Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Pappula Podi (Putnala/Bhuna Chana Powder) (Spicy Roasted Chickpea Powder)

Roasted Chickpeas, Pappulu, Putnala Pappulu, Dalia - 4 pounds for $4.99, purchased at Subji Mandi, NJ

Pappulu, Putnala pappulu or Dalia are prepared from chickpeas. Not the regular, white chickpeas but from a special variety of chickpeas specific to India and commonly sold under the name “Kala Chana or Black Chickpeas”.

The preparation of pappulu (dalia) is a fascinating process. First, the black chickpeas get soaked in water for several hours, and then after draining, chickpeas are roasted in big caldrons under controlled low fire for several hours. Until the chickpeas turn to crisp. Once the roasting process is completed, the hulls of chickpeas will be removed and each chickpea will be split into two equal pieces. This whole soaking-roasting process intensifies the chickpea flavor, and also changes them to light yellow, mildly sweet pappulu or Dalia. This process is done in special places called Bhattis. Almost every town in Andhra Pradesh would have a bhatti. People go there to buy the freshly prepared pappulu and also the puffed rice There were couple of bhattis near our home in Nandyala and we were used to buy them fresh and hot from those places.

Among all the lentil types available in an Indian store, pappulu are the only one which you can just open the packet and pop them into mouth. As kids and even now, we love to eat them as they are or mixed with murmura. They are a snack item for us, like popcorn. If you are from South India, I assume you already know the pappula taste. For those of you who don’t, you must try them at least once. They are usually sold in Indian grocery shops under the label “Dalia” in lentil section. They are really great tasting, guilt free snack.

Pappulu, Dry Red chillies, Cumin, Salt and Dry Coconut

Pappula Podi is a famous Andhra preparation. In some parts of Andhra this is also called gunpowder. We add it to season the curries and also to prepare chutneys and to spread on dosas, idly, pongali and upma. Pappula Podi not only spices but also adds a mild sweetness to the preparation. This following recipe is from my mother’s and my most valued one. If you are used to besan (gram flour) preparations, try this one instead. You will be delighted, I promise.

Pappula Podi:

1 cup - Pappulu
6 to 8 - dried red chillies, Indian variety
2 tablespoons - grated coconut or dried coconut pieces
1 tablespoon - cumin
½ teaspoon - salt or to taste
4 garlic cloves (this is optional, even without garlic this powder tastes great.)

Take pappulu, chillies, coconut, cumin, garlic and salt in a clean and dry mixer jar or food processor. Grind to fine powder. This is a dry preparation and do not add water. Store the powder in a clean, dry, airtight container. This will stay fresh as long as it remains dry.

The following are the most common ways I enjoy the Pappula Podi:

1. Add a tablespoon of Podi to fistful of cooked rice. Add a teaspoon of ghee. Mix and make small rounds. Eat.

2. Add a tablespoon of Podi to cooked rice and dal (tomato or spinach etc). Add a teaspoon of ghee. Mix and eat.

3. Prepare dosas and spread the pappula Podi on the dosa for Masala Dosa. Yum!

4. Dunk and coat the Idly, Upma and pongal morsels in Pappula Podi, and eat. My new favorite is Pappula Podi and oatmeal upma combination.

5. I also add pappula Podi to vegetable curries. Cabbage, bell pepper, green beans and Indian variety broad beans (Chikkudu kaya), the sauté style curries with these vegetables taste great spiced with pappula Podi. I usually sprinkle one tablespoon of this powder before turning off the heat.)

6. Add roasted onion, garlic and few branches of fresh cilantro to Pappula Podi, along with about half glass of water. Grind to smooth to make an instant chutney.

Pappula Podi (Spicy Roasted Chickpea powder, Putnala pappula powder, Dalia Powder)
Pappula Podi

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Chana Dal-Roasted (Dalia), Dried Red Chillies (Thursday July 7, 2005 at 5:53 pm- permalink)
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