Monday, May 18, 2009

Thengai Podi ~ Thengai Molagai podi ~ Spiced Coconut Chutney powder

Are you one of those people that avoid coconut and all coconut related products like the plague, believing it to be the ultimate source of saturated fat and a great diet buster. If yes, then you may find some of the facts in this post both surprising and interesting.......... Growing up, all and any information that got passed on about coconuts seemed to be about its saturated fat and how bad it is for the health and especially for heart health. So coconut oil that once featured regularly as a cooking aid disappeared from our homes at least with respect to cooking and was replaced by refined oil. But for the last year and more I have been reading about a lot of research on the subject of coconuts and coconut oil and it seems to me that this much maligned food from the past is getting touted as an amazing health food with a whole array of health benefits. A lot of research on coconut and coconut oil says it helps in a whole host of health issues from losing weight , to maintaining healthy functioning of thyroid and enzyme systems, to improving digestion and immune system to preventing gall bladder diseases and dissolving kidney stones. Coconut oil is even said to help in controlling blood sugar and in effective utilization of blood glucose thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

After reading about the health benefits of coconut oil and coconuts from multiple sources, I decided to cautiously re introduce it back in my kitchen but in moderation. I feel in moderation and in small quantities it cannot do much harm. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of coconut and coconut oil check out this link. I find it amazing that there has been such a reversal on the opinion of coconuts and coconut oil,what do you think, feel free to share your thoughts on this topic

The re introduction of coconut and coconut related products in my kitchen means that one of my childhood favorites has made a reappearance in my kitchen. Spiced coconut powder or  Thengai podi as it is known in Tamil ( a language spoken in southern India ) is simple to make and delicious. Literally thengai means coconut and podi means powder but this simple term does not do justice either to the versatility of the powder or to its multi layered taste. Traditionally this powder is served as an accompaniment with plain yogurt rice but this powder can be used in myriad ways and its usage is by no means restricted to south Indian cuisine. This powder works wonderfully in spicing up yogurt to make an instant dip, or in wraps and sandwiches or to spice up or flavor any bland food.

Thengai Podi ~ Thengai Molagai podi ~ Spiced Coconut Chutney powder

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make the Spiced coconut powder (Thengai Podi)
3/4 cup grated coconut (either fresh or frozen) I used frozen thawed to room temperature
3 tbsp split yellow chick pea (chana dhal)
3 tbsp split black gram lentil (udad dhal)
2 little pieces of tamarind
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
4 whole dry red chillies salt according to taste ( I used approximately 1 tsp for this quantity)
drop of coconut oil ( optional)

Place a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. Add a drop of coconut oil (if using) and roast the coconut scrapings on low to medium heat until the coconut turns reddish in color.

Remove from heat and keep aside. In the same pan roast the split yellow chick pea until it turns reddish in color. Remove from heat and keep aside.

Do the same process for the split black gram lentil and keep aside. In the same pan heat the mustard seeds and the tamarind together for a few minutes until the tamarind starts to change color. Remove from heat and keep aside.

Dry roast the red chillies until it starts to turn color too and keep aside.
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In a small spice grinder or in your regular blender/ mixer powder the lentils , mustard seeds, tamarind and red chillies coarsely.

Add the coconut to it and powder further until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
 Do not over powder this as the powder needs to have a little texture to it. Add salt to this mixture and give it another little turn in the spice grinder.

Remove, cool thoroughly and store in an air tight container.This has a shelf life of about 10 to 12 days any longer and the coconut could get rancid. If you want to store longer you could probably refrigerate it, I normally do not have to worry about this part since it gets consumed pretty quickly at my place :-)

49 comments :

Mangala Bhat said...

wow! cool powder ...:) nice pic :)

Parita said...

Wow thats very delicious powder..thanks for sharing :)

Anu said...

Can smell the aroma of spicy thengai podi from here... ;-) I love this podi with hot rice and nalla yennai :)

I love to use coconut in most of the recipes... coconut oil for seasoning in case of khadi, pitla etc... Using in moderation is always gud and healthy too!

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

love thengai podi.... yumy with rice. what happened Usha.. i dont see u commenting in my blog?

Lisa said...

Tempting combination of ingredients! This would be a great powder to have on hand. I've been eating a lot of coconut lately.

Indhu said...

love this thengai podi.. I used to snack on this when I was studying for my undergrad exams... and my mom would wonder how I managed to finish the entire bottle by myself :)

srikars kitchen said...

wow.. my fav podi.. great combo with rice.. looks really yummy..

Subhie Arun said...

wow..that is delicious powder...cool

Uma said...

I love this podi. Looks so spicy and yummy Usha!

kittymatti said...

wow! Suuuper!! I love thengai podi sadham with a drop of neyi!! Wow! The pic looks soooo good!

karuna said...

i love anything with coconut, and a spice powder....yummmyyyy

Avisha said...

Thanks for visiting http://www.simplysindhirecipes.com/and leaving me a wonderful comment.I do agree with you on your coconut theory and I myself make use of coconut, though with moderation.Your recipe of the Thengai Podi is just awsum,loved the idea of eating it with rice.

Gita's Kitchen said...

