THENGAAI PODI

Coconuts are grown on tall trees and is a tropical food. It is classified both under Fruits and Nuts owing to its flower and fruit bearing nature and also being a rich source of Coconut oil. Coconut and its by products are widely used in different types and styles of cooking and also considered mandatory offerings in various religious and auspicious ceremonies in Hindu Communities.The white fleshy meat and the subtle sweet water from coconut are the most favoured edible portions. 

 

Coconut meat is a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin Niacin and fiber and Coconut water is an instant thirst quencher and rich in minerals. Coconut meat is also available in forms of Coconut Milk and Coconut Powder concentrates or as Dessicated Coconut. Precisely Coconut in any form is very tasty. Its richness and fragrant nature makes it form an important ingredient be it sweet, gravy, or powder specially in Kerala and Tamilnadu cuisine. I had the habit of eating coconut kernels since young and remember stretching out my hand in front of my mother whenever she would sit down to grate coconut with the traditional coconut grater. It tastes yummy as such or mixed with little jaggery or sugar. I  also love the dry coconuts as much as i love the fresh and tender ones. So ..... யாம் பெற்ற இன்பம் பெருக இவ்வையகம்.... I welcome you all to try out this Thengai Podi recipe. It is a nice blend of coarsely powdered dhals and the ever fragrant coconut. This is my MIL's version.

INGREDIENTS

Dry Coconut.....................................................  1 No ( 200gms)
Whole Urad Dhal..............................................  200g
Bengal Gram Dhal............................................. 100g
Compunded Asafoetida..................................... 1tsp of pinched flakes
(கட்டி பெருங்காயம் ) ( Refer to Tips section in Omapodi
Red Chillies....................................................... 6 to 8
Rock Salt.......................................................... To taste
Sugar................................................................  2 tsp
Coconut Oil......................................................  1 tsp

  • Pound the Dry Coconut using a pestle and grind it in a mixer to a coarse meal. Do not make it fine. Keep aside. 
  • In an Indolium Kadai dry roast the Urad Dhal first till golden and keep aside spread in a plate. Then roast the Gram Dhal to enable uniform roasting and to prevent charring. Use the handmade kitchen broom shown in the picture for best results. 
  • Hold the broom in one corner and use the thick base to  dry roast. Rotate the dhal and pulse in a circular motion in the Kadai. This helps in even roasting and gives a better taste to finished product.



  • Add 1 tsp of coconut oil to the Kadai and fry the Asafoetida and Red Chillies . Saute the rock salt along with it for 2 minutes, remove from flame and keep aside to cool.

 



  • Now saute the coarse Coconut meal in the same Kadai till it slightly changes to golden colour. 

  • Allow all the ingredients to cool down and then grind the Dhals, Asafoetida, Red Chillies and Rock Salt into a coarse powder. To this add the Coconut meal and grind for a minute. Add 2 tsps of sugar and grind once finally so that it mixes well. Take care not to grind too much. The texture should be coarse as shown in the picture. 

  • Cool the powder and store it in an air tight container. It stays good for more than a month. Its a wonderful accompaniment with Dosas, Idlis, Upma and when mixed with rice. 
  • To prepare the home made broom sticks you need to pull out say around 30 to 40 small sticks, preferably from new broom sticks. Now arrange it together and break off the uneven end and bind it tightly together using a tie or wire. Use the broad portion for roasting purpose. 
  • This homemade broom stick or வறுக்கும்  குச்சி  is used for roasting ingredients during  the preparation of any kind of indigenous  powders. If you feel you want to make your own broom stick than from the ones in the shop, then you need to collect these from the coconut trees in your backyard. And for those who live abroad , remember to make one when you visit India.!!!


Notes
  • Do not use a non stick Kadai for subtle roasting as the heating intensities of non stick pans, woks  are high. It chars the ingredients. Conventional pans are the best for slow cooking. So do not hesitate to invest in one or two.
  • Thendai podi can be mixed with gingely oil or ghee or can be consumed  as accompaniment without any other  mixed medium. 
  • You can mix TP with a little quantity of water and grind to a paste and use this as instant Thogayals. But remember to consume the chutney the same day. 
  • You can also substitute dessicated coconut to the dry ones. But TP tastes better with the dry coconut. 

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