Sunday, 15 August 2010

Curry Leaf Powder (Karuvepillai Podi)

Curry Leaf Powder (Karuvepillai Podi)

Busy days and lack of energy for an elaborate meal happens more often now. I would always fancy homemade ready meal on such days but is there any limit to what one can fancy? The closest I could get to such a meal was using wonderful powders that I could mix to a steaming plate of rice and pamper myself with some ghee (clarified butter) on it. Wow, I am drooling just thinking about it. When I relocated to UK, I was given a batch of many such powders and one of my favourites is curry leaf powder prepared by my grandmother. I am aware there are other ways of making this powder but I like this best.

Curry leaf shrubs are a common sight in the backyard of many south Indian houses. It has a lovely aroma and colour. It is said that because of its aroma, it initiates salivary action and that is its very first influence on helping digestion. Curry leaves are said to improve the quality of digestive juices. It is considered a good remedy for loss of appetite, tastelessness of mouth associated with fever, nausea vomiting etc. I did not know that curry leaves help control blood sugar in non-insulin dependent diabetics. A paste made with 8-10 mature leaves taken first thing in the morning for 3 months is said to be very helpful and also help weight loss.

With all this goodness, there is one more goodness in this recipe – dal; so you get your protein as well. Here is granny’s recipe...

1 cup toor dal

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 dry red chilly


About 30 sprigs of curry leaf (karuvepillai)

Dry roast toor dal until golden. While the dal begins to change colour add the peppercorns and chilly. Keep aside

Dry roast curry leaves until they appear very dry. I tend to keep my curry leaves in the fridge for a few days and this makes them lose moisture and dry up. I then wash it and roast it until leaves turn crisp. Keep aside

Roast required amount of salt briefly

Once all the ingredients have cooled, grind the dal, peppercorn, salt and chillies to desired consistency (fine or coarse depending on preference). Then add the curry leaves and grind until leaves have ground fine/coarse.

Allow the powder to cool and keep in an airtight container. The powder keeps well for ages.

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