30 October 2011

Healthy Karuvepala Podi(South Indian Curry leaf Powder)

This wonderful recipe comes all the way from down south. My childhood memories always date back to the summer holidays I had in the beautiful village of Varahur, Thanjavur. My maternal grandparents always treated us to simple, yet delectable yummy stuff like – cut raw mango and cucumber sprinkled with salt and red chilli powder, grated coconut mixed with sugar. Those days simple food like rice and dal would satisfy our palate. To top this off a hoard of cousins to play, run and have fun with.
I have lovely memories of accompanying my Thatha (grandfather) to the temple for an early morning aarti (salutation), pick flowers from the Nandavanam(a garden dedicated to the deity) and get the prasadham (offering given to the deity). The spoonful of Pongal(rice and lentil mixed with fragrant spices) or Panjamirtham(a tasty mash of five fruits), the priest would give, would taste divine and leave us craving for some more.

I have always tried to dig out wonderful recipes from Amma’s old dairies and from my Paati (grandmother)’s memories. I wanted to introduce people to all such wonderful and forgotten recipes of yesteryear. Amma made different kinds of Podi (or powders), to mix with rice. Each podi had a reason, as to what good it did to us.
As a kid I had long, lovely hair, which I was very fond of and Amma would do lot of things to keep them beautiful. She always said the Curry leaf was good for my hair ,eyes and also kept our body cool.
The flavor of the curry leaf is a staple in most south Indian recipes. The Karuvepala Podi (Curry leaf powder) is a fragrant, pungent and spicy powder to have with Rice, Dalia or Dosa. Its healthy, nutritious and easy to make and use.

Healthy Karuvepala Podi(South Indian Curry leaf Powder)
Peppercorn - ½ Teaspoon
• White Sesame(Til) - 2 Teaspoon
• Hing(Asafetida) – ¼ Teaspoon
• Jaggery – ¼ Teaspoon
• Urad Dal – 2 Teaspoon
• Red Chilli – 2
• Salt – To taste
• Curry Leaf – 1 Cup
• ½ teaspoon Oil

Dry roast the Peppercorn, White Til, Urad Dal. In ½ teaspoon oil, add the Asafetida and fry the Red Chilies and Curry Leaf until the Curry Leaf is crisp. Once the mixture cools down, blend all the spices in the mixer with ¼ teaspoon of Jaggery.
This mixture can be made in larger quantities and stored. This Curry Leaf powder can be mixed with Rice, Dalia with a little Gingelly (Til) oil. The burst of flavor is worth the effort. This powder can also be taken with Dosa as an accompaniment.

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