Friday, 22 January 2016

Pulihora Podi Recipe, ( Andhra Style ) / Tamarind Rice Powder Recipe


There is nothing better than Homemade, hand pounded spices to be used for cooking. Indian food is all about the magic we create with our spices. Unfortunately due to lack of time and also because most spice mixes are easily available in the Super Markets or with our Local Grocers, making freshly ground spices at home has become rare. Today, homes where mortar and pestle or the dual grinding stone or sil batta is still used to make spices is mostly in our vilages. That is the reason why the food cooked there is so pure and loaded with flavours.


If we could somehow make time to make spice mixes at home, then we get to have food with clear cut taste from the preservative free spices. Also the quality of the ingredients used are totally under our control. Want to go for organic  or any desired quality of ingredients, you are at the liberty to do that. Also the aspect of hygiene is totally under your control. Though most reputed companies implement stringent measures to keep both quality and hygiene high but the joy of making your own spices at home is something else.

What's more, you don't have to hand pound it either. Use your food processor or grinder and in very less time make bottle after bottle of these aromatic spices. These spices can be made in large batches and stored for months. Only keep in mind that, store in a dry, airtight bottle and keep the bottle in a cool place and avoid cross-contamination, that is, neither use your hand nor a spoon used to take out some other spices, while adding the spice powder into your dishes. It is as simple as that. 


I have always found that Pulihora or Puliyodhara or tamarind rice, a very popular rice dish, is delicious beyond words. I am reminded of this dish, whenever I think of the temples of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, where Pulihora is offered as prasadam (oblation) to the Gods. The way the tangy, spicy and savoury flavours are married in this festive dish is indeed a delight to the senses. Pulihora gets its unique flavour from the Pulihora Podi or that indigenous spice mix, which gives it an all encompassing aroma and also lends to its distinct taste.

Its a simple and  easy to make spice mix. Time taken depends on the quantity you want to make. This is my Mum-In-Law's recipe and I have followed her instructions totally. 

Pulihora Podi Recipe / Andhra Style Tamarind Rice Powder Recipe :

MAKES : 400 GMS APPROXIMATELY OF PULIHORA PODI / TAMARIND RICE POWDER
CUISINE : ANDHRA PRADESH, TELENGANA, INDIA
TYPE : SPICE MIX
TIME : 20 MINUTES TO DRY ROAST THE INGREDIENTS + 10 MINUTES TO GRIND THE SPICES USING A GRINDER

INGREDIENTS :

1) 1/2 Cup ( 100 Gms ) Chana dal / Husked Split Bengal gram
2) 1/2 Cup (100 Gms )  Urad dal / Husked whole black lentil
3) 1/2 Cup (75 Gms ) White Til Seeds / White Sesame seeds
4) 10~12 Dry Red Chilies (Increase the nos. if you want it more spicy )
5) 1 Tbsp Jeera / Cumin seeds
6) 2 Tbsp Dhaniya / Coriander seeds
7) 8 ~ 10 1 inch pieces of dry seedless Tamarind / Imli
8) 2 one inch piece of jaggery / gur or ( 1 Tbsp of powdered jaggery )
9) 1 1/2 Tsp Salt

PROCEDURE :


1) Take a pan, preferably a non stick pan. Dry roast the chana dal till it turns light pink.This should take around 10 minutes max. Constantly keep moving the dal around in the pan to prevent it from burning. Transfer the roasted chana dal into a bowl and allow it to cool.

In the same pan dry roast the urad dal for 5 ~ 7 minutes, moving the dal around constantly in the pan with your spatula so that it doesn't burn. Transfer from the pan into a bowl and leave it to cool.

In the same pan dry roast the sesame seeds / til seeds. This can be a little tricky. Be attentive and roast only on medium to low flame and keep moving the til seeds with you spatula constantly. You know the till seeds are roasted when a few of them start to pop up from the pan. Roasting should not take more than 3~4 minutes. Transfer into a bowl and allow it to cool.

