Bringing Imagination to your Cooking…!!!


Curry Leaves Chutney Pudi/ Powder.. Hebbar Iyengar style..!

Hebbar Iyengar style Curry leaves chutney pudi....

All organic.. home-grown ingredients are awesome to have & to eat.. Don’t you agree?? As a kid I remember my grandmother preparing this very fragrant chutney pudi from the freshest curry leaves available.. yup, plucking them from the 5 curry leaves tree we had in our garden :), using the copra she made from drying the excess coconut coconuts from our garden. There were 6 coconut trees in our garden. Loads of coconuts were always available. The excess ones were turned into copra & then taken to the oil mill by my grandmother to extract oil. Then she would use the oil to cook her yummy food or savouries..! Such memorable days…!

It is very common to see a curry leaves tree in almost every South Indian house. You your passing by a South Indian house if you can smell the tadka/tempering with the heavenly aroma of curry leaves. Along with the awesome fragrance that they impart.. they also have loads of medicinal value. Most of us have a tendency to keep the leaves aside when we eat a meal, this is an awesome way to consume the curry leaves & take in all its benefits.

I do not have my grandmothers recipe. Beginning of this month, K’s granny came over to spend a week with us. I had loads of copra with me. I asked her if she could help me make some Curry leaves chutney pudi. K loves chutney pudi a lot. Whenever he see’s the bottle he almost every time pops a spoon of it into his mouth. So K’s Pati (granny in Tamil) helped me or rather I should say, taught me to make 2 kinds of chutney pudi. A curry leaves one and another coriander leaves kind. The recipe for the coriander leaves chutney pudi is slightly different from this one, so don’t go around swapping the curry leaves with coriander leaves. I will post the curry leaves chutney pudi recipe soon.

I do not have pictures of the making of the chutney pudi, I wanted to click some pics with pati & I was so excited learning this recipe that I completely forgot about the camera. Next time I get down to making this one, I’ll make sure I click pics.

I love curry leaves chutney pudi a lot as it makes me nostalgic. This was the only kind of chutney pudi my gran made for us. I have also received requests to post garlic, peanut, idli chutney pudi recipe’s. All these will take some time as I have lots of chutney pudi in stock now. With just the two of us around I don’t want to stock up loads of varieties & they going bad. So as & when my stock needs to be replenished I shall get down to making these. Until then I have this new recipe which will serve as a small project for you this weekend.. :) Happy Cooking..!

Ingredients: (15-20 servings) Preparation Time: 20-25 mins
Tur dal – 1/2 cup
Copra grated/desiccated coconut – 3/4 -1 cup
Black peppercorns – 10-12
Dried red chilli’s – 15-16 byadgi chilli variety, you can use the other hotter varieties, use according to your taste
Curry leaves – 45-50 medium-sized leaves, washed, drained, wiped dry & leave it to dry on a kitchen towel
Tamarind – 1 marble-sized piece, make sure there are no seeds
Jaggery – 1.5 – 2 tbsp, powdered
Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric – 1/8 tsp
Oil – half a tsp
Salt to taste – preferably use rock salt

Take a skillet, dry roast the dried red chilli’s & the Tur dal. Keep tossing them around constantly & maintain heat at low. Once the fur dal begin to change colour to a light brownish & the chilli’s too turn paler, turn the heat off. Transfer the ingredients to a plate and let it cool down to room temperature.

Meanwhile while the Tur dal & chilli’s are cooling down, heat the oil in the skillet. Add the asafoetida & let it sizzle. Maintain heat at low. Now throw in the turmeric & the curry leaves. Fry till the curry leaves begin to lose their moisture and begin to turn crispier. Now add the copra and black peppercorns and toss it around for a minute or two. Turn the heat off. Transfer this to another plate. Let it cool down to room temperature.

Add the powdered jaggery, tamarind and salt to the roasted, cooled down dried red chilli’s & dal mixture. You can pulse this mixture in a food processor till the ingredients are broken down. Next add in the roasted curry leaves mixture. Process all the ingredients till you get a coarse powder. In between you can taste & adjust the salt.

