April 2, 2013

Paruppu podi

Toor dal / Tuvar dal (split pigeon peas) is one of the most popular pulses in southern part of India. Toor dal being an important source of protein (usually 25% of protein by weight) in a vegetarian diet, is used in most of the south-Indian recipes, like sambar, rasam, kootu etc. Paruppu thogayal is a wet mixture of toor dal & spices used as a rice mix with milagu kuzhambu on the side.

Paruppu podi is the recipe where toor dal is dry roasted with other spices and ground into fine dry powder (slightly towards the coarser side). Then, this powder/podi is mixed with rice with a dab of ghee / gingelly oil and consumed with sutta (fire-roasted) appalam on the side. As simple as it sounds, this is also very tasty & nutritious. Healthy alternate to break your usual sambar-rasam routine.

My mom always keeps a bottle of paruppu podi in stock, that comes really handy while she 's not around to cook for us. Me & my brother are suckers for our mom 's simplest, down-to-earth form of this recipe, and I especially love it with poricha kuzhambu / plain yogurt on the side!

Basic Info
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 30 mins (includes cooling time)
Cook time - 5 mins
Serves - approx. 1 cup

Toor dal - 1 cup
Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Dry red chilli - 1 no
Salt to taste

Dry roast toor dal, black peppercorns, dry red chilli until toor dal is golden brown. Let it cool to room temperature and grind into a fine powder.

If you store paruppu podi in a dry air-tight container, and use only dry spoons, it can stay good for months together.

- Dry roast 2-3 sprigs of curry leaves along with the dal and grind.
- Cumin seeds (~2 tsp) also makes a flavorful addition.
- Mix 2 big pinches of hing to the podi to aid in better digestion.
- Dry roast 6-8 cloves of garlic until crisp and grind it along with toor dal for the famous "Andhra Pappu".
- However you mix & match the above ingredients, you will always end up with a flavorsome, protein-packed paruppu podi.

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