To us South Indians, our everyday traditional food is incomplete with a podi (spice pwd) and its an an essential food item on the dining table, be it for breakfast or lunch. When one is hard pressed for time and you need fix a quick lunch, all you need to prepare is some steamed rice, and with clarified ghee/oil and podi, appadam/papad as a side, you have a complete meal.
Aromatic, protein rich and nutritious, podis are not high in calories and can be stored for a few weeks in air tight containers.
Todayâ€™s recipe is curry leaves spiced powder called Karivepaaku Podi or Karepaaku Podi, made from curry leaves, lentils and spices which are roasted and ground to a coarse powder with tamarind giving it an aromatic, earthy, tangy flavor.
Take a spoonful of the prepared podi and mix it with hot steamed rice and ghee and one bite into a mudda (ball) of this mixed rice, you are assured of a trip to heaven. The appetising aromatic meal of home ground karivepaku podi with rice and ghee is extremely addictive and I always go for another serving of it..:).
Add a tbsp of oil in a pan and add the Bengal gram and split black gram dal and fry them on medium heat till they turn red. Donâ€™t burn them. Keep tossing them around continuosly. Remove from pan and keep aside.
In the same pan add the cumin and coriander seeds and toss them on medium heat till they turn brown..approx 2-3 mts. Remove from pan and keep aside.
In the same pan add the dry chillis and toss them about for 2 mts. Remove and keep aside.
Now add a tsp of oil and add the curry leaves and toss them about till they are crisp and roasted. Keep tossing them about while roasting the leaves. Turn off heat and cool all the roasted ingredients.
Once cool, grind the dals first (grind them coarse), followed by coriander, cumin seeds and red chillis and grind again.
Now add tamarind ball and grind. Remove and keep aside.
Now add the curry leaves and grind to make a powder (remember all the ingredients should be cool before grinding). Mix it with the coarsely ground spices and salt and store in an air tight container.