Transfer the contents to a plate. Let it dry out for about 15-20 mins (The jaggery & tamarind have some moisture content in them which will get transferred to the roasted ingredients). Transfer the chutney pudi to an airtight glass jar.

You are set for 2-3 months i.e if it lasts for that long.. :) I mean to say you can store this for 2-3 months. After this time frame, it will begin to lose it’s freshness & aroma.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with any South Indian breakfast dishes like – Dosa, Idli, Upma etc as an accompaniment when you’re in a hurry & really cannot get down to preparing a fresh coconut chutney.

Hebbar Iyengar style Curry leaves chutney pudi....
In Mangalore we eat this chutney pudi by adding a tsp of coconut oil to a tbsp of chutney pudi, mixing the pudi/powder in the oil so that its easier to eat & tastier. But Iyengar’s like to eat their chutney pudi with a tsp of ghee instead of oil. Do let me know if you have a new way to eat your chutney pudi.. :)

Tip: You can make a butter chutney pudi sandwich.. believe me it’s yum.. :)


My take on the famous Lahsun/Garlic Chutney – Maharashtrian style

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney...

Being married to a Bangalorean, rather an Iyengar from Karnataka implies that your pantry will never run short of coconuts. You may wonder what the possible connection is. No, Iyengar’s don’t own coconut farms :P, they keep distributing coconuts for every Puja/Wedding/function they conduct. When you are just two in the house & you have surplus supply of coconuts, you most certainly end up with Copra or dried coconut (When the water content inside the coconut dries away leaving behind a dry shrunk coconut called Copra).Extract oil out of it like my grandmother did or use it up in making chutney pudi or rather the chutney powder as it is popularly known. The ingredients are mostly similar to a normal wet chutney that we prepare as an accompaniment to most South Indian breakfast dishes, just that instead of freshly grated coconut, we use dry coconut. The use of dried coconut helps in preserving this chutney for a longer time when compared to the staple wet chutney prepared.

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney...

My grandmother made yummy curry leaf chutney pudi, once my stash of this chutney powder gets done with I’ll make some of that too :). As many who follow my blog already know that I’m a sucker for garlic, I couldn’t think further than my all time favourite Lahsun (Garlic in Hindi) or Garlic Chutney. This is a staple in most Maharashtrian houses. If you are a street food lover & you have had a chance to eat the all time favourite Maharashtrian Vada Pav then you would have definitely tasted this chutney with it. Yes, this is the very famous Lahsun ki chutney that is served with Vada Pav. Who does not love a couple of Vada Pav as a snack. Friends from Bombay a.k.a Mumbai tell me that even at 3 am you will be able to pick up some Vada pav for a snack. A super loved street food from the streets of Mumbai is Vada Pav, followed by Pav Bhaji. If you were looking for that very chutney recipe which is served with Vada Pav then look no further :), you have found the right recipe.

This chutney has a shelf life of about 15 days if stored as is but, you can make it last longer by drying the chutney in the sun so that any moisture from some of the ingredients used dries away. But its a simple recipe. So I suggest you follow the measures I have mentioned below & prepare more when you have used up this batch :). If you prepare in large batches the peanuts used in this chutney may turn rancid & you may have to throw it all away ..

My take on the famous Lahsun/Garlic Chutney - Maharashtrian style

Eat this chutney with – Chapati’s, add it in butter sandwiches, with Vada Pav of course, spread it on the dosa while preparing Masala dosa, add s spoon of ghee/clarified butter to a tbsp of the chutney powder & eat it with some hot idli’s. Well I can snack on this chutney.. don’t need anything to go with it.

Ingredients: (Serves 12 – 15)             Preparation Time: 30 mins
Garlic – 12-14 medium-sized cloves, peeled
Dried red chilli’s – 5 whole medium spicy variety, stalk off
Sesame Seeds – 1 tbsp
Raw groundnuts – 1.5 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 1-1.5 tbsp,use 1.5 if you like your chutney with extra coriander flavour
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp (For the colour, use more if you want the chutney to be hot)
Grated Copra/ Dried coconut – 1 cup
Tamarind – 1/2 of a marble shaped ball, Throw away any seeds present
Odourless Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp, I used rice bran oil
Salt to taste

All you need is a deep bottom fry pan & a mixer apart from the ingredients mentioned of course. You may use a non-stick fry pan if you have else an aluminium kadai is just fine.

