Isn’t it amazing how many different ways you can eat dal and rice? Parippu means dal and podi means powder. Parippu podi is a fantastic dal powder that you can mix directly into hot rice with some ghee for the quickest and (I would argue) tastiest version of dal rice you’ll ever have. I was an extremely picky eater as a child and my exhausted grandma would often turn to this combination which I loved. Rice, ghee, parippu podi, a vegetable and some papad. Parippu podi was a great way to sneak in some protein into my diet, something I definitely needed since the ‘vegetable’ I mostly ate was potatoes!
There’s two versions of parippu podi that I’ve grown up eating. The Andhra style has garlic in it whereas the Tamil style doesn’t. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana parippu pod is served with sesame oil while in Tamil Nadu you’ll find it served alongside ghee. While researching this recipe I also noticed that most versions, be it Tamil or Andhra, used pottukadalai or roasted chana dal. My Grandmother was adamant that the ‘true’ Tamil parippu podi was made with just toor dal so that’s what I’ve followed as well! She also grew up in a Tamil Brahmin household so she would never add garlic to any of her dishes. Don’t let her catch me saying this but I would 100% recommend the version with garlic!
This recipe might be simple but there’s no denying that it all hinges on a good machine. In the olden days this would’ve been made on a stone grinder. There’s an argument to be made for that method since it does result in more fragrant spice mixes and powders, but with the Wonderchef Sumo Silverado’s special coarse grinding blade with blunt edges you get the best of both worlds! Same stone grinding effect, just one that doesn’t take ages! Unlike idli and dosa podi, this powder is meant to be super fine. However, the longer you run your machine the more likely it is to get heated up which changes the flavour. That’s why I was pleased with the Sumo mixer, which got the job done in less than 2 minutes!
Traditionally my Grandmother would have used a cast iron skillet to roast the dal and while they are a great option, since we’ve let go of the stone grinder I thought we’d go modern with the pan too! I have the lovely Wonderchef Non-Stick Granite Fry Pan and I thought we could give it a go on that. Since the dal is roasted on medium to low heat, the non-stick pan seemed like a good fit. Just be sure to use one that’s large enough so you don’t crowd the dal. Just be sure to grab a big enough pan so you don’t crowd the dal. This recipe also calls for a lot of stirring and if you don’t use the correct utensils with your non-stick pan, you can damage the coating. I like to use this heat-proof silicone spatula which comes with a sleeve.
You’ll often see parippu podi and ghee as a part of Tamil sadhyas, served on special occasions. Apart from the rice and ghee combination, this powder also tastes great with dosas. You can sprinkle it on dosa while cooking or mix it into the potato masala for extra flavour. It’s also really great sprinkled on sabzis while cooking, particularly with aubergines and potatoes. It adds flavour along with texture. The extra protein kick is also great! You can also grind some roasted curry leaves along with the dal to give it more flavour. If you’g like to add garlic, just fry two garlic pods in a little bit of oil till they colour and grind it along with the rest of the ingredients.
However you decide to use it, there’s one thing I can guarantee, you’ll definitely enjoy it!
Makes 1 cup of Powder
Time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup Toor Dal
- 1 heaped tsp Black peppercorns
- 2-4 dried red chillies
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp asafoetida
- Begin by measuring all your ingredients.
- Place a cast iron skillet on medium heat.
- Once the pan is hot, add the toor dal.
- Stir continuously for about 8-10 minutes.
- Once the dal is fragrant and the colour is almost rosy brown, you can take it off the heat and let it cool completely.
- Transfer to a mixer jar with the coarse grinding blade and blitz till you get a fine powder.
- Serve with rice and ghee.
- Store the remaining powder in an airtight container.
Author: Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.