If you went back in time, almost every Indian home in the the southern or western parts of India had many versions of dry chutneys stored in jars along with their favourite pickles. And just like pickle, every home had their own secret recipe for making the chutney.
One of my favourite snacks in childhood was chapati roll. My mother made the most awesome melt in the mouth triangle chapatis, slathered them with ghee and sprinkled one chapati with a dry peanut chutney powder and the other with liquid or powdered jaggery. This is a treat that I savour till today. I have often packed this for an airport snack and also for my son's snack box.
If you mix this chutney with cold pressed raw sesame oil, it becomes a chutney which is no longer dry. I particularly like this combination with fresh home made idlis.
I also love to mix this chutney with some hot rice and ghee, which can be so comforting. Another favourite combination is to mix this chutney with yogurt and eat it with millet rotis or vegetable cruditÃ©s.
If you explore the dry chutneys of north Karnataka, you would find peanut chutney, roasted gram chutney, flax seed chutney, coconut chutney, niger seed chutney and many other combinations. These are recipes that are full of vital ingredients and are testimony to traditional Indian food wisdom.
These chutneys perk up a meal with their taste and aroma. And when you don't have time or energy to whisk up fresh chutneys, dry chutney is always to the rescue. If you have dosa batter on hand and this chutney already made, then you have a meal to reckon with, without much effort! It's always the little things in life that make a big difference. Isnt it? And my experience is that the same holds good for life in the kitchen as well.
While I have several recipes for dry chutney, this particular recipe uses a combination of peanuts, sesame seeds and dry coconut which is delicious and nutritious.
This chutney makes many meals worth their while in my home. I hope it will, in your home too.
Dry Chutney Powder Recipe
250 gms (1 ½ cups) peanuts (roasted and skin removed)
25gm (1/4 cup) sesame seeds
75 gms ( 3/4th) cup dry coconut
a sprig of curry leaves
2 tbsp roasted channa dal (dalia or phutana)
4 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp of cumin seed powder
4 tsp of red chilli powder
1 tsp of asafoetida powder
1 tsp of sugar
11/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of tamarind
In a heavy bottomed pan, roast the peanuts until they are golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes on medium low heat. Alternatively put the peanuts in a 180 C over for 15 minutes. After the peanuts are cool, remove the skin by crushing the peanuts over a sieve.
Roast the sesame seeds until they change colour and start to splatter, making sure that they do not turn black. Roast the dry coconut until it turns golden brown, again making sure that the coconut does not turn dark. In the same pan, add in the curry leaves and roast then until they are crisp.
In a bowl add the roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, dry coconut with curry leaves, roasted channa dal, coriander powder, cumin seed powder, red chilli powder, asafoetida powder, sugar, salt and tamarind. Stir with a spoon until the ingredients are mixed nicely.
Divide the mixture into batches and grind it in a blender or food processor by pulsing it for a few minutes. Once the entire mixture is ground, mix everything together in a large bowl and store in a air tight container for upto 2 months. If stored in the refrigerator, this lasts for six months or more.
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