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Monday, April 11, 2016

A - Z Andhra Recipes ~ I for Idli Karam Podi / Karappodi

For people who are joining me late, I am on a culinary journey this month, exploring the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. I am posting recipes in an alphabetical order and it is turn of 'I thru N' this week. Today I am in the land of 'I', a tricky alphabet again yielding just a couple of recipes with regional names. 

To begin with, there are no fruits or vegetables with regional names starting with 'I'.  The only ingredients that would be in Andhra kitchen pantries that start with the alphabet 'I' are 'idli rava' (to make idlis) and 'inguva' which happens to be asafoetida. Inguva is a flavoring agent that aids in digestion but never is a star ingredient of any recipe. It is used in minuscule quantity and when overdone, it ruins the flavor of the dish instead of enhancing it. The dried gum derived from the plant source is sold commercially both in block and powder forms. The block is more stronger in flavor than the powdered form. Inguva is generously and commonly used in all dal preparations including charu aka rasam, pulihora variety rice dishes and even some curries in Brahmin households. I got to see online some recipes for 'inguva pettina charu' which literally means that a tempering of asafoetida has been used for the rasam preparation. That title would be a perfect example of redundancy.
I had the option of 'iguru' even though I have never heard anyone in our families using the word. The iguru recipes I saw online were mostly non vegetarian that were semi gravy and the vegetarian dishes I saw on television shows were dry sautes. A dry saute would be called koora or podi koora in our homes. I am assuming 'iguru' is not a word associated with Brahman style cooking, if I am not wrong. My mother and my husband had to stop and think when I asked them about it. They arrived at the same conclusion as me that the word iguru comes from 'igirinchadam' meaning 'evaporating'. The vegetables are sauteed until all / any water content present evaporates, if we are right. Besides I couldn't just call the dish iguru. I have to put the name of the vegetable (with which the curry is being prepared) before the word iguru. For example, a dry saute of thotakoora (that is amaranth greens) would be called thotakoora iguru. There are no vegetables starting with 'I' except Ivygourd, which again would have been an English name.

The best 'I' option of course would be idli - a healthy, steamed breakfast common to all south Indian states. Traditionally idlis used to be called 'iddenlu' in Telugu. People no longer use the word but it also starts with I. I would have posted the idli recipe if not for my misplaced memory card. It does not mean that I could not have taken pictures again. I make idli frequently and in fact, even today idli was our breakfast but the day I clicked them, I had more side dishes prepared and did not have the patience to cook them all again. 

And so I went with the next best thing. I chose 'Karappodi' which also goes by the name 'Idli Karam Podi' because the condiment is usually associated with idli. This podi also is fed to new mothers in our families, for a month or two because of the healthy properties of garlic. During lunch and dinners, at least the first morsel would be this podi annam (This condiment mixed with rice and ghee). I was the only new mother in our families who got away without eating it because of my aversion towards garlic. I don't eat garlic even now but seeing my husband's love for this podi, I can say that this is a flavorful podi for garlic lovers. Sprinkle some ghee over the podi and enjoy with idlis / rice.
1/2 cup skinned black gram / urad dal
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1/8 tsp. fenugreek seeds
8 dried red chillies
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. sized tamarind ball
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely minced

* Heat oil in a pan, add black gram and toast it until it starts to turn reddish. Next add coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chillies and tamarind and continue to toast until the dal turns reddish and coriander & fenugreek seeds turn a few shades darker. Take care to not burn them. Each ingredient can be toasted individually if you are not comfortable toasting them together.
* Transfer the toasted ingredients onto a wide plate to cool. 
* To the same pan, add the minced garlic cloves and toast for a minute or two on low flame and let them cool too.
* Grind all the ingredients finely.
* Store it in a air-tight container and eat with idlis, upma or rice &
So far on A - Z Andhra Cuisine,
A for Alasanda Vada
B for Bellam Garelu
C for Chiyali
D for Dondakaaya Kaarapu Kaaya
E for Endu Kobbari Podi
F for Fine Biscuits 
G for Gongura - Mamidikaya Pappu
H for Halwa Holigalu

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63.



Kalyani said...

I loved the steel container for ur podi .... N this seems like a flavourful podi.. M not fond of garlic in everyday cooking like this but will
Make a small batch and see if the rest of the family would take to this podi ...

Unknown said...

Aww mouthwatering Hot idlis with this karapodi and ghee wow heaven.. your pictures are tempting a lot..

Amara’s cooking said...

Karappodi looks delicious Suma, I love Idli and dosa with podi's. Nice share..

The Pumpkin Farm said...

the urad dal powder looks very tempting and probably is most suitable podi for idlis...will try this for sure

cookingwithsapana said...

Idli podi looks so tempting.Love to have it with idlis.

Priya Suresh said...

very tempting idli karam podi, those podi topped idlies makes me hungry now.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

I love this version of idli podi. It is quite different from how we make it in TN. Would love to have a batch of this flavor as well :)

Srividhya said...

I second sandhya.. addition of corainder and fenugreek is pretty new. But I bet they are great. Bookmarking this. Will try this version soon.

Pavani said...

Kaaram podi looks absolutely amazing. I rarely make podis at home but I definitely want to try this recipe out soon.

vaishali sabnani said...

I would love to grab that platter, it looks terribly tempting..the idlis with ghee and podi..awesome, and looks absolutely fantastic.

Srivalli said...

That's totally a fantastic podi Suma..I enjoyed reading about your adventure in getting a proper dish for this alphabet, it surely was a challenging one for all of us...I love garlic and will surely bookmark this..

Gayathri Kumar said...

Your version of karam podi looks so yum. Need to try this as we don't mind garlic in dishes...

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Your version of idly podi sounds delicious and flavorful,Nice presentation.We don't use coriander seeds.Addition of coriander seeds make it more flavorful.

MySpicyKitchen said...

You are right about iguru, it is a dry curry or sautéed vegetable, podi koora. Th non veg iguru however has some masala but dry. As far as I know and got the info from my friend, it is not a semi gravy curry.

I was challenging one and since I did not want to do ivy gourd, I went with iguru.

Idli karam is a good choice for this letter and it looks spicy and flavorful.

Harini R said...

My logic about iguru is the same as you mentioned Suma. This version of karam podi sounds flavorful. But somehow we are not used to eating idli with this kind of podi. Maybe this podi will take us there :)

Smruti Ashar said...

I love idlis with any kind of podi. Yours looks so inviting and amazing. Lovely pick!!

Chef Mireille said...

not just for idli can imagine how good this flavorful podi with me on rice

veena said...

This podi looks so inviting and lovely clicks!!