Little heaps of dynamite and an ode to a friend ~ Peanut Podi and Coconut Karam Podi Recipe

little heaps of dynamite

palli podi to the left and kobbari karam to the right

My dearest friend U is going back to Syracuse tomorrow where her husband is doing a Ph.D. she’s been in India for the last few months while he has been doing his research in Phillipines. We’ve spent some fantastic times together, talking, gossiping, watching movies, laughing, crying and sharing our dreams……..we’ve fought too like crazy over many things big and small….. she’s in many ways like me…and then nothing at all like I am……a bundle of contradictions and talent, she’s dabbled in many things…..….. a painter, she’s from a very famous artistic family in Andhra and has had an exhibition of some of her work in Hyderabad… the last few years she hasn’t been able to pursue anything more than a slow degree in fine arts because of the dependent status of her Visa….our friendship blossomed while we worked for a telecom major in Hyderabad, we spent hours in the photocopying room over mugs of chai and talking over the intercom since we sat on different wings of the office….infact to many we were a package deal – Siamese twins and we loved it…….I still remember how once before I got married, when she stayed over, she spent the whole night stiff and awake in bed because as usual my dog and cat had curled up between us and she was scared as hell……she didn’t wake me, didn’t shove them off the bed, just lay awake the whole night!! Then at my wedding, her whole family, both the grandmothers, mother, father and brother sat up packing and attaching the little bronze colored tulle bows to the little boxes that held the wedding favours……… I remember her wedding at Annavaram for the way I pressure cooked in my kanjeevaram saree in the humid August weather, and the most amazing pesarattu upma we had for breakfast the next morning!!

The reason I am writing this ode to U is because she liked the palli (groundnut) podi that my mother makes to be served with idlis / dosa. And since she is going back I made her a batch of it to take away with her. in many ways these spicy podis that we eat, are like U, spicy, tantalizing, unpredictable and totally mind blowing…… you’ll never know what its going to taste like till you actually put it in your mouth: spicy, nutty, aromatic….thats why i call it a little heap of dynamite….Ever since I read indira’s post on kobbari karam I have made it thrice already (it should tell you how much idly and dosa sustains us!)and it is a big hit. So I made some for U too. I will miss her dearly…………My crazy, unpredictable, moody, talented and utterly loving friend……..

Palli Podi / Groundnut Chutney Powder (Makes 2 cups)

2 cups groundnuts / Palli

2 T putnalu pappu

10-12 dry red chillies (adjust depending on your tolerance to heat)

6 pods garlic

A big pinch of hing

1 T jeera

Salt to taste

Roast the entire ingredients separately except garlic till golden brown. Set aside to cool. Fry the garlic pods in a few drops of oil till golden. Set aside. When thoroughly cooled, pulse together in the mixer to a powder. Ensure you do not pulse continuously as the groundnuts will release oil and it will become a coarse paste. Check for salt and adjust. Store in a bottle / jar. To serve, mix with oil (preferably gingely oil) and enjoy. Goes best with idly, dosa or steaming hot rice.

Kobbari Kaaram (adapted from Indira’s Mahanandi) (Makes 1 cup)

½ a coconut: sliced thin and baked in the oven for 15 minutes or till golden brown

Alternatively use roasted dried coconut (kopra)

10-12 dry red chillies (adjust depending on your tolerance to heat)

A pinch of hing

2 T channa dal

2 T toor dal

1 Bunch Curry leaves

4-5 pods garlic

1 T jeera

Salt to taste

In a pan dry roast all the ingredients except the salt and hing separately till golden brown, adding a few drops of oil for the garlic pods and curry leaves. Set aside to cool. Pulse together in a mixer few seconds at a time till the powder is smooth / coarse enough for your liking. Check for salt and adjust. Store in a bottle / jar. To serve, mix with oil (preferably gingely oil) and enjoy. Goes best with idly, dosa or steaming hot rice. stores well for about 10 days, refrigerate if keeping longer.


18 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Enjoyed reading through your friendship message… And the podi recipes… Your friendship as crisp, tangy and tasty as d podis. May love flourish forever…

  2. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
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  3. nandita says:

    Is this the podi that I gobble when I come to your place??
    Nice write up about your friend U 🙂

    1. arundati says:

      yes, the same one!! now you know how to make it!! thanks girl!

  4. Mili says:

    Hey Anu
    Palli Podi? wow that’s lizard podi. Jokes apart, i think its a great recipe and an even better going away gift. i think i shd introduce my son to these s/indian podis. he loves s/indian food, and your rava idli was a instant hit with him.

  5. sailaja says:

    Lovely post and U is lucky to have you as a friend. I agree with you ‘little heaps of dynamite’.:):)

  6. Sig says:

    oh thats so sad she is moving, same thing is going to happen to me soon too… 😦 But you are so cool, for making her favorite podi as a going away present….
    Palli podi made me smile, as bee said it is lizard podi in malayalam… 😀

    dear sig, it hasn’t sunken in yet but yeah she’s halfway across the world right now…. but thank god for technology and praise god for the internet!! hallelujah!! 🙂 i was telling Bee that at first when i used to say palli podi, my hostel mates in coimbatore ( a good mix of mallu’s and tam’s) would react with a “chee” or “yuck” …… of course i then capitalised and told this horrid story of how it was a delicacy and the process that was involved…..kicks and laughs for me, but am sure some people have sworn of Palli podi because of that!! 😉

  7. Raaga says:

    Wow… you truly rock girl… I have never made myself any podis and you made them for your friend. 🙂 I must try at least one of them now.

    Dear Raaga, thanks 🙂 …… i used to get my supply from mom and ma-in-law but i’ve just started making them, and i am trying out different ones each time…

  8. Suganya says:

    What is putnala pappu? Roasted Chana dal?

    Dear Suganya, yes it is roasted chana dal, it looks pale yellow in colour

  9. lakshmi says:

    heaps of dynamite indeed!!! i love palli podi. thanks for the recipe. will def give it a shot sometime.

    thanks Lakshmi, i love palli podi too….with steaming hot rice and ghee !!

  10. bee says:

    palli podi sounds yummy will try it for sure. btw, ‘palli’ in malayalam and tamil means ‘lizard’.

    Dear Bee, balli for you in telugu for the lizzies…………when i was in the hostel,my mallu / tamil friend used to say ‘eeks palli podi’…….. groundnuts are called pallilu, pallikayalu in the telangana telugu and versanagkayalu in the andhra telugu….

  11. coffee says:

    Very thoughtful of you Arundhati. 🙂

    smiles…….thanks coffee…

  12. bhags says:

    This seems to be a perfect packed up gift to give to a friend…..

    i’d have never thought of it if U had’nt asked for it………..and if packed in a ziplock bag instead of a bottle its pretty compact enough for anyone to squeeze into a bag

  13. Asha says:

    I love these kinda powders for emergency food. Sounds great, Thanks A!:)

    thanks Asha, infact i loved Indira’s method of adding it to veggie stir….am sure it adds a great twist to the dish…..

  14. Shammi says:

    Lovely tribute to your friend! 🙂

    Dear Shammi…… so thrilled you visited and left me a comment!!

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