatoes - 2 - boiled,peeled & mashed
  • Onion - 1 large -sliced
  • Green Chillis - 3 to 4 - to taste - halved & slit in the middle 
  • Garlic - 2 to 3 pods - chopped
  • Turmeric Powder - a pinch or two - optional
  • Curry Leaves - a few
  • Salt - to taste
  • Water - as required
For the paste :-
  • Roasted Bengal Gram /Fried Chana /Pottu kadalai - 1 tbsp
  • Fennel Seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Tomato - 1 (small) 
  • Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
For tempering :-
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Whole spices like Bay leaf , Cinnamon , Clove , Cardamom - to taste
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
For Garnish:-
  • Coriander Leaves - few sprigs - finely chopped

How :-

Grind all ingredients for the paste with little to a slightly coarse mix and keep it aside. I have used tomato in the dish by grinding it to a paste with other ingredients, you can alternatively chop them to pieces and saute along onions.

Keep the lentil & potato cooked & mashed.
In a wok, add oil and let the mustard seeds crackle. Now add the whole spices and stir fry for a few minutes . Add the garlic, green chillis & curry leaves and as the garlicky aroma wafts all over, tip in the onions and saute till it turns fine pink . At this point add the ground paste and stir fry with little water till the raw smell evaporates. 

Finally add the mashed lentils & potatoes with enough water and bring it  to a boil. 

Let it simmer till it reaches the desired consistency and take off flame.
Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot !

Linking this dish as well as Plum-Green Pepper-Walnut Dip to Ayeesha's Iftar Moments
Also this  dish is off to Susan's MLLA # 37
MLLA37Year4Logo copy500


  1. Delicious and thick looking gravy... would be perfect for anything...

  2. Hi,

    Visiting your blog for the first time. Very clear steps and easy to understand. Glad to know you. :-)


  3. New to me...looks delicious and thick..

  4. nice and innovative dish..looks delicious!

  5. Wow...lovely gravy!!!! Very interesting recipe...

  6. super side dish for idly ,my fav one!!

  7. never heard of this recipe....sounds interesting....

  8. gravy looks so creamy and delicious..

  9. Heart ulle potato..kalakkareenga ponga! ;)

    Kadappa nallaa irukku!

  10. this is new to me, looks great, thick and creamy gravy..

  11. This is very popular in Tanjore , kumbakonam areas..Good that I see kadappa in many blogs.. Looks perfectly made Priya

  12. Heard about this recipe a lot, looks too good. Thank you for sending it to Iftar Moments.

  13. This is a new dish to me,sounds perfect for lunch boxes.

  14. This is new for me and looks delicious ...

  15. I have never heard of kadappa before..Looks really yummy..

  16. wow my fav too,ur version is too gud...need hot idlys now to taste this kadapa.

  17. this is new to me... looks creamy and delicious :)

  18. It looks like the ultimate confort food and I feel like taking the first plane to South India :-)

  19. You're right! Anyone would love this for lunch!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  20. This looks so comforting and would be great for lunch. I love the creamy texture.

  21. Priya, it doesn't get any better than pulses with potatoes. I would be very happy to be served this dish right now, even just a little to taste at this late hour.

    Thanks so much for contributing this fine recipe for MLLA.

  22. Unfortunately I've never visited Kumbakonam or tastes this delicious kadappa. Must try it in my own kitchen.. :)

  23. top notch buddy! clicks are inviting :)

  24. Wow.. I have never tried this dish.. I have to try it out. :)

  25. Very new recipe for me, sound interesting!!, looks delcious and inviting.

  26. Made these for BHW finally, loved it! Made bisi bela bath too, but didn't put it in the blog, we were hungry so finished it off quickly :D

    thanks for sharing this, we really enjoyed it

  27. Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

    Hotels in Trichy Thanjavur Kumbakonam