Karivepaku Podi (Curry Leaves Powder, Karuveppilai Podi) is a South Indian condiment (dry chutney powder) that brings together the refreshing flavor of curry leaves and spices. It is ideal to be served with a bowl of rice, dosa, or idlis. Here is how to make it (vegan).
About Karivepaku Podi
Karivepaku Podi, also known as karuvepellai podi or spiced curry leaves powder, is a South Indian dry chutney powder made using fresh kari leaves.
Super easy to make, it gets ready using simple pantry ingredients. This condiment is so flavorful that it can make any simple meal enjoyable.
If you are short on time, mix some of this curry leaves podi with ghee and hot rice, and a hearty meal is ready.
Karivepaku Podi keeps good in the refrigerator for a long time, so make a big batch and keep enjoying it!
This recipe is vegan and can be easily doubled or tripled.
Health Benefits Of Curry Leaves
Curry leaves are an essential ingredient in many Indian dishes, offering a range of health benefits.
Curry leaves improve digestion by stimulating digestive enzymes and helping correctly metabolize carbohydrates. It also aids in treating diarrhea and dysentery.
Curry leaves are a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, iron, and calcium.
Curry Patta has been used traditionally to help treat diabetes, as they help to regulate blood sugar levels. They can also help to boost your digestive system and reduce inflammation.
When taken as a supplement, kari leaves can help to lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. They may also help to reduce the risk of cancer.
You will get all the ingredients to make curry leaf powder in any Indian grocery store.
Lentils – This podi recipe uses two lentils, chana dal (Bengal gram) and white urad dal (split and skinned black gram).
Fresh Curry Leaves (Kari Leaves, Kari Patta, Kadi Patta) – Use fresh kari patta, as they have the best aroma and flavor.
Try to use mature dark green leaves instead of the young, tender light green ones as the dark green ones have more flavor. Mature leaves also give a grainy texture and a tangy taste to the podi.
If you can access the desi variety of curry patta, then prefer it over the hybrid one as they are more flavorful.
Dry Red Chilies – I use Kashmiri dry red chillies as they give a nice color to the podi without making it very hot. You can use any chili that you prefer.
Coconut – This recipe uses grated fresh coconut. To save time, get frozen grated coconut. You will find it in the freezer section of any Indian grocery store.
If fresh coconut is not available, then you can use dry coconut.
Tamarind – It adds that perfect hint of tanginess.
Oil – You can use any vegetable oil to roast the ingredients mentioned above. My preference is peanut oil (groundnut oil) or sesame oil. In Kerala, this podi is made using coconut oil.
Others – You will also need asafetida (hing), cumin seeds, brown mustard seeds, whole coriander seeds, salt, and fenugreek seeds (methi dana).
How To Make Karivepaku Podi
Pick the leaves from the curry patta sprigs. Discard the stems and wash the leaves well with water.
Measure 2 cups of the leaves tightly packed in the measuring cup. Spread them on a kitchen cloth for 4-5 hours to eliminate excess water.
Note – You can wash the leaves a day before making the podi. This way, there will be no moisture left in them.
Heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large pan over medium flame.
Once the oil is hot, add
- ½ teaspoon asafetida
- 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
Reduce the heat to low.
- ¼ cup chana dal
- ¼ cup urad dal
- 10-12 Kashmiri dry red chilies (stalks removed)
- ¼ cup whole coriander seeds
to the pan and fry on low heat until they turn slightly brown. Stir continuously to avoid burning.
Note – It is important to fry the ingredients on low flame so that they get crisp and flavorful from the inside.
Now add the washed and dried kari leaves and dry roast on low flame until they turn crisp. It will take 15-20 minutes. Stir very frequently.
Note – Some people roast the kari leaves only for 6-8 minutes instead of 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for less time, the flavor of the podi is enhanced, but the shelf life is reduced. So if you want to finish the podi quickly, roast the kari leaves for only 6-8 minutes.
- lime size ball of seedless tamarind
- ½ cup grated fresh coconut
- 3 teaspoon salt
and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently.
Remove the pan from heat and let the roasted ingredients cool completely.
Transfer the cooled ingredients to a grinder or a food processor and grind to make a coarse powder.
Store the powder in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
When serving, take a teaspoon or two of powder on the plate, pour some sesame oil or ghee on top, and serve with sambar rice or idli dosas.
Frequently Asked Questions
This podi helps to keep anemia under control and lowers the blood sugar level. It is particularly great for diabetics and people with high levels of cholesterol. It also improves digestion and reduces the greying of hair. Kadi patta helps in burning unwanted fat and helps in weight loss. They also flush out harmful chemicals from the body.
While kari leaves have many health benefits, having them in excess can have some side effects too. If consumed in excess, it can cause nausea, stomach upset, and acidity.
Pro Tips By Neha
Fry the fresh curry leaves on low heat. It is time-consuming, but the leaves will turn out perfectly crispy only when fried on low flame.
You can increase or decrease the red chilies according to your taste.
Make a coarse powder from the roasted ingredients for the best taste and texture.
Add garlic cloves, roasted peanuts, flax seeds, or sesame seeds while grinding the karivepaku podi for a taste change.
Some people add turmeric powder to their karivepaku podi recipe for a nice color.
Although it keeps good for a long time, freshly made karivepaku podi tastes the best. Make it in small batches and use it for the best taste within a week.
Make sure to use a dry spoon while taking out the podi. A wet spoon will increase the chance of spoiling the karivepaku powder.
Karuvepillai podi is ideal to be served with a bowl of steamed rice or with idlis drizzled with just a bit of ghee.
I also like to sprinkle some over my rasam rice, curd rice, or sambar rice. Serve some coconut chutney on the side for a delicious meal.
You can also add some to any curry or sabzi you are making. Karivepaku podi mainly goes well with raw banana, potato, or brinjal curry.
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Karivepaku Podi Recipe (Spiced Curry Leaves Powder)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (use peanut or sesame oil for best flavor)
- ½ teaspoon asafetida (hing)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera)
- 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds (sarson)
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
- ¼ cup Bengal gram (chana dal)
- ¼ cup split and skinned black lentils (white urad dal)
- 10-12 whole Kashmiri dry red chilies (stalks removed)
- ¼ cup whole coriander seeds
- 2 cups curry leaves (rinsed, tightly packed)
- lime size ball seedless tamarind
- ½ cup grated fresh coconut
- 3 teaspoons salt
- Wash the curry leaves and spread them on a kitchen towel for 4-5 hours to get rid of any excess water.
- Note – You can wash the leaves a day prior to making the podi. This way, there will be no moisture left in them.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over medium flame.
- Once the oil is hot, add asafetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Add chana dal, urad dal, Kashmiri dry red chilies, and whole coriander seeds to the pan and fry on low heat until they turn slightly brown. Stir continuously to avoid burning.
- Note – It is important to fry the ingredients on low flame so that they get crisp and flavorful from inside.
- Now add the washed and dried curry leaves and dry roast on low heat until they turn crisp. It will take 15-20 minutes. Stir very frequently.
- Note – Some people roast the kari leaves only for 6-8 minutes instead of 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for less time, the flavor of the podi is enhanced but the shelf life is reduced. So if you want to finish the podi quickly, then roast the kari leaves for only 6-8 minutes.
- Add tamarind, coconut, and salt and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the roasted ingredients cool completely.
- Transfer the cooled ingredients to a grinder or a food processor and grind to make a coarse powder.
- Store the powder in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- When serving, take out a teaspoon or two of powder on the plate, pour some sesame oil or ghee on top, and serve with sambar rice or idli dosas.