Paruppu Podi (Lentil Powder)

There are different versions of Paruppu Podi and I have seen many variations within my own family and friends circle but this is my favorite. It has to be, since this is my mother’s recipe! Every time I have visited India in the past, my mom or one of my aunts would prepare this and pack it for me to carry back home. But recently, I decided to try it out myself and was delighted by the result. I now regularly make this and have it ready in my pantry. That way, on busy weekends, breakfast becomes easy by making some idlis or dosas and serving it with this paruppu podi mixed with some oil. 

Ingredients:

Urad dal – 1/2 cup
Roasted chana dal / Fried gram – 1 cup
Dry coconut slices (Copra) – 1/4 cup
Dry red chillies – 5
Hing/ Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Sesame seeds – 1/4 cup
Channa dal – 1/4 cup
Salt – to taste

Method:

  • Dry roast each of the above ingredients (except salt) separately until golden brown
  • Let the ingredients cool down completely
  • Add salt and grind all ingredients together into a fine powder
  • Serve with hot rice and ghee or mix couple of teaspoons of the powder with a teaspoon of olive oil and serve with idli or dosa

Tip: When making Mysore masala dosa, make a paste by mixing this powder with oil and apply it on the dosa before adding the potato filling. Tastes yum!

Carrot Puttu

This is a recipe that I learnt from my mother when I visited India last year. This is a very good lunch box option, be it with chapatis or rice. The flavor of fennel seeds and the texture from the roasted gram flour make this dish so delicious that I like having this by itself! 

Ingredients:

Grated carrot – 2 cups, tightly packed
Fennel seeds/ saunf – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Cloves – 3
Garlic, finely chopped – 4 cloves
Onion, finely chopped – 1 cup
Green chilies, finely chopped – 2
Turmeric powderr – 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves, finely chopped – 4 to 5 stalks
Roasted chana dal – 1/4 cup
Salt – to taste
Oil – 4 tsp

Method:

  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan, preferably one that is wide and shallow
  • Add cinnamon, cloves and fennel seeds
  • Follow by adding garlic and green chilies and saute well
  • Add chopped onion and saute well until light golden in color
  • Add coriander leaves and give it another toss or two
  • Add the carrots and mix well
  • Add turmeric and salt and cook under low to medium heat for about 12-15 minutes. You do not need cover the pan or add water
  • While the carrot is cooking, grind the roasted chana dal into a fine powder
  • Once the carrot is cooked, add the chana dal powder and mix well
  • Saute well for about 6-8 minutes until carrots turn golden brown
  • Add remaining 2 tsp of oil if needed to get a crispy texture
  • Serve with chapatis or rice and your choice of curry

Tip: The same recipe can be used for cabbage as well. If using cabbage, add little bit of water and cover and cook for the same amount of time as mentioned above.

Verkadalai/Peanut Chutney

When it comes to chutneys, this is my absolute favorite. Even though this was prepared regularly at my house, every time I make this now, it takes me back to one of my fond childhood memories, where my mom would prepare this on the day of Varamahalakshmi Vratham festival. On that day, our lunch was more like breakfast where we would prepare idli, vada, masala sambar and specifically this chutney, along with other sweets and snacks. The consistency of this chutney is thick and coarse like a pesto (In Tamilnadu a thick chutney is called “getti chutney”), and not runny like other typical chutneys. I recall my mom and aunt preparing this with a grinding stone which actually gives better control over the consistency and texture than what you can get with an electric mixer or processor. But nevertheless, it is worth trying and hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

Urad dal/ Split black gram – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida/ Hing – a pinch
Dry red chillies – 1 or 2 (depending on size)
Raw peanuts – 1 cup
Green chillies – 2
Coconut pieces – 2/3 cup
Roasted chana dal/ Pottukadalai – 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves, chopped – 3 tbsp
Curry leaves – 4 to 5
Tamarind – small piece (approx 1 tsp)
Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan and add urad dal, hing and dry red chillies
  • Add peanuts and saute for a minute,
  • Add coconut and roasted chana dal and saute for couple more minutes
  • Add coriander leaves, curry leaves and tamarind
  • Saute until the peanuts and chana dal are just about golden brown in color
  • Remove from heat. Let it cool for about 5 minutes. Add salt and sugar
  • Transfer the ingredients to a mixer jar. Grind a couple of times without water until everything is powdered
  • Add water in very small quantities and grind until everything blends well into a semi-coarse paste
  • Serve with idli or dosa