I have been avoiding coconuts for a while...your post about coconut is indeed great news! Love the thenga podi...I have to make it soon :)

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Wow Usha this podi looks amazing!!! I am so lucky I can imagine how they smell now and by this month end am getting this podi since my inlaws are coming by ;) oh I cant wait for that... Lovely color Usha!!!

Bharti said...

I agree with you..moderation is the key..you can't go wrong with that attitude. I was intrigued as well with the claims and actually bought one of those virgin oils, it was really yummy. I like the podi- sounds flavorful.

Shreya said...

I love this powder. My mother and my MIL makes it and sends it over, so I usually have two versions at home.I just had it yesterday with my idli and chutney, and will have it now for dosa:D Oh, and coconut oil is definitely healthy. Even though I do not use it for cooking at home, coconut as an ingredient in some of the traditional dishes is a must:-)

Ashwini said...

Wow love chutney podis. My mom used to make this, but dont know the ingredients. will try yours. Thanks.

A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

First time here, nice blog. Good recipe. We stopped using coconut oil and after seeing an article in mercola.com, started back in cooking. nothing can beat the aroma.

DEESHA said...

I too have been hearing a lot of good things abt coconut lately .. We use abt half a coconut everyday for a ppl of 4 & i think thats moderate, that is soo much better that avoiding coconut & eating all the other oily stuff in the world .. I love this pode with dosas ..yumm

Arch said...

I absolutely love podis with coconut in it. And being a Manglorean, coconut is a staple - never considered bad...I guess its more about moderation..Great recipe. will try asap..

Chitra said...

coconut podi looks yumm, have bookmarked it!!I agree coconut has amazing benefits!!

Varunavi said...

Wow delicious podi :)

Prathibha said...

Love this..Mom also prepares this.

Cham said...

Moderation and active life is key for everyone! I use coconut not oil, but not great fan ! Podi is great :)

Valarmathi said...

Taht looks amazing. Spicy and yummy powder

sowmya said...

i love thengai milagai podi..Thanks for sharing the recipe..I usually buy when i visit bangalore or mysore..you get really good thengai podis there..

Priya said...

I just love spiced powder splly with coconut,lovely spiced powder Usha!

rekhas kitchen said...

awesome so aromatic love to have this with hot idli s yum I too make coconut powder but with little difference

kahliyalogue said...

Hi Usha,
I also have only reintroduced coconut oil into my food preparations lately,and I feel more and more confident it is healthy.I knew already it is very beneficial for skin treatment.
As I am vegan,I tend to use it in my sweet baking,wherever I used to use ghee.
This powder is new to me and looks like a very interesting condiment,giving a nice 'punch' to dishes!

Suparna said...

Hi Usha,
Thanks for the informative read on coconut. I've had podi with garlic and copra combo, this one seems tasty and interesting with it's usage and ingredients. Thanks :)
TC

jayasri said...

luv thengai podi & thengai sadham too, As you had said i was avoiding coconut using in very limited quantities, but now i use them not too much but to a limit, becuase my hubby got an article from his office which shows lot benefits from coconut, So, I have bought virgin coconut oil and use in my cooking most of the times, like when i do my seasonings basically where in i might be using it in a tsp or a tbsp that's all !!, (it is very expensive in health wise shop here 500gms 19.99 £'s) !!. I will go through the link which u have posted too..

Happy cook said...

I always use coconut, love the podi, looks yumm.

Roma said...

this looks really appetizing. Would love to have it with steaming hot idlies.

A_and_N said...

A'd love this powder. I'm not a coconut fan and not coz of the fat content or anythin lik that :)

AnuSriram said...

Thengai podi is my all time favourite... Looks spicy and delicious!

Akal's Saappadu said...

one of my friend named priya used to bring this podi to the hostel and share with us,mmm, reminding me of those happy memories....I can eat this with rice and ghee too :) no wonder it gets finished up soon!

Padma said...

Good info about coconut... and lovely podi with nice brown color :)

Vibaas said...

yummy one :)

Superchef said...

ohh..i totally love this podi and especially the aroma that fills in the house while making this!!!

Kalai said...

one of my favorite podi.looks spicy and yum.

Nithya Praveen said...

Awww this is such a lovely podi.On my this trip i ensured my mom packed this for me....a truly great podi for dosas n idlies:)

Curry Leaf said...

I like coconut but not the oil.Love the podi and thank for the info on coconut

ARUNA said...

wow i'm going to make this powder next!!!

Laavanya said...

I'm sure this will be a hit at our place.. you are right - moderation is key with everything.

Radha Ramaswamy said...

Thanks for the nice thangai podi.

Ushanandini said...

Cool thengai podi! Love the snap! Super podi for idlis and dosais!

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Lovely dish and lovely site... I like the template a lot...

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

I am all for coconut oil. It's funny to me that people get so concerned about such things, due to all the propaganda and marketing out there. Following the nutritional recommendations of the government and food marketers and the industry in general has only served to deplete our total state of health.

My thoughts on coconut oil are posted here: http://meghantelpnerblog.com/2009/03/22/rub-on-a-little-oil-coconut-oil/

Sireesha said...

Looks very delicious...

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