In a mixer, first grind cumin, fennel seeds (if desired), red chillies, coconut to a coarse powder.
Then add the toor dal (soaked, water drained) and grind coarsely (a little bit finer than we grind for masala vada) (don`t add water)
Add chopped onions, salt, coriander leaves and mix well.
Make small balls out of the ground batter and steam it by placing in greased idli plates and steam for 10 to 12 minutes.
Allow to cool and when still a little warm, shape tightly to make perfectly round koftas.
Extract tamarind juice, keep aside.
Grind the coconut and onion to a fine paste, keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadai, add the items for tempering.
Add garlic, onion and fry till golden brown.
Then add the chopped tomatoes and fry for a minute.
Add the tamarind extract,sambar powder,turmeric and bring to boil and then add the ground coconut and onion paste.
Add enough water and salt, jaggery (if desired) and boil for 10 mins till the oil separates and it turns thick (not too
thick as the usual kara kuzhambu, this kofta kuzhambu should be a little thinner in consistency)
At last, add the koftas and bring to boil and remove from fire.