Black Gram Dhal Pakoda and Coconut Thuvaiyal (Chutney)

In Tamil Nadu, snacks made with ground black gram dhal, like pakodas, vadais, and bondas are favourite teatime snacks. Pakodas are the easiest to make as the batter consistency is not too difficult to achieve, and the batter need not be shaped in the form of the vadai with a hole, or the beautiful globular bonda.

Black Gram Dhal Pakoda and Coconut Thuvaiyal (Chutney)

Black Gram Dhal Pakoda and Coconut Thuvaiyal (Chutney)

To my knowledge the coconut thuvaiyal presented here is unique to Thirunelveli Tamil Pillaimar cooking. My grandmother, who hailed from the village of Panneerkulam in Thirunelveli District and then settled in Palayamkottai, used to serve this not only with pakodas but also with idly and dosai. The raw garlic is believed to keep the cholesterol under control, though it may give a garlic breath at times.


For the Pakoda

  • 2 C Black gram dhal (Vuluntham Paruppu)
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 1 large Green chilli, minced
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

For the Thuvaiyal

  • ½ Fresh coconut
  • 1 Green chilli
  • 3 small Garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp Salt, or to taste


For the Pakoda

  1. Soak the black gram dhal for 2 hours. Drain; set aside ¼ C of the soaked water.
  2. Place 2 handfuls of dhal in the wet grinder, with salt. Start the wet grinder and grind to a thick paste or thick drop batter consistency adding a handful at a time. A small amount of water can be added if the grinder struggles.
  3. Add the onion, chilli, and curry leaves to the batter and grind for 5 seconds before removing.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or kadai. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Fry on low or medium heat. Turn the pakodas over once. Remove when they are golden.
  5. Drain on kitchen towels to remove excess oil.

For the Thuvaiyal

  1. Scrape the coconut. Deseed the green chillis. Peel the garlic.
  2. Place all these with salt in a mixie or blender. Pulse at speed 1 for 10 seconds. Loosen out the coconut caught under the blade, pulse again for 10 seconds at speed 1.
  3. Transfer to a bowl. If it is too thick, add a tablespoon of water and mix well.
  4. Serve with the pakodas.


Thick drop batter: Batter of very thick consistency that can be pushed off a spoon into the oil.

Pakodas: Usually made with gram flour or ground dhal made into a push batter consistency with a variety of ingredients and deep fried.

Thuvaiyal: Thick freshly-ground chutney which has not been tempered with oil and mustard. There are a variety of thuvaiyals in Tamilian cooking.


3 thoughts on “Black Gram Dhal Pakoda and Coconut Thuvaiyal (Chutney)

  1. Pingback: Quick Adai (with leftover Dosai batter) | Kala's Kalai

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