Wednesday 24 February 2016

Spicy Lentil Powder (பருப்பு பொடி)

Though paruppu podi or lentil powder (பருப்பு பொடி) is intended to be mixed with hot cooked rice and ghee, it is equally good when mixed with gingelly oil and eaten with idly or dosa. In any case, lentil powder comes in handy when you want to take a break from elaborate cooking or when sambar and rasam are insufficient for the meal. I learnt this simple recipe from my grandmother and it works great for me. You can easily make this powder at home in no time. I always keep a stock of lentil powder as I have found some interesting ways to use it! Read on…


Split red gram or toor dhal – 1 teacup or 200ml measure
Asafoetida – teaspoon
Red chili – 2-3 no (adjust to taste)
Peppercorns – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste

Spicy Lentil Powder (பருப்பு பொடி)
Method: Roast red chilies in a kadai till they turn darker. Now add toor dhal and peppercorns; roast till the dhal turns reddish in color (நன்கு சிவக்க வறுக்கவும்). Switch off the stove and allow the contents to cool. Later grind the roasted ingredients with asafoetida and salt into a fine powder using the mixer-grinder. Allow the powder to cool to room temperature. Your spicy dhal powder is ready!

How to store spicy dhal powder: Store the powder in an airtight container. Always use a dry spoon. If stored and handled properly, lentil powder remains fresh for easily a month.

How to serve spicy dhal powder: Serve spicy dhal powder with hot cooked rice and ghee; pappad (அப்பளம்) and wafers (வடாம்) make good accompaniments, though this can be eaten with any poriyal.

How to make quick rasam with lentil powder: You may use lentil powder instead of cooked dhal for making rasam. Follow tomato rasam recipe, and use all the ingredients except cooked dhal, which can be replaced by a teaspoon of lentil powder. Reduce the quantity of rasam powder to 2 teaspoons, as the dhal powder will also add spice to the rasam. This way, you can still make dhal rasam (பருப்பு ரசம்) in just 10 minutes, even if you do not have time to pressure cook dhal. 

How to use lentil powder to spice vegetables: You can use lentil powder instead of red chilli powder while making potato fry; this is especially suitable for children. You can also make cabbage poriyal by using 2 teaspoons of lentil powder instead of coconut gratings and red chilies.  

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