Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Pickles, South Indian

Coriander Chutney Powder/Kothamalli Chutney

Coriander Chutney powderMoms never cease to surprise! Just when you think you have tasted almost everything that your mom makes, there comes a new one. How I wish culinary skills were hereditary! So, the latest one that mom surprised me with is a coriander chutney powder. This spicy chutney powder is made with lentil and fresh herbs. It is easy to make and totally irresistible.

Ingredients:
Fresh curry leaves – 1/2 cup
Fresh coriander leaves – 2 cups
Dry red chilies – 5-6
Urad dal – 1/2 cup
Tamarind – small lime size
Asafetida – 1 tsp, if powder; about one-inch piece, if using whole asafetida.
Salt to taste

Method:
Ingredients

Clean coriander leaves and curry leaves using water and wipe dry with a towel. Remove curry leaves from stalk and keep aside. Chop coriander and keep aside.

In a thick bottomed pan, dry roast urad dal until it turns light brown. If you are using asafetida powder, add it to the urad dal just before you remove the urad dal from fire and lightly roast. Remove from the pan and keep aside. Add the red chilies to the pan and dry roast until the raw smell is lost and the red chilies start turning black. Ensure that flame is in ‘low’ because chillies can get burnt easily. If you are adding whole asafetida, dry roast it until it swells and starts giving out flavor. Remove from pan and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the curry leaves. Dry roast until the curry leaves start turning crisp but retain the green color. Before you start grinding the ingredients, ensure that the mixer jar is completely dry. Add the roasted urad dal, asafetida, and dry red chilies to the mixer jar and grind until the ingredients turn into a coarse powder. At this stage, add the curry leaves and grind again. When the curry leaves are also ground, add fresh (but dry) coriander into the jar and grind again until all the green leaves are powdered well. Add salt and tamarind and grind again until all the ingredients are ground and mixed well. Remove from the jar. Adjust the salt to taste. Freshly ground chutney powder might be a little moist because of the use of fresh coriander leaves. You could even make tiny balls out of the ground powder or store it in powder form.

Transfer the ground chutney powder into clean, dry jar. Refrigerate and use. This will last up to a month. This chutney powder can come to your rescue on a lazy day when you are too lazy to make an elaborate meal. Just make rice and serve this chutney powder with warm rice, ghee, and papad. You will not miss sambhar or any other subzi! You can try this chutney powder with idli/dosa also.

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Breakfast, Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Pickles, South Indian, Tiffin

Milaga Podi (Dry Chutney Powder)

There are two items that you will definitely find in every South Indian household – curd and milaga podi (dry chutney powder or gun powder as non-Southies call it). Podi is potent gun powder that can make any food item tasty! It is a must-have in every household as it has a good shelf life and can accompany most food items such as dosa, idli, and even rice. Lazy to grate coconut and grind a chutney? All you need to do is take few spoons of podi, mix some oil in it and serve along with the dosa or idli. You wont even miss the juicy coconut chutney! Podi is also a safe bet when you are packing food for long bus/train journeys.

dosa and idli served with podi and chutney

Every household has their own secret recipe for podi and it tastes different in every house. When in school, I used to taste podi from my friends’ lunch boxes and each of them would taste different. Podi would differ in texture, taste, and visual appeal. Grainy, powdery, spicy, orange, greenish black, they come in all varieties. Recently, I tried MTR chutney powder (they market podi by that name) and I quite liked the taste of it. Unlike authentic Tamil Nadu style podi, this one is tangy. I believe tamarind is an ingredient in that recipe. Though I liked the MTR taste, being the conservative types when it comes to food, I prefer the authentic spicy taste without any tanginess.
This recipe is a mix of 2-3 different types of podis that I have had.

Ingredients:
Black gram/urad dal/uzhunnu parippu (white or black) – 1 cup
Bengal gram/chana dal/kadala parippu (optional) – 1/4 cup
Raw rice (optional) – 1/4 cup
Dried red chilly – 10
Black pepper (optional) – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 6-7 stalks
Asafoetida – size of a marble/2 tsp
Sesame seeds/Til/ellu (white or black) – 2 tbsp
Salt – as required

ingredients for gun powder

Method:
In a heavy bottomed pan (preferably iron), dry roast the grains one after the other until the grains turn red. First roast black gram. Then roast chana dal, followed by rice. Okay, I cheated! I roasted chana dal, kept it aside and then roasted the raw rice and black gram together. That works. When the black gram and rice are half done, add red chilies, black pepper, asafoetida, and curry leaves. If you are using asafoetida powder, you can add it towards the end of the roasting exercise. Turn off the fire and then add the sesame seeds and salt. Keep aside and let it cool down a bit.

While the roasted grains are still warm, dry grind them in a mixer. You can choose to make it powdery or grainy as per your preference. Store in a dry air tight jar. Will stay good for 3-4 months.

Gun powder

Choice of oil to be mixed with podi is a personal preference. Podi is served along with sesame seed oil (til oil/ellenna/nallenna) in most parts of Tamil Nadu. No points for guessing the oil that Keralites prefer!

Idlis and dosas soaked in spicy podi are a rage in restaurants these days. Whether you have a chutney and sambhar to go along with it or not, a well-made podi can up the taste quotient of even a poorly made idli/dosa.

Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Indian, Kerala Recipes, Vegan

Kerala Style Chammanthi Podi (Dry Coconut Chutney)

Spicy, roasted coconut chutney powder that tastes great with rice. Contains no oil. This is different from the chutney powder that is eaten with idli and dosa.

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Ingredients:
Urad dal (without skin) – 300 gm
Raw rice* – 2 tsp
Coconut (greated) – 1 medium-sized coconut
Asafetida (powder/chunks) – 1 tsp
Dry red chilies – 20 (adjust to taste)
Tamarind – a lemon-sized ball
Black peppercorns* – 1 tsp
Salt – As required

* In case any of these ingredients are unavailable, check the alternate ingredients section for other options.

Alternatives:
Peppercorns and rice are optional. Those who do not prefer pepper can use red chilies alone.

Preparation Time: 10min.
Cooking Time: 40min.

Method:

Heat up a pan (preferably iron). Add the urad dal and raw rice. Dry roast these two ingredients until golden brown. Constant stirring is required. Add the red chilies, black peppercorns, and the asafetida powder towards the end. If you are using asafetida chunks, you may need to add it around 5 minutes beforehand. Turn off the fire when the urad dal and rice turn golden brown. Remove the ingredients from the pan and spread on a plate to cool the ingredients.

Place the pan on fire again and roast the grated coconut until golden brown. This is to remove all moisture content and improve the shelf life of the podi. Turn off the fire and empty the roasted coconut on to the plate along with the other ingredients. Put the tamarind into the pan while the pan is still hot. Do not light the fire. This will help to remove the moisture content in the tamarind.

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After the ingredients have cooled, grind the roasted ingredients well along with salt. Empty the ingredients onto a plate and let it cool. Taste and adjust the salt and chilly if required. Make sure that you roast the red chilies before you add it to the podi. Store the podi in a dry bottle.

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List of accompaniments:
Enhances the taste of rice. This is like a dry pickle. Its granular texture adds punch to your lunch. This podi has a shelf life of around a month and is a good gift for those special loved ones.

Trivia:
Constant stirring is required while you are roasting the ingredients. You cannot afford to answer phone calls/doorbells while you are at it 🙂

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