Heat the cooking oil in the fry pan. Set heat to low once the oil heats up. Throw in 10 of the garlic cloves & reserve the rest. Fry the garlic till it begins to turn a slightly golden. Take them off heat & transfer to a plate or the mixer jar. Let it cool. My twist to the chutney is not to oil roast all the garlic cloves & add a few raw ones to enhance the flavour & make the chutney powder more fragrant.

Note: If you do not like the chutney to have a strong garlic flavour then oil roast all the cloves.
Now return the fry pan to heat. Maintain heat at low & fry the dried red chilli’s till they turn plump. Do not let them turn black. Keep tossing them continuously. Take them off heat & transfer to the plate or the mixer jar & allow it to cool.

Next add 1 tbsp of coriander seeds & return the pan to low heat & fry the seeds till you can begin to change colour & the aroma of the seeds fills the air. Again toss them around continuously because you don’t want them to burn. Transfer to the plate or the mixer jar & let it cool.

Similarly fry the sesame seeds till they begin to change colour & start popping. Transfer to the plate or the mixer jar & let it cool.

Lastly fry the grated Copra/dry coconut till it starts to change in colour. Do not let it burn. Toss it around continuously. Take off the kadai from heat and let the roasted Copra cool down to room temperature.

Once all the roasted ingredients have cooled down to room temperature, transfer them to the mixer jar & add the tamarind piece along with red chilli powder, the leftover garlic cloves & some salt to taste. Blend all the ingredients into a coarse powder, or finer if you like it that way.

Check for salt & adjust if required.

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney - Maharashtrian style

Note: Since we add some tamarind & a few raw garlic cloves while we blend, the chutney powder will have some small lumps, I transfer the chutney powder to a tray and dry it under the sun for a good hour or so. This helps to remove the moisture & helps preserve the chutney powder longer. If you plan to do the same then, keep mixing the chutney powder so that it helps in even drying.

Once ready, transfer the chutney powder to an air-tight container & enjoy while it lasts.

Serving Suggestions:
Get your bread, alu bonda ready & serve this chutney with this famous Indian burger – Vada Pav.

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney...

Else, serve with just about anything that you like. I have mentioned a few accompaniments in the beginning of this post.


Chilli flavoured rock salt….

Scotch Bonnet Chilli flavoured rock salt.....

I love seasoning my pasta, pizza, focaccia, chips, wedges… yes, I love to season & pep up most continental, finger food with different kinds of flavoured salt or herbs. I end up doing this because I love different flavours in food. Even if it is mac & cheese, I have a few bites just the way it is served, then I begin my experiments by throwing in some herbs or other seasoning ;).

Bird's eye chilli's...

Just like always, I was walking around in the supermarket & my eyes fell on a pack of these lush red chilli’s. I got really excited, in the last 3 months since we got back to India, I had never seen this on the shelves. I instantly told K that I wanted a pack (I had no clue what I was going to do with them). They look a lot like Scotch bonnet chilli’s, but then I have always bought them in packs of mixed colours, so now I’m confused. The packaging says they are Bird’s eye. I posted them as Bird’s eye chilli’s. Then someone pointed out that they seem to be more like ghost chilli’s not bird’s eye. That is when I thought with google available let me research & check, Ghost chilli’s look a tad different, thinner & longer, but similar ridged. The bird’s eye chilli’s are very very narrow, smaller with straight stems. Since they closely resemble Scotch Bonnet Chilli’s I’m going to stick to this.

I completely forgot about them for a day. It’s quite hot during the day these days & the power cuts make it worse. Both K & I are hardly hungry, we just keep fueling ourselves with loads of liquids – water, Ice Tea or fruits like the fresh oranges which are now available in plenty at the market or with slices of watermelon. We both eat very little due to the hot weather. So that gives me time to dedicate time to experiment with some preservable’s like this salt. I even pickled some Jalapeños a couple of days back. 

Bird's eye chilli's...

