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Friday, August 17, 2007

Peddamma's Pappu Charu (kinda lentil/dal soup)

Pappu charu is a daily staple in every Andhrite home, but many are not aware of this incredible *Charu*, or else you can say it is a diluted version of sambhar except that there is no sambhar powder used in this. In the west to be more specific it resembles the taste of a lentil soup but little sour to taste as we use tamarind pulp juice/water. There are many variations to it, you can add many different vegetables to it like okra/bendakaya/bhendi, eggplant/vankaya/ baingan or raddish/mulangi/muli etc etc and are respectively called as bendakaya pappucharu, vankaya pappucharu, mullangi pappucharu.

Toor dal/red gram lentil

I learned the art of making pappu charu from my Peddama aka mother's elder sister when I went to Vizag on my 12th std vacation. She is a great cook and has magic in her hands in cooking traditional andhra recipes and non-vegetarian recipes. Today I made the simpler version on the request of Bee from Jugalbandi with just tomatoes, onions and green chillies. You can find on pappu charu recipe at Vindu's, Mom's Kitchen, Sailu's Food, Mahanandi, and Srivalli's sorry if I miss anyone, these are random listings for the recipe, Enjoy!

Source: My Peddamma
Cuisine: South Indian, Andhra
Prep time: 7 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Makes: 6 people
1 ½ cup red gram lentil/dal/toor dal
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1 big tomato, cut and squeezed
3 green chillies, cut length wise
1 small ball size tamarind, soaked in 1 cup water
1 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 cups of water
salt as per taste
for tempering/tadka:
1 tsp urad dal/black gram dal
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
1 tsp mustard seeds/rai
2-3 torn dried red chillies
1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped
few curry leaves
a pinch of asafeotida/hing
1 tsp of oil

  1. Wash and soak the dal for about 20 mins or so. Boil it in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles.
  2. Meanwhile soak medium marble-size tamarind ball in 1 cup of hot water. Once the tamarind is soft, pulp it with hands and filter it. Keep the tamarind water aside and if there is more pulp in the remaining tamarind repeat the same with 1/2 cup water this time and continue so on till you have squeezed all the pulp out of the tamarind just like you do for sambhar preparation.
  3. In a deep sauce pan add the red onions, chillies and squeeze in the tomato pieces. To this add the tamarind water, cooked dal, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt, mix well and if required add water if the mix is too thick. Bring it to a boil or till the onions are cooked.
  4. Lastly temper it with seasoning by heating oil in a kadai/round bottom pan add the mustard, cumin seeds, urad dal/black gram dal then add the torn dried red chillies, curry leaves, and garlic. Once they are golden brown turn off the heat and add asafeotida/hing. Immediately pour this seasoning into the dal soup, Pappu charu is ready!
  5. Serve hot/cold with rice and curries or pachadi's as a side dish

Here is step by step photo explanation of the procedure, I know which would be confusing with out this.

cooked dal mixed with tamarind water, onions, tomatoes, chillies, turmeric, salt and chilli powder

Pappu charu boiling on medium high

tempered pappu charu

Our meal today: Rice, pappu charu, cabbage pachadi and aloo methi fry

The recipe for cabbage pachadi and aloo methi fry will follow soon...


Dori said...

Hey! Glad I stumbled onto your blog, you have some amazing looking recipes here...can't wait to see more!

Aruna said...

Padma, the pappu chaaru looks heavenly!!!

Lia said...

waw its perfect combo for my lunch today :) thanks for drooped to my blog :)

sra said...

Like pappucharu, dislike sambar, but I make both so rarely :(

Suganya said...

Tadka makes all the difference in the world!

bee said...

thanks for the recipe, padma. this looks like sambar without sambar podi. i hate sambar podi, so this is my kind of recipe.

Argus Lou said...

That looks tangy-delicious! Padma, I 'invented' my own dhal curry to go with roti canai, a Malaysian panfried bread.

In my pantry drawer is a packet of Rasam powder for making a sourish, salty soup -- great for rainy days or when someone's nose is running. :-)

I would love to visit India one day soon. Maybe my other half could be based in Mumbai in a few years -- that'd be exciting.

