Chettinad Kola Urundai Kulambu

Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 3 Hr Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 3 Hr 30 Mins

For a south Indian, everyday lunch comprises rice, poriyal, and importantly kulambu/ gravy/ pulusu or Rasam. This is an important part of the lunch and made with tamarind base or buttermilk base with the addition of dals/vegetables. In Tamilnadu cuisine, Chettinad cuisine is very famous for its unique flavors. There are certain spices and vegetables that are specific to this region like cinnamon, kalpasi (Stone Flower), Fenugreek, and vegetables like small onions and country tomatoes.

One of the very famous kulambu variety is the Kola Urundai Kulambu made with dals and cooked on a tangy tamarind base. The Lentil balls/ kola urundai cooked in the kulambu renders a soft texture and are very tasty. The tangy kulambu with onions, garlic,  tomatoes, and topped off finally with coconut paste fills up your kitchen with Chettinad flavors. Try this kola urundai kulambu with hot rice and poriyal of your choice.

Check out the recipe of Vazhaikkai Kola Urundai here.


0/22 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
    For Kola Urundai / Lentil Ball
  • For Kulambu / Gravy
  • For Coconut Paste


0/8 Instructions
  • Soak half a cup of toor dal and channa dal each in water for 3 hrs. Wash and drain them. Add it to the mixer jar along with red chili and garlic clove.
  • Add chopped onions, curry leaves, and fennel seeds along with salt. Combine together and make equal sized balls. Set aside.
  • Add gingelly oil to a pan and once it turns hot, add mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, and fenugreek seeds. Let it roast until golden brown.
  • To this add chopped garlic cloves, onions, and tomatoes. Sautee them along with turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chilli powder. Let the raw smell goes off.
  • Add tamarind extract to it and cover with a lid. Let it come to a rolling boil stage and the raw smell of the tamarind goes off.
  • Add the kola urundai one by one to the kulambu when it reaches the rolling boil stage. Cover the pan and cook for about 6 - 7 mins until the kola urundais are cooked.
  • In a mixer jar, add coconut slices / grated coconut along with poppy seeds and fennel seeds. Grind them to a smooth paste.
  • Add the coconut paste to the kulambu/ gravy until it thickens. Switch off and serve hot with rice.


  • I have used equal portions of toor and Channa dal for this recipe. You can use only channa dal too.
  • If you are not comfortable in cooking the kola urundais in the kulambu directly, steam them for 5 mins in an Idli pot and then add it to the kulambu.
  • Make sure you do not add more water to the kola urundai. If it is very watery, it will disintegrate once added to the kulambu.
  • Leave gaps between kola urundai when cooking to avoid them from breaking.

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