This recipe is a Kasaraneni family heirloom, and one that I knew I had to share as soon as I tried it. I've often described chutney podis (fiesty and full bodied lentil and/or spice blends) as India's furikake because whilst they are delicious on everything- they were made for a hot bowl of rice with a drizzle of ghee on top. The simplest pleasure.
Extracting the specifics of this recipe out of Prabhu's (our partner farmer who grows your favorite turmeric!) grandmother shortly after the harvest was completed was a hilarious encounter. The matriarch's recipe differed greatly from her daughter-in-law's, or her grand daughter's, and each were clamoring to share their versions of it without stepping on each other's toes. I think we got it just right in the end though!
Makes: ~ 1 Cup
- 1/2 cup curry leaves (dried is best but fresh works too!)
- 1/2 cup groundnut (or 1/3 cup peanuts)
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp chilli powder or 3 whole chillies (Guntur Sannam are perfect here)
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek
- 5-6 small cloves of garlic
- 1tsp jaggery or coconut sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat a heavy-bottomed pan until very hot; reduce the heat to low and add the groundnut or peanuts. Dry roast the nuts for 1-2 minutes till the raw smell disappears. Remove and set aside on a plate to cool completely.
To the hot pan, add the curry leaves and dry roast on low heat for about 1 minute, stirring continuously. If your leaves are fresh, heat for a little longer to dry it out. Remove and add to the plate of nuts to cool completely.
To the hot pan, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, chilli powder (or chillies) and garlic. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes, taking care not to burn any of the ingredients. As soon as it's fragrant - take it off the heat! Transfer to the plate to cool completely.
Now grind the cooled nuts, curry leaves and spices into a powder in a mixer / food processor. Add the fenugreek, jaggery/sugar, salt and pepper and pulse into a rough powder. Taste and add seasoning as you see fit. The key here is to play! Add more garlic, more chilli, more of anything you want at this stage! If the curry leaf flavor is overpowering, add cumin and coriander to lessen it a bit. I usually add more jaggery because I like a little sweet-salty action.
Serve with hot, steamed rice and a dollop of ghee. We also use it atop avocado toast, on fried eggs, on popcorn, in dal, really anywhere that you want a fiery, umami flavor kick!