dry chutney spice powder for idly/dosa

This chutney powder is a staple in most of the homes in south india especially the states where the people enjoy fresh idly and dosa for breakfast or dinner. For those who are unfamiliar with the terms idly/dosa – these are indian pancakes made by grinding rice + urad dhal(a type of lentil upon grinding is mixed with rice flour), fermented overnight and can be cooked as pancakes (dosa) or steam cooked.

To go with the rice pancakes, you can either make a wet fresh chutney or quickly mix up this spice powder with a tablespoon of oil or ghee and this is your instant chutney. I used to buy this powder, but not anymore.

Roasted ingredients for spice powder

you will need:

1) 3/4 cup of channa dal
2) 1 cup of urad dal (slow roasted for 10 mins)
3) 12 – 15 red chillies dry
4) 1 tsp of hing (asafetida)
5) 1/4 cup of sesame seeds slow roasted for 4 mins
6) kosher salt to taste

make it:
* Slow roast the #1 and #2 for 10 – 12 mins separately – this is very important, else, just the outside will cook and the inside of the lentil will remain raw, which will give a raw taste to the powder upon grinding. Keep it aside
* Slow roast the chillies, set aside (approximately 3 mins)
* Slow roast items #4 and #5, set aside
* Let it all cool for 30 mins, and grind to a coarse powder and add salt to taste
* Let it cool on a wide plate for an hour and store in a bottled container or in a Ziploc bag and you can freeze up to 3-6 months


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  1. #1 by Bam's Kitchen on September 3, 2012 - 15:20

    I love dosa’s. I have made dosa from scratch before but can you please let me know or describe “hing”?

    • #2 by snowflakes on September 3, 2012 - 18:49

      Thank you for the comments. The English name is asafetida. It’s a type of spice you would get in the Indian stores in small container.

      • #3 by Bam's Kitchen on September 4, 2012 - 07:01

        I know it by that name. Thanks for the clarification. Take Care, BAM

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