Monday, September 21, 2009
Spiced Curry Leaves Powder ( Karvapillai Podi )
When I was younger, I used to carefully remove the leaves that were used as part of seasoning in a curry and keep it aside even though I was told they were good for me, I never really seemed to care for it very much. But now as with many other spices and herbs I avoided earlier, I find myself re-looking these leaves too and they have become a constant part of my kitchen now, in one way or the other they find a presence in a lot of my dishes.
I knew that a spiced curry leaves powder was made in my home when I was younger but I never got around to making it since it requires a large quantity of curry leaves and finding them in such quantities in Indian stores is quite difficult, not to mention pricey. So the other day when I was shopping for groceries at the local Indian store I happened to see dried curry leaves being sold there, reasonably priced and definitely more long lasting then the fresh ones I usually buy. I bought that and have been using it in my cooking for a while now and do not find any discernible difference in taste from the fresh ones.
Spiced curry leaves powder is a dry powder that has a long shelf life. It is versatile enough to be used as a side with some rice dishes like yogurt rice, or it can be mixed up with a little bit of cooked rice, add a few drops of clarified butter/ ghee or sesame oil and voila you have an instantly flavored healthy rice dish. This powder can also be used to spice up yogurt to create an instant dip, or to spice up curries. Simply put, this versatile and healthy powder manages to find its way to the dinner table one way or the other almost each day.
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Ingredients and Method to make Spiced Curry Leaves Powder ( Karvapillai Podi)
2 1/2 cups of Dried or Fresh Curry leaves ( I used dried) ( Also known as karvapillai/ curry patta)
1/4 cup split chick pea ( chana dhal)
1/4 cup split black gram lentil ( udad dhal)
Dry Red Chillies about 30 ( or according to taste)
1/8 tsp Asafoetida / hing (optional)
salt to taste
Dry roast each of the lentils seperately until it turns reddish, keep aside seperately.
Dry roast the curry leaves (yes even the dried ones) until the it turns a little brownish and you can hear them make a crackling type of sound when they are stirred and keep aside
Dry roast the red chillies until they turn color and keep aside.
Cool all the ingredients thoroughly before proceeding to powder them
Powder the split chick pea until slightly coarse, then add split black gram lentil to it and continue to powder until they get the bread crumb type look, keep aside.
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Powder they curry leaves into a fine powder and keep aside.
Powder the dry red chillies with a pinch of salt if required until reasonably fine and keep aside.
Now mix all these powdered ingredients together in a blender, add salt and asafoetida and powder until fine.
Store in an airtight container and use as required to spice up your rice, yogurt or curries
Dry roast a small piece of tamarind and powder and add to the spiced powder and mix well.
Alternatively add about 1/4 tsp of amchur powder (dry mango powder)( or according to taste) to the final powder and mix thoroughly, this imparts a slight tartness to the final powder