Andhra cuisine is not just about pickles and biriyani. It is also about the myriad powder dishes that the Andhra people love to have with rice and ghee, not to mention as a side dish with curd rice. In this article, we give you three quick recipes to bring in the authentic taste of Andhra onto your dining table with no fuss at all.
Andhra Pradesh is known for its pickle recipes – avakaya and gongura being the most popular – but what is little known is that in Andhra, people eat an assortment of powder preparations with rice and ghee to lend their palettes a grainy texture and a nice hit of spice and nutrition all at the same time. These powders are easy to make and store, so there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t be part of every Indian kitchen.
1. Palli Podi (Groundnut powder)
Take either whole or skinned peanuts and roast them on a dry pan until golden brown. Allow them to cool, and make a powder of them in a regular mixer/grinder. If you like a fine, powdery texture, you can grind them a lot, but a grainier texture is often preferred. Add salt and red chilli powder according to taste, and store it in any airtight container. You now have a ready dish to be eaten with rice and ghee on those days when you’re feeling too lazy to cook a meal. You can also eat this powder with curd rice.
2. Pappula Podi (Pulses powder)
This can be prepared with any one kind of pulse grain as the base. The most common variant is prepared with chana dal as the main ingredient, with some toor dal and urad dal to be added as well in smaller quantities to give that variation in texture and taste. The recipe is pretty similar to palli podi, in that you roast the dal first, grind it, and add your salt and chilli powder to it. However, in this case, you can also give Pappula Podi a nice spicy touch by adding cloves and cumin seeds. Add this to all of your curries while you mix it into your rice and it will elevate the dish a level or two.
3. Karivepaku Podi (Curry leaves powder)
This is made with dried curry leaves. Purchase a good amount of curry leaves and first dry them in a hot, dry place for a day. You may want to wash them before you do this so that you get rid of all the impurities. You will add some three types of dal in equal and small proportions to a hot pan. Add a bit of cumin and salt to this and make a powder of it. Then make a powder of the dried curry leaves, and mix the two. This is a beautiful spice mixture to sprinkle on top of your rice preparations. It gives a nice aroma and flavour to the dish.