June 24, 2020

Kunukku | Dal Pakoda | Lentil Fritters - Traditional south Indian snack

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Kunukku or Kunuku as it is called is a very tasty and delicious snack made using different lentils.  An age old traditional snack of Tamil Nadu which used to be made to satisfy the cravings of some fried snack . Olden days eating out or junk food was something that was not encouraged and the elders at home would prefer to make some healthy yet tasty snack at home for the kids . Most common ones used to be Bajjiyas , medhu vadas or this kunukku. 
With the introduction of various snack options now a days , these traditional ones are slowly being forgotten . 

As 80s kids we never really bothered about eating less calorie food or no fried snack or bothered about something called dieting and losing weight . Running about and playing outdoors would burn all those extra calories and all our parents  bothered about was getting us to sit down to do our homework and studies as we would never like to come home after playtime .

This snack can be prepared using left over adai or idli batter or can even be made fresh by soaking and grinding the lentils.  
Today I will share the recipe of how to soak and grind the batter to make these kunukku .
There is no fixed recipe as such for this snack because it differs from home to home on how their family liking has been.
I shall share the version which has been liked in my place .

Donot forget to try out the Karamani Kunukku (lobia pakoras) on the blog which was my grandmother's specialty and also the traditional Moong Bhajjiyas which are a famous street side delicacy .

Soaking Time - 45 mins
Preparation Time -10 mins
Frying time- 20 mins
Complexity- medium

3/4 cup channa dhall /bengal gram dhall /kadalai paruppu
1/4 cup thoor dhall /pigeon peas /thuvaram paruppu 
2 tablespoon rice 
2 tablespoon  udad dhall /ulutham paruppu (for softness)
3 to 4 dried red chillies
2 green chillies
1 tablespoon grated fresh coconut 
Salt as needed
Pinch of hing/asafoetida 
10 to 15 curry leaves /kadipatha 
Handful of finely chopped corriander


  • Wash the dals and rice multiple times and soak it for 45mins to 1 hr . The water used for soaking should be 1 inch above the dhalls and rice after washing. Soak the dried red chillies also along with the dhalls. This will make the chillies soft and will grind easily. 
  • After 45mins, drain the water and add it to a blender along with salt , grated coconut, asafoetida and few curry leaves.  Reserve the balance for adding to the batter .
  • Add water little by little and grind to a semi thick batter . The batter has to be smooth and not very coarse and should not be very runny , else you cannot drop them into the oil for frying .
  • Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl, add in the chopped corriander and curry leaves and mix well . You can some mint leaves or chopped onions also if you like . I have not added. 
  • Heat oil in a kadai and when it is heated well, take some batter in your hands and drop them randomly into the hot oil. Reduce the flame to medium and fry until they turn crisp and golden brown. Donot crowd the kadai with many fritters as they wont get fried evenly.
  • Drain it carefully and repeat another batch until all the batter is over . Serve hot with some chutney or it can be had as is with some piping hot filter coffee or masala tea.

  1. Incase you are unable to prepare kunukku after soaking, drain the water and keep it in the fridge and you can grind it the next day and make kunukku. 
  2. Never leave the soaked dals outside as it will ferment and give out a foul smell .
  3. You can also grind the batter and keep it in the fridge and use it later for frying . Try to consume within 24hrs as the batter will begin to turn sour and the sour taste may not be liked by all .
  4. Freshly ground adai batter can also be used to prepare this kunukku.


  1. Very tempting dal pakoras Priya!! I love the addition of coconut here.. we too make but with coconut and curry leaves.. this must have added a nice flavourful to crunchy pakora..

  2. Wow these dal pakoda are delicious. Love the mixture of different dals and coconut. Will taste awesome I am sure.

  3. I make this usually with leftover Adai maavu, but this ratio also seems great with those crispy kunukku...

  4. They look so crunchy and yummy and if I make this, half would be finished by me alone. Tempting and delicious tea time snack


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