Thursday, 24 March 2016

Cheap thrills: curry leaf powder...

Ok, so no photos of curry leaves, but! the recipe did require curry leaves. It also required fenugreek seeds, which we hardly use, so it was a good recipe to try.

So, the recipe: the recipe comes from Dakshin: Vegetarian cuisine from South India by Chandra Padmanabhan, a firm family-favourite cookbook, my uncle A introduced us to many years ago. It made the cut 2 years ago and it came to Manhattan, KS, and as Jimmy's taste buds are being ruined by the balance-but-bland food at daycare, I figured it was high time to re-introduce Indian spices to our diet. (Plus, with only 3 months to get through our spices, we have our work cut out for us.)

Now, the powder, once made is mixed with rice and a little ghee, and can be served with yoghurt and other things, but the idea is that it's a quick and easy meal that satisfies the taste buds. My Dad mentioned making a powder or two and I've been itching to try them, only we didn't have a food processor... And then my boss gave me some coffee from a work trip to Ethiopia and we needed a coffee grinder, so we picked up a spice/coffee grinder at a local op shop thrift shop. The powders were going to happen...

After looking through the recipes, I found one I could make without having to buy anything and without much planning. There were a few omissions, but so what? I also had to grind everything in batches because of how small our grinder is, but that's ok.

What you'll need for the "we don't have four of the listed ingredients" version:

  • 30-35 dried curry leaves (or dry roasted)
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon red lentils/split peas
  • 1 tablespoon green lentils/split peas
  • 1 tablespoon jaggery/brown sugar
  • a marble-sized piece of seedless tamarind pulp 
  • salt and pepper
Rinse the lentils, set aside. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, and lentils and saute for a few minutes. If using cracked pepper, add it while the spices are sauteing. Once the spices are aromatic and before the cumin seeds get too coloured, move the mix to a food processor. Add the jaggery, tamarind pulp, curry leaves, and salt. Blend into a fine powder and enjoy with hot rice (and ghee or yoghurt).

It was pretty good.

The powder can be stored in an airtight container, but I'm not sure how long it can be left... We're storing ours in the fridge and I'm hoping we can get through it before the end of the week.

Jimmy did eat some, although he was reluctant at first. I found it satisfying, but lacking in balance, and have been mixing the powder with leftover rice as a snack at work. We'll be trying out another powder next weekend, as we have a big bag of rice to get through, not just the fenugreek seeds, before we leave/move.

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