If I was Peter, I would have called it 'Lentil Dumplings in Spicy Tamarind Sauce' LOL!
But since I'm just me, I'm calling it Parippu Urundai Kozhambu - just like I learnt it from my mom and how she learnt it from her mom!
This is a specialty sambar/ kozhambu - I haven't seen this made a lot around Tamilnadu. Its still a little new to many south indians.
To begin with, soak about a cup of toor daal in water for about 3-4 hrs. If you don't have that much time, just soak it for about 45 mins in boiling water.
Rinse all the water completely and transfer the daal to a mixie or a blender. Add 1 tsp of cumin seeds and a couple of red chillies and 1/2 tsp of hing. Blend it all together to form a thick dough like consistency of daal mixture.
Make small balls out of this daal mixture and set aside. You don't have to make perfect balls - just kind of rough coarse balls. Don't roll it for a long time between your hands to make a perfect ball - this seals the daal and might not cook all the way inside in the sambar.
Before starting the sambar process, make sure you have tamarind soaked in water. Squeeze out all the juice from the tamarind and set aside.
In a wide saucepan, add a tsp of oil. When that's hot, add a tsp of mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add a couple of curry leaves and fry for a min. Now, add a chopped tomato and fry for a couple of mins.
Add the tamarind juice and a little bit of water to it. Add salt, a tsp of sambar powder and a pinch of turmeric powder.
Let this mixture boil for about 8- 10 mins or until the raw smell of the tamarind is gone.
Now, add the daal balls one at a time slowly. Just let the sambar cook for some time after adding all the balls.
The balls will initially be at the bottom of the pan and as the cook inside, they will start to rise to the top.
You can see a few balls trying to peek their heads out - you are done!
Here's my Parippu Urundai Kuzhambu..
Serve hot with plain white rice. Add a tsp of ghee to the rice before mixing the sambar - brings out all the flavor.
Enjoy. Peace Out!