How to make Dhal powder | Paruppu podi | Kandhi Podi | Spiced Lentil powder
My mom has a wanderlust soul. She lives to travel and I don’t think there is a place in India she hasn’t been. However, her stomach is super sensitive and is very allergic to outside food. Paruppu podi or this Spiced Lentil powder is her savior. All she needs to survive is some rice, ghee and this paruppu podi. She especially loves the taste of Ambika Appalam Depot (famous shop from Chennai) Paruppu Podi. It is mild, smooth and has a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves. I recently made Ambika Appalam Depot style Paruppu podi for her and here is the recipe:
We will need to dry roast these items one by one. Put a shallow frying pan / kadai in low-med heat. Add the Toor dal first and roast them until they turn golden brown. Remove from flame and set aside. Now, add the red chilies and roast them until they slightly change color and you smell roasted chilies. This takes about 3-4 minutes in low-med flame. Remove and set aside. Next, add the peppercorns and cumin seeds and saute until the cumin seeds start to pop. Remove and set aside. Switch off the flame and add the dalia/pottu kadalai and saute in the retained heat for a minute. Remove from flame.
Now, cool all the ingredients to a room temperature by spreading them in a plate like this
Once cool, add 1 tablespoon of Salt (or to taste) and blend it in a mixer-grinder into a smooth powder. You can also grind it to a coarse powder as some folks prefer it that way. A note on the spice levels – you can reduce the red chilies if you like a very mild version of the paruppu podi. You can omit it totally if you wish to as well, as the peppercorns pack enough punch.
Next, in the same pan, dry roast the mustard seeds in high heat. In a minute, they will begin to pop. Remove from flame and add the popped seeds to the paruppu podi. You can dry roast the curry leaves in the same method. Optionally, I find it very easy to spread the mustard seeds and curry leaves in a microwave compatible bowl and microwave them for 30-45 seconds. Mix well with the podi.
Paruppu podi is served with hot rice and ghee. You can also use this powder to spice up your vegetable curries or a thickener for sambar/gravies. My mom loves to eat them with idli/dosas as well.