Nupur said...

Thanks for a wonderful step by step guide to this delicious dal!

FH said...

Simple dal dishes are the best Padma, looks yum!:))

Padma said...

Hey Meeso nice to see you around here hope you had a nice nice surfing around my kitchen, tx for your heartfelt wishes...

Mishmash ! said...

Padma, hubby was in hyd for sometime and he always used to mention about this pappu charu whenever we spoke...that was one of his local fav's :)


Padma said...

Aruna, thanks for visiting my blog. glad you liked the charu you too have a great blog space dear!

Lia tx for your visit & comments

Sra, why is this so rarely made? Infact I cannot live without this charu..

Suganya you are very true abt the aroma/taste without the tadka..

Padma said...

Bee, I am glad you liked the recipe for charu...well count me in for the sambar hate list!

Argus, as always love your beautiful comments and rock girl! How come you are aware of the fact that you make rasam on a runny nose day #_@...

you know I am from Mumbai and will surely envy you moving there, Man I miss Bombay so much! I am sure you will hate first and then love the city after a couple of months!

Thanks Nupur, I love your smiling face on my comments page always!

Asha, are you back from your beach vacation! Hope you enjoyed and tx for your kind comments

Hey Shn tx for your warm comments, I betcha why your DH loved it!

Chef Jeena said...

Padma your pappu charu looks fantastic! Great pictures, I might give this a try sometime I love lentils. :)

Anonymous said...

Pappu charru too much !!! And thanks for linking me here.

I prefer pappu charu to sambar any day :)

Good one.

Cynthia said...

Oh that dal is divine. I'm a dal junkie.

Padma said...

@ Jeena, Glad you liked it dear, do try and let me know the taste

@ Mythili...even I prefer the same.

@ Cynthia, count me in...for dal junkie, coz I cannot eat rice without dal..

Sharmi said...

hey never heard of onions in pappu charu, thats new. your meals looks delicious.

Padma said...

Its common using onions in pappu charu. Guess onions are not used in certain parts of Andhra! Hey tx for your heartfelt comments...

Latha Narasimhan said...

Pedamma pappu charu chala bagha undi! just tried a little telugu!
like your kitchen!

Richa said...

finally i know the diff betn charu & sambar :) beautiful step-by-step expln, will try for sure :)

Athika said...

Hi Padma, It is a lovely recipe and different from the regular dal. I will definately try it today. I tried your spagetti and brushetta it was awesome. Thanks for sharing your lovely recipe waiting for new recipe.

Padma said...

You hit the bulleye Latha, seems you are in touch of telugu constantly ;)

Richa, tx dear for stopping by, nice to see your lovely comments

Athika, how did they came? I am glad you tried and let me know abt the taste too....u rock girl!

Unknown said...

Thanks Padma Garu, Your recipes are very useful for batchelors like me.

suchi said...

This is the most perfect pappu charu recipe ever.i made it right away and am bowled brings back memories of having pappu charu annam at my friends place in hyderabad,,,childhood was made up of so many pappucharu days...i used to lovingly call it papps!!
thanx for giving me my perfect paps....

Unknown said...

ok nice pappu charu darlin keep rockin........all de best fr ur futre.....

padma priya said...

Hi Padma

Your blog is great, nice recipes.

In Pappu charu recipe, i think we have to add little sugar or jaggery to it!

Prasad said...

Hello Padma

I myself am a skilled cook. So skilled, that until now, people would rather run than eat what I cook (that is, those whose life insurance wouldn't cover death by food poisoning).
So, for a person with such obvious cooking skills, the end result after following your instructions was reasonably good.And I intend to try out your other recipes and, yes, get somebody to eat it too :)


Satish Kandukuri said...

I tried it out just now. It was so smooth and filling. Enjoyed pappu charu so much.

Karunakar P said...

good one.. cooked for the first time... enjoyed it..

Usha Gayathri Madduri said...

Thanks for the recipe :-) I tried it. It was awesome. My family liked it very much.

mahendra said...

Wat a combination papu charu, cabbage chutney, aloo methi fry...padma gaaru meeru keka andi

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