My posts are slowing down, it’s not that I do not want to blog, it is just that there are so many interesting things happening around Bangalore. I attended a free workshop on kitchen gardening at Lalbagh – the beautiful botanical garden, conducted everyday for a fortnight by the Horticultural department of the Karnataka Government. Such a wonderful gesture educating interested people on growing their own veggies in organic ways, in a small patch of land/terrace garden.

The city had issues with waste disposal around 6 months back. The city generates around 800 tonnes of waste & the villagers living around the disposal site fought back since the enormous amounts of waste being disposed that they were exposed to a lot of air pollution, water & soil contamination & it was getting difficult for them to live & farm around the area. The waste was giving a rich breeding ground for unwanted elements. Street dogs, vultures hovering around etc. So the villagers did not let the BBMP (Bruhut Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) i.e. the municipal corporation of Bangalore from dumping the waste. The city waste was just left uncollected by them as there was no place to dispose it off. The garden city started stinking with waste overflowing around everywhere.

Did you know that one months of uncooked, wet waste generated in your kitchen can be converted easily into compost in 3 months?? It is pretty simple, does not require any elaborate chores. For those without a backyard, one corner of your utility area in your kitchen is just perfect. In my next post, I will pass on details for those interested in preparing your own compost at home & growing your own veggies organically. We live in a flat, I grow some herbs & flowering plants in my balcony in pots. I can grow at least 5-6 veggies, chilli’s, 4-5 herbs in the space I have.

Birds eye chilli's..

Well let us get back to this post. Why did I think of preparing this salt. I have already mentioned that I’m a seasoning freak. If you have been following my blog, you would know that I never use the ready ginger garlic pastes or even pepper powders available in the store. Why use these when you can enhance your meal with ingredients which are easily available & using them fresh just takes you food to a whole new level. I grind & make fresh ginger/garlic paste when required, use a pepper mill or a pestle & mortar to season my food with ground pepper.

Bird's eye chilli's...

Ingredients: (Serves -) Preparation Time: 10 mins
Scotch Bonnet Chilli’s – 2-3, I used 2 medium-sized & one small
Rock salt – 100 – 125 gms, If you need a much milder flavour, use more salt

Wash the chilli’s & dry them using a kitchen towel & air dry them too for maybe half an hour before you begin, as these chilli’s have crevices that the water stays back. We do not want extra moisture getting into the salt.

Bird's Eye Chilli's...

Look at the colour, isn’t it lovely. These chilli’s are hot!

Slice the chilli’s & de-seed them. Dry the seeds, if you want to try your luck at growing a plant of these chilli’s (I have ;) let us see if I get lucky.) Bite into a seed if you want to try out how they are. I did the seeds are really hot!

Throw in the slices into a small chopper. Chop them into tiny bits. Each time I opened the chopper to mix the bits that did not end up anywhere near the blade,the zing from the chilli’s just hit me…

Transfer the de-seeded slices into the chopper...

These chilli’s are so colourful & bright that I can hardly stop clicking them. 

Bird's eye chilli's...

Once all the bits are finely done add the salt & spin the chopper 4-5 times else till the colour from the chilli’s gets on to the salt.

Bird's eye chilli's...

P.S: Be cautious, do not use your fingers while handling them, I did since I did not have gloves, damn I had my fingers burning from their heat for an entire day.. :(.

Transfer the salt to a flat board or a large plate & let it dry out completely. Then transfer it to an air tight bottle or a clean & dried mill if you have one.

Serving Suggestions:
Grind the chilli salt over anything you want to add an extra bit of spice to :). Enjoy!

Birds Eye Chilli flavoured rock salt.....

The salt looks lumpy here in the picture because it was just out of the chopper.

A closer look..

This salt will probably be available in the market in small mills, but then, in the cost of that one mill I can prepare 2-3 kilo’s of this salt, all you need is a pack of these chilli’s & a packet of rock salt. It hardly costed me 1/8 the price to make me salt enough to go into 2 similar mills. This should easily last for 6 months or more if you dry it thoroughly before bottling it or storing it away. I also have more than 10 chilli’s left from that pack.. Got to make something that will help me use them up in another interesting way. ;)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 401 other followers