In most telugu homes, we have this curry powder (koora podi) prepared and kept in an air tight container. This is very versatile podi, as it can be sprinkled on lot of cooked vegetable curries like okra (bendi), tindora (dondakaya), beans, cabbage and capsicum. It also tastes wonderful on eggplant (brinjal) curry; I also substituted and used this powder to stuff it in brinjal(the powder you stuff in brinjal is made slightly differently) and made whole brinjal fry (Karapu kaaya) when pressed for time.
The powder itself can be made in various versions like adding curry leaves for one and garlic for another. When I am adding curry leaves I make sure they are properly washed and air dried completely before adding them to the chana daal to fry to make sure the powder stays fresh without spoiling. If I am adding garlic I just toss them into the pan along with red chilles after the daals and coriander seeds are roasted for few minutes and switch of the stove; also I tend to make it in smaller quantity to ensure freshness.
As you can see it is very handy to keep it stocked; I make sure I never run out of it. Hope you get to try this…do share your thoughts if you try.
The proportions I used are 1 cup of toor daal, ½ a cup of chana daal(until about 1 cup can be used), ½ a cup of coriander seeds, ¼ cup of urad daal and few red chillies. The amount of red chillies would not matter, as you can add chilli powder in your curries as required.
Heat the pan, once it is warm enough add chana daal and start roasting on low to medium heat. Stir continously to ensure daal is not browned too quickly.
Add toor daal next. Fry for few more minutes, like say about 5 minutes.
Add coriander seeds and urad daal. Roast another 5 minutes or so.
Add red chillies, and garlic pods if you are using and switch off the stove.
Once this is cool enough, dry grind it into fine powder with salt.
Store it in an air-tight container.
Toor daal – 1 cup
Chana daal (Bengal gram) – ½ to 1 cup
Coriander seeds – ½ cup
Urad dal (Split black gram) – ¼ cup
Red chillies – about 5 to 8
Salt – as required
Garlic pods – few (optional)
- Dry roast chana dal for 5 minutes on low heat.
- Add toor daal and fry another 5 minutes.
- Add urad daal and coriander seeds and roast for another 5-7 minutes.
- Add red chillies (and garlic pods if you are using) and roast for another minute.
- Let it cool.
- Grind these ingredients along with salt.
Serving: Prepare your vegetable curry as you normally do; just before switching off the stove add this powder (about 1 to 3 tbsps.) and mix gently. I found it works well with capsicum, cabbage, okra, tindora, beans and brinjal.