Karivepaku podi (కరివేపాకు పొడి)

3 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon Ghee
¼ cup Channa dhal
¼ cup Mung dhal
¼ cup Urid dhal
1-2 clove garlic or a pinch of Hing (Asafoetida) –(Optional)
10 dried red chilies (you can use less for less spicy powder)
1/3 cup dried coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Dried tamarind—15 g (a small lemon size)
Small piece of ginger (must be washed and left to dry out before using)
2 ½ tablespoons salt (or to your taste)
Fresh Curry leaves (remove from the stalk) —125 g

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a fry pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds pops add dried chilies and keep stirring for 1 minute, add Chana dhal, Urid dhal, Mung dhal, coriander seeds, garlic (optional) and ginger to the pan and roast/fry all ingredients in the pan till they are brown and get nice roasted aroma of the ingredients. When roasted, transfer to a plate & get the ingredients to cool.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil + 1 tablespoon ghee in the same fry pan, add the fresh curry leaves and roast them on medium flame till they are crisp. Keep tossing them about while roasting the leaves. Keep the roasted leaves for cooling.

Transfer the roasted/fried ingredients (lentils/coriander seed mix first) to the blender bowl, add dried tamarind fruit flesh/flakes, turmeric powder and grind to a coarse powder. Then add roasted curry leaves and blend together to get coarse to fine powder. Decant the powder into a bowl and add salt only when it is a bit warm (after ~ 5mins); mix well. Store it in an air tight bottle/container. Serve Karivepaku podi (కరివేపాకు పొడి) and ghee with Idlis, Dosa or steamed rice.

Tip: Salt is added only after grinding and when it is slightly warm to avoid moisture (తేమ) formation in the powder during grinding due to heat.

Recipe courtesy: Ramasri Mudumba