Karivepaaku Podi – Spiced Curry Leaves Powder

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.

Today’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..:).

Karivepaaku Podi

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  curry leaves


  •   2 cups curry leaves, picked, washed and dried
  •   4 tbsps senaga pappu (bengal gram)
  •   2 tbsps minappa pappu (split black gram dal)
  •   1 tbsp cumin seeds
  •   1 1/2 tbsps coriander seeds
  •   6-7 dried red chillis
  •   1 small lemon sized tamarind
  •   salt to taste
  •   1 1/2 tbsp oil

Method for making Karivepaaku Podi

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. Don’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.
Serve hot with white steamed rice and ghee.


  • http://premascookbook.blogspot.com/ prema

    Hi Sailu,
    I was looking out for this karuveppilai podi. I have heard it is very healthy for hair growth and color. My hair has been falling very badly nowadays so i thought i will make this podi. Thanks for the recipe.

    Yes, Prema, curry leaves are very good for hair growth and also to slow down premature greying of hair.

  • http://isouthpotpourri.blogspot.com shynee

    I love this kariveppakku podi…these podis were a great solace for me during my stay in the hostel often when food in the hostel becomes too boring…

    I’m sure they were, Shynee. Both my brother and sister who are abroad, treasure bottles of amma’s home ground podis..:)

  • http://outofthegarden.wordpress.com Linda

    Hi Sailu, left you a comment on this earlier when you had alot of them, but they seem to have disappeared. Is WordPress playing games with us 🙂 I am anxious to try this recipe — it’s the first I’ve seen calling for split black (gram = urad?) dal, and there are so many little curry leaves in the stores lately. Sounds delicious!

    Actually I moved to another server 2 days ago and during that process the entire post disappeared and I had to repost the same again..:):)
    Its an absolutely delicious podi, Linda. Give it a try.

  • Prathibha

    Hi Sailu,

    I have tried this karivepaaku podi for the first time, and it turned out good. Thanks for the recipe.

    Your welcome, Prathibha.

  • Jaya

    Excellent recipe! I really want to try it. But what do you mean by a ball of tamarind? How much tamarind is it? Can we use the extract too?

    I meant a small lemon sized ball of tamarind, Jaya. I havent tried using extract.

  • Anuradha

    hi shailu,
    My name is anuradha.I am living in ireland.Here i miss
    andhra food a lot.Thanx for all your recepies and ur ur effort in showing us the pictures.YOU r wonderfull.Thank uu soo much.Shailu can u post a powder called karapodi,which we generally used with idli and ghee.I am looking for the spice powder from many days and will be greatfull if u post it for me.
    Thanks in advance

  • sridevi

    thank u for the recipe. ilike this podi and infact my huband and son too.
    keep posting good recipes.

  • preethi

    hi,i like this podi very much infact all podis.

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  • K.Jayanthi

    I have seen your column and happy to find out for preparations.
    I would like to know how to make Karapodi powder. Pls send your reply to my mail.

  • http://mummam.blogspot.com @

    I realize this is a late comment, but just came over here through Mahanandi’s search engine, when I was curious if others had blogged about Karepaak powder…!! Yours is slightly different than what I posted – I too love to eat it with rice and ghee – it is *the* best 🙂

  • http://sizzlingkitchen.blogspot.com/ priyadilip

    Passing by your site 2nd or third time… i loved the pic of paneer butter masala.. Looks like u have a pot of karimpaaku plant in your home.. how did u do it? did u buy it outside or u got seeds from india and planted in the pot? please let me know…
    Priya dilip

    Priya, I live in Vizag, India.

