Ulundham Paruppu Sadham (Blackgram Rice) is a very unique rice prepared in almost every household in Tirunelveli, a southern town of Tamilnadu.
Traditionally it is believed that blackgram lentils, sesame seeds and fenugreek seeds help to increase women’s fertility. Sesame seeds are great source of vitamin B6 that is required to conceive & also to prevent miscarriage as it balances hormone level. Black grams are rich sources of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium & magnesium; hence it helps to increase hemoglobin count & bone mineral density.
We usually prepare this nutritious meal and serve them to young girls every month. Although this meal boosts women’s fertility, it can also be served to kids, men & old people.
Typically we serve blackgram rice in 2 portions: first we mix a portion of blackgram rice with sesame chutney, pour sesame oil generously over the rice and savor this rice with mixed vegetable gravy (aviyal), deep fried blackgram papad (ulundhu pappadam) & rice-shallot cracker (koozh vatral); next we mix rice & curd and relish with sesame chutney, mango pachadi and vadagam. But sometimes we may serve Blackgram rice without aviyal & mango pachadi.
Now lets get into the recipe:
- Boiled rice (puzhungal arisi) – 1 cup (200 g)
- Split blackgram lentils (de-skinned) – 1/2 cup (100 g)
- Cumin seeds or fenugreek seeds – 1 tbsp
- Garlic – 9 pods
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Water – 4 cups (800 ml)
- Grind garlic & cumin seeds coarsely and keep aside (if you are using fenugreek seeds, crush garlic alone using mortar & pestle).
- Dry roast blackgram lentils in medium flame before washing along with rice.
- Add washed rice & lentils, ground garlic, salt & water into a pressure cooker and bring to a boil.
- Close the cooker and simmer for 10 min.
- When the pressure is released, gently mix rice and dal.
- Sprinkle coconut gratings before serving hot ulundham paruppu sadham with ellu thuvaiyal.
Sesame chutney is an essential dish (without which blackgram rice can not be served) of this meal and we prefer to make it spicier, you can adjust tamarind & red chillies to suit your taste.
Lets prepare sesame chutney:
- Sesame oil (nallennai) – 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds (ellu) – 1/2 cup
- Red chillies – 10 Nos.
- Coconut – 5 pieces (2 inch)
- Tamarind (as shown in the picture below)
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Heat oil in a pan in medium flame, roast red chillies till they puffed.
- Remove chillies from pan before getting burnt or blackened.
- Add sesame seeds in the same pan.
- Roast them in low flame flipping every 10 sec till they stop spluttering.
- Grind all ingredients into a fine paste adding little (50 ml) water.
- You can use black sesame or white sesame or both in equal portions, traditionally we use black sesame only. But children may not like dark grey colored chutney, that you can see served on banana leaf in the second picture.
- We have to keep flipping sesame while roasting, if they were burnt it tastes bitter.
- This chutney can be prepared even without coconut.
- You can also add a teaspoon of powdered palm jaggery (karuppatti) to avoid becoming rancid.