Monday, 25 October 2010

Paruppu Podi

This item was an indispensible part of my menu as a child. Well, it still is until date. I always need to have a box of the podi in my pantry. For those unfamiliar with this, South Indians usually have some powders (usually a mixture of spices and lentils) handy so it can be mixed with hot rice and ghee and eaten. They come in very handy on days when you barely have any time and energy. Paruppu podi is my favourite and needless to say it has to be mom’s recipe. I very clearly remember the ‘dabba’ in which mom used to keep the powder. It was part of her routine to make the podi periodically and store in it. The ritual includes roasting the ingredients and waiting on the maid to go to the mill to get the powder ground. As the ‘mixies’ (Indian food processors) do not do a good job of making fine powders, it is usally sent to the mill. They used to have funny timings and was always a struggle to go ourselves as my mom was working as well. There would be a series of instructions to the maid because mom would always fear that she may keep the ingredients or ground podi in wrong places (poor hygiene) and also that the guy in the mill may put the powder in same machine that grinds sambar powder. This would be a big issue as it would make the powder way too spicy and lose its original flavour. The maid usually would get to keep the change. Anyway, in this post, I have shared my mom’s recipe and another recipe. The second one is a common recipe if you buy the powder from a store. I prefer my mom’s but you could try both.

Recipe 1:
½ cup toor dal (pigeon peas)
1 dry red chilly
1 small piece of asafoetida
Cooking oil
Salt to taste

Heat few drops of oil and fry the asafoetida. Roast the dal until it just starts to change colour (brownish) and roast chilly until it turns crisp. Add salt to the hot skillet and keep all ingredients together to cool.
 Grind to fine or coarse powder depending on your preference.

Recipe 2:
½ cup toor dal (pigeon peas)
½ cup channa dal
4-5 dry red chillies
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 piece of asafoetida
2 sprigs curry leaves

Similar to previous recipe, fry asafoetida in oil and roast the toor dal and channa dal separately until they begin to darken. Roast chillies until they are crisp; roast peppercorns until they begin to pop in the skillet and roast the curry leaves until it dries; add salt to hot skillet.

 Cool all ingredients and grind to fine or coarse powder. Add the curry leaves last and just pulse the mixie.

Recipe 2 is quite spicy and is better when ground fine. If you do not have solid asafoetida, use powder. Salt is quickly roasted to remove moisture and improve shelf life of powder. They will last even over a year! I love paruppu podi rice with vathal kuzhambu or avakkai pickle (mango pickle).

1 comment:

  1. we call it Kandi podi and in some places annam podi goes very well with rasam..that was my childhood fav! its been ages since i had that combo..thx for reminding ..