Curry patta or curry leaves are not something that makes curry powder as a westerner would know. Curry patta or Karipatta is an aromatic herb that grows on a tree, with immense medicinal value apart from a wonderful taste it imparts in curry or daal tempering. This curry patta powder or karuveppilai podi is a condiment that can be used to make lentil soups, as a seasoning to buttermilk or anything you can think of with it.
I have been suggesting this powder to my friends for so long that almost all of them use it now. The most common use being mixed with the daily buttermilk or raita. I use it for my red lentil soups too. Actually made the soup today for dinner in a different way and am going to share that recipe as well in this post.
Recipe alert : you need a lot of curry patta to begin with. Almost a whole branch of a handsome tree.
Recipe highlight : the fact that it uses a lot of curry patta, this condiment is actually a nutrient supplement. Learn more about curry patta nutrients here and here.
A whole branch of curry patta or several small ones washed and rained well (5 cups of leaves)
1/2 cup of chana daal (split chickpeas)
1/2 cup of urad daal (skinned black beans)
1 tbsp each of cumin seeds and black pepper corns
1/2 tsp of powdered asafoetida or a split chickpea sized resin of asafoetida if using
2 tbsp size of dry seeded tamarind, chopped with a sharp knife
12-15 or more red whole chillies, or to taste
salt to taste
sesame oil 2 tbsp
Heat the oil in a thick base kadhai, I used my desi Cast iron kadhai. Tip in the asafoetida and chopped tamarind first and fry it for a few seconds to dehydrate it, keeping the flame low. Add the lentils, scissor cut red chillies, cumin and black pepper in that order one by one, stirring the mixture all this while. Let the lentils turn pinkish brown before adding the curry patta, all of them together.
You can add a few more spices like cardamoms and cloves if you wish.
Keep stirring the mixture slowly on low flame till the curry patta look shrunk and a bit crisp.
Cool the mixture completely and grind it in the spice grinder of your food processor. A fine or coarse powder as per your liking, adding salt while powdering it.
And now using this wonderfully flavorful powder for my lentil soup.
I had seen this recipe of an instant lentil rasam here at Eatwritethink and was intrigued by the ease of making. I am a sucker of ready powders and pastes and lentil paste looks really easy to do.Two kinds of lentils soaked just before an hour of dinnertime and processed within 10 minutes. And that was all preparation I did for my dinner today.
A cup of Urad daal was soaked, 2 tbsp of masoor daal (red lentil) was soaked, both of them were blended smooth, separately. A coconut chutney was made too.Then both of the lentil pastes were cooked differently to make this...
On the right side bowl is the red lentil soup that was just boiled in a pan for about 10 minutes. No tempering and no complex procedures, just the red lentil paste(4 tbsp total paste) and 2 tbsp of this curry patta powder was mixed with a liter of water and boiled slowly while stirring it in between. A lil salt to taste.
Left side bowl is a coconut and raw curry patta chutney with some garlic and a red chilly.
Those small fritters are the Urad daal paste blended with ginger and cumin seeds, salt to taste and a little black pepper powder. Some chopped curry patta added and fried in hot oil on medium flame. It does not soak much oil and makes very soft fritters.
The trick to make vadas or fritters that does not soak much oil while frying is, keeping the batter thick and making smooth edged vadas or fritters. Keeping the flame medium helps even cooking in the middle. The Vadas do swell up while frying, almost doubling in volume. This is achieved by blending the lentil paste in the food processor till it becomes lighter, incorporating some air.
Just some small tricks, a few easy condiments in the pantry and you can plan such instant yummy meals for your family. Such meals are quicker when there are just two members in the family, a larger family means some more cooking time. But still a few ready powders help a lot...
When are you making this curry patta powder?