Kumbakonam Kadappa – Moong dal curry – Side Dish for Idli/Dosa/Idiyappam


Kadappa – I had first tasted this dish at one of my neighbors place as a side dish for idly and I was immediately fell in love with it. Traditionally from Kumbakonam, this dish is not something that is known outside of that area. I had gotten the recipe from my neighbor and scrawled it onto my recipe book, completely forgetting about it. Yesterday, while looking at the book I found the recipe and immediately made it as a side dish for idly for dinner.

If you are wondering how this would taste: imagine a cross between moong dal sambar and a potato kurma. A very delicately spiced curry that is traditionally served with idli/dosa/idiyappam. It is made slightly watery in the consistency of sambar, but if made a bit thicker can be used as a side dish for puris, chapatis as well.


3/4 cup husked yellow moong dal/paasi paruppu
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, sliced
6 green chillies, slit
a pinch of turmeric powder
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 cloves
1 small piece of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 sprig curry leaves
salt, to taste

To Grind:
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/4 tsp poppy seeds/kasa kasa
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic


Soak the moong dal in water while prepping other ingredients.

Grind all the ingredients under ‘to grind’ into a smooth paste. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add in the cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves and let it infuse the oil. Add the fennel seeds and curry leaves next. When the fennel seeds sizzle in the oil, add the sliced onion and the sliced green chillies. Saute until translucent. Add in the chopped potato, pinch of turmeric and salt. Saute in the oil for couple of minutes. Add in the soaked moong dal and enough water to cover the dal. Let this cook until the dal is soft and cooked, but not mushy and the potatoes are cooked and fork tender.

Now add in the ground coconut paste and some water, rinsing the blender jar. Let this come to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the raw smell of the ground paste disappears. Switch off the stove, add in the chopped cilantro and the lime juice. Serve hot with idly/dosa/idiyappam.


Verdict: This was a hit with my family when served with idli. The curry is very mildly spiced only from the green chillies and has a great flavor from the potatoes and the fennel flavored paste. The lime juice and cilantro add a great finishing touch to this dish.

Sending this to Spotlight – Beans and Lentils, Cooking with seeds – Yellow Moong dal event series by Priya. Also sending to ‘Walk Through Memory Lane’ event series by Gayathri.

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