  • SHree

    Hi Sailu,

    Really, I like this karivepaku podi a lot. Steam rice with karivepaku podi and ghee takes us to heaven…
    Thanks for the nice photographs…

  • Chinnu


    May God give u long life…

    Thanks for the nice recipes…

  • Nischala.c

    Photographs are really tempting yaar 🙂
    Its taking me to my Mom’s kitchen, I mean they are reminding me my childhood days where food would be ready on the table with a yummy look & flavour
    Thank you Sailuji!
    I wish I can meet you & give you a warm hug for great help and encouraging all of us to cook our traditional food for our kids.
    Well , I stay in Abu Dhabi and struggling to get that original taste even with my cooking or say at South Indian Restaurants 🙁
    All I can say is its just wonderful yaar.
    Thank you once again!!! 🙂

  • mangalavedanth

    Hi Shailu,
    i tried your curry leaves powder for the first time it came out very well……thanks a lot for the same

  • sudheera

    hi sailaja,
    i have tried karivepaku podi with slight modification. i have added garlic cloves(5 or 6). hmmmmm, its excellent. thanks a lot to u.

  • http://emolior.blogspot.com Altoid

    Tried this and have a batch stored. Tastes awesome, smells flavorful and heavenly. Been using it at every meal, be it with idlis for breakfast, with rotis at lunch or with rice for dinner. Thanks for posting the recipe


  • santhi

    hi sailu…..
    thanks for the detailed recipe of karivepaku podi…..once i tried but measurements were not proper …..so this time i’m sure of wonderful karivepakupodi

  • Prasanthi

    Hi Sailu,

    Wonderful recipe. It tastes too good. I Can’t wait to try your other recipes.

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  • http://www.tasteslikehome.org Cynthia

    This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  • http://vegeyum.wordpress.com Vegeyum

    Sounds delicious. I have had podi several times, and want to start making it soon.

  • bujji

    Wow sailu garu….i visit your blog regularly
    but first time i’ve seen this recipe though luks
    like u posted it much earlier.this podi truly
    awesome [grandma is an expert!]….
    me n my hubby love it.always have it
    sent to me when someone arrives but it never seems
    to last!now that i have the recipe shall definitely

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  • http://pg-kitchenstories.blogspot.com/ PG

    a lovely reipe, noted. If I post it on my blog, will inform you. Thanks a lot!

  • rao

    Saila garu,
    Can you please post a recipe for Vamu Podi ?
    This is extremly helpful when mixed with plain rice, for children who need to eat something, but can’t hold it due to stomach virus or flu.
    Thank you very much.

  • Anu

    Hello Sailu,

    Your recipe for “karivepaku podu” looks tempting enough to be eaten straight out of the website. Alas! this is not possible.

    Will make it for dinner today. Thank you for sharing the recipe.


  • Neetha

    Hi Sailu,
    Tried the Kariveepudu Podi.. it was awesome.. some simple ingredients and the podi was very very good.. I couldnt stop eating it with hot rice… My husband also liked it very much.. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipes.. I went through other recipes, will try it one by one 🙂

  • Neetha

    Hi Sailu,
    I tried the Kariveepudu podi. It is simply awesome. I had it with dosa and rice.. and my hubby just loved it.. 🙂 Thank you very much for this wonderful recipe..


  • Gayathri

    Tried this podi today. It came out really very well and tastes really good.. Thank u so much

  • nepoleon reddy

    hi sailaja garu, thanq v much for your prompt reply when i had asked about mixture of poppy seeds. now i have another doubt. i had gone through the process of preparing karvepaku podi but i aborted with one dilema. i had a doubt that tamarind might get stuck in the jar blades while crushing. is it really mandatory to add tamarind in this podi. awaiting for your reply madam.

  • Afsarj1

    hi Sailu…I just tried your karivepakau karam podi.. OMG..thats awesome. Thank you so much. i never thought in my life that i could make this. Huuuu…I dont need to borrow this from anyone anymore….

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  • http://www.facebook.com/aparna.reddy3 Aparna Reddy

    hello sailu gaaru,
    ellipaya karam ela cheyalo cheptaraa plz

  • http://www.facebook.com/aparna.reddy3 Aparna Reddy

    hello sailu gaaru,
    ellipaya karam ela cheyalo cheptaraa plz

  • rama

    hai….my mom makes this podi….and till today …she prepares and sends me.but today i tried this one…and it came out very well…and tastes like my mom’s.thank u somuch.. rama

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anil-Reddy/100003235515023 Anil Reddy