Allow the roasted lentils and the sesame seeds to cool completely before grinding them.

2) In the same pan add the chilies, after tearing them with your hand into small pieces. By doing this you allow the chilies to roast evenly.

Wait till the chilies change colour and become bright red, then add the cumin and coriander seeds. Dry roast them all together till the cumin and coriander seeds start crackling and become fragrant.

Close the burner and remove the pan from it and keep it aside to cool.

3) Meanwhile, the lentils would have cooled. Now you can grind the roasted chana dal and urad dal together into a coarse powder, in the grinder.

Add the sesame seeds on top of the coarse lentil powder in the grinder and whizz the grinder till the sesame seed becomes a coarse powder too.

Now add the roasted chili , coriander and cumin seeds into the grinder along with the coarsely powdered lentils and sesame seeds. Grind till they mix nicely with other powder in the grinder.

Finally add Tamarind, jaggery and salt and for the last time grind everything into a grainy powder. I like it slightly grainy. If you wish to get very fine texture of the powder, grind a little more till the desired result is reached.

Transfer the Pulihora podi from the grinder on to a clean , moisture free plate. When the spice powder becomes completely cool then transfer it with the help of a clean dry spoon into an airtight container. Store in a cool dry place for days together.

STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE WITH PICTURES :

INGREDIENTS :


1) Take a pan, preferably a non stick pan. Dry roast the chana dal till it turns light pink.This should take around 10 minutes max. Constantly keep moving the dal around in the pan to prevent it from burning. Transfer the roasted chana dal into a bowl and allow it to cool.


In the same pan dry roast the urad dal for 5 ~ 7 minutes, moving the dal around constantly in the pan with your spatula so that it doesn't burn. Transfer from the pan into a bowl and leave it to cool.
TIP : Whether you roast the lentils on high or low heat, moving the lentils around in the pan with your spatula is a must.


In the same pan dry roast the sesame seeds / til seeds. This can be a little tricky. Be attentive and roast only on medium to low flame and keep moving the til seeds with you spatula constantly. You know the till seeds are roasted when a few of them start to pop up from the pan. Roasting should not take more than 3~4 minutes. Transfer into a bowl and allow it to cool.


Allow the roasted lentils and the sesame seeds to cool completely before grinding them.


2) In the same pan add the chilies, after tearing them with your hand into small pieces. By doing this you allow the chilies to roast evenly.


Wait till the chilies change colour and become bright red, then add the cumin and coriander seeds. Dry roast them all together till the cumin and coriander seeds start crackling and become fragrant.


Close the burner and remove the pan from it and keep it aside to cool.


3) Meanwhile, the lentils would have cooled. Now you can grind the roasted chana dal and urad dal together into a coarse powder, in the grinder.


Add the sesame seeds on top of the coarse lentil powder in the grinder and whizz the grinder till the sesame seed becomes a coarse powder too.


Now add the roasted chili , coriander and cumin seeds into the grinder along with the coarsely powdered lentils and sesame seeds. Grind till they mix nicely with other powder in the grinder.


Finally add Tamarind, jaggery and salt and for the last time grind everything into a grainy powder. I like it slightly grainy. If you wish to get very fine texture of the powder, grind a little more till the desired result is reached.


Once everything in the grinder comes together you will get powder like the one shown in the picture right below. The colour of the Pulihora Podi will depend on the type of dry red chilies used. 


Transfer the Pulihora podi from the grinder on to a clean , moisture free plate. When the spice powder becomes completely cool then transfer it with the help of a clean dry spoon into an airtight container. Store in a cool dry place for days together.

This versatile spice mix powder tastes yummy when had sprinkled on hot rice along with clarified butter also. Apart from using it in Pulihora, you can use it in poha ( pressed rice ) upma, on your vegetable fries etc. 

Once you start making your own spice mixes, you will definately take time out and make more as you will notice the heightened aroma and flavour they impart to your dishes.