Welcome to another post of regional based cuisine and this month our Secret Shhhhh Cooking Secretly group decided to travel to Kerala, aka Gods own Country . In this group we are paired against a fellow blogger who gives two secret ingredients and we have to prepare a dish based on the theme. Once the dish is prepared we post the picture on the group and our other group friends guess the ingredients. It’s fun and interesting to see the different variations of the same recipe. This month I was paired with Seema Doraiswamy Sriram who blogs at Mildly Indian. She has a wonderful collection of lip smacking recipes. Do check her blog for some yummy recipes.
I had visited Kerala , a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast, some 13 years back and the place is truly mesmerizing . Kerala with nearly 600 km of Arabian Sea shoreline is one of the prominent tourist destinations of India and is known for its palm-lined beaches and backwaters, a network of canals. Inland are the Western Ghats – mountains whose slopes support tea, coffee and spice plantations as well as wildlife.
There is a lot to write about Kerala, But I will concentrate on food :-). Onam is a harvest festival celebrated by the people of Kerala and is reminiscent of the state’s agrarian past. Sadhya is typically served as a traditional dish for Onam. Sadhya is a feast consisting of a variety of traditional vegetarian dishes usually served on a banana leaf . A typical Sadhya can have about 24-28 dishes served as a single course. In some cases it is a much larger one with 64 or more items. The main dish is plain boiled rice, served along with other dishes collectively called Kootan which includes curries like sambar, rasam , parippu, etc. then pickles, chips, curd and desserts such as payasam which is generally served at the end of the meal.
Coming to my recipe, Seema gave me 2 versatile ingredients – Coconut and salt which I can say are the soul of Kerala’s cooking and when you have such ingredients it is difficult to shortlist just 1 recipe. I first thought of making a coconut chutney but then I wanted to try something different. Idli podi was on my mind since long. I had the thought of making it and then I started searching for some recipes. Seema came to my rescue and directed me to her Mom’s authentic recipe . I am so grateful to her for this. The recipe is quick and very easy to make and now we enjoy lipsmacking podi with Idli and Dosa’s . Can you guess what the Idli is made of? Recipe coming soon. I even use that as a masala on one of my quick sandwiches.
A flavorful spice powder made of few lentils and spices, which can be enjoyed with Idli and Dosa's
- 2 Cups Grated Cocounut
- 1/2 cup Urad Dal Gota
- 1 tbsp Bengal Gram
- 1 cup Curry Leaves (Loosely Packed)
- 1/2 cup Kashmiri Chilli and the spicy Red Chilli mixed (vary this according to your spice tolerence)
- 1 Lime sized Ball of Tamarind without seed
- Salt to taste
- 1 pinch Hing (Asafoetida)
- 1/4 tsp Lemon Rind (The secret ingredient. Keeps it feeling light and fresh)
Roast all the Dals, the Chillies till Crisp.
Roast the Coconut a bit beyond golden. Add the hing and Lemon rind to this when hot.
Roast the Curry leaves till Crisp
Set aside to cool.
Once cool, Powder the Dals and Chilli with Salt
Then powder the coconut and the Curry Leaves .
Now add half the mix of Dal and pulse till it is mixed. Add the tamarind in bits and pulse till it is mixed well. It will begin to stick, so add the extra half of the Dal as you go along to give the dryness.
Check salt and store in a clean and sterile air tight bottles after cooling. Use after one day.
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