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Sambar powder May 31, 2007

Posted by live2cook in Spice Powders and Mixes.

Sambar powder is the spice mix of Southern India. Every family have their own way of preparing it. The spices are either sun dried or dry roasted in cast iron pan. The concept behind it is to make the spices crisp, as it makes the grinding process easy. I am registering the way I prepare sambar powder, in this post. we will be seeing recipes using this powder in future posts.

The Ingredients I use:

Coriander seeds – 1 cup
Black pepper corns – 1/3 cup
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds – 1 tablespoon
Whole Red chilli – 1 and 1/3 cup
Toor dal – 1/3 cup
Chana dal – 1/3 cup
Dried Turmeric roots – 4 count (We need a very strong blender or food processor to grind turmeric root. If you don’t have one, use 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder)

Here’s how I prepare:

I will measure and spread all the ingredients in a cookie sheet. After baking my bread, I will turn off the oven and pop the cookie sheet in the hot oven. The oven takes atleast 20 minutes to cool. By that time all the spices turn crisp without any burns.

If you don’t want to wait till you bake something and get a hot oven, you can preheat the oven at 400F for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and keep the cookie sheet in the hot oven and allow the oven to cool down.

If you have hot weather year round, you can keep the cookie sheet in the hot sun for 3 hours.

After the spices are ready for grinding, I will grind the spices to fine powder by sieving and grinding again. I will repeat this process until there is less than 1/8 cup of large particles.

sambar powder in cup

I will store the powder in a sterilized and dry jar.

sambar powder in jar

This quantity of spices will give approximately 2 cups of powder which is enough for 2 months for a family of 2 people.


Thai Kaffir lime leaves and a Tamil recipe April 29, 2007

Posted by live2cook in Spice Powders and Mixes.

When I was searching for a citrus fruit called Naraththai, the description of few matched perfectly. One among them was Kaffir lime used in Thai cuisine. I visited the nearby Thai grocery and found out that kaffir lime is not the citrus fruit that I was looking for. They had Kaffir Lime and fresh kaffir lime leaves . Though the fruits disappointed me, leaves came to my help. With a plan in my mind, I bought those leaves. Here are the leaves…

Kaffir lime leaves

The plan was to create a recipe for JFI hosted by Indira and Nandita. Did the plan succeed?… Read below.

For all of us, there will be some recipes that have wonderful memories. For me, Naarthelai Podi is one among them. My grand mother used to make them and I am still a great fan of that. I don’t know the exact recipe of hers, but I am trying to recreate a recipe that I was fond of. If anyone know the exact recipe of Naarthelai Podi (Naarthelai means citrus leaves and podi is tamil term for powder), Please let me know.

I would like to call my recipe as Lime Leaves Powder.

Here’s what I did:

I took 2 cups of Kaffir Lime Leaves, 1/2 cup of urad dhal, 10 – 12 dried red chillies, lime sized ball of Tamarind, 1/4 teaspoon of asafetida, 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon of salt. Cut the tamarind into pieces and set aside. Heated 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Added urad dhal and asafedita. When the dhal started to turn brown, added the tamarind pieces and fried till the dhal completely turned brown. Reduced the heat and added the red chillies. Fried them for few seconds and added the kaffir lime leaves. Tossed well for few times and removed from the heat. when they cooled to room temperature, powdered them in a food processor or blender along with the salt. The powder looked like this…


I know… I know… you are asking, how it suits Nandita’s theme? When everybody makes the main dish, somebody got to make side dishes right? 🙂

We can use this like chutney powder, Mix with Plain yogurt and make a spicy, lemony raita, sprinkle over salads, toss with cooked noodles……… 🙂