Curry Leaf Powder

One of the first things that caught my attention with Andhra cuisine was the predominance of accompaniments. From papads to fried curd chili, pickles to salans, these guys really make a go of things. My favorite is the gun powder - a fiery powder that you mix with rice and ghee (or a dash of vegetable oil) and start your meal with. The Telugu's call it Podi.

Podis make for a quick meal with little effort, and at other times add life to a routine menu. Here is a wonderful curry leaf podi from sailu's kitchen. For a simpler and more junglee version, try it my way, sufficiently earthy, sublime and pure to be sent for the Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival over at Zaiqa.

My way
You will need
curry leaves 20 sprigs (two bunches, washed and dried and taken off the stalks))
dried red chili 1 (cut into four small pieces)
red chili powder 1/4 tsp
garlic 1 clove (chopped as fine as possible)
cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
veg oil 1/2 tsp
salt 1/4 tsp

heat oil in a pan or kadai, prefer teflon, once hot, add the cumin seeds and red chili , sizzle, add garlic, saute 30 seconds, add salt and red chili powder, add curry leaves, stir continuously till the curry leaves pick up all the masala and start to go dark grey-green and crisp, they will produce a dry leafy sound when tossed in the pan, cool, crush. make sure that the garlic chunks and the red chili pieces get crushed and evenly mixed. serve with a blob of ghee and hot rice.

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