How to make Thengai Podi /Spiced Coconut Powder (Side for Tiffin/Rice)
This is one of amma's eagerly awaited dishes because, it was only made when we had to pack food to take along with us on long distance train journeys. There was something special about those trips. We (me & my siblings) had nothing important to do for more than 24 hours, our only duties were eating, napping, chatting (in person - not online!!) with fellow travellers & more eating from the food vendors through out the journey. We had minimal physical activity, yet the thought of the special meals packed by amma, would make our mouth water & sure enough we would be hungry on time. Mom pretty much made the same items for every trip, but whatever she made was always a hit with everyone. Her menu would include Idli, spicy tomato chutney, Tamarind rice, potato chips Curd rice, pickle, Poori, this thengai podi/spiced coconut powder mixed with gingelly oil. Breakfast, lunch & dinner; all pre-packed meal wise for every member of the family, individually wrapped in plantain leaves & newspaper, secured with a twine with their names written on it.
Oh the thought of it, brings back so many wonderful childhood memories. The simple joys of a minimalist life. No video games, no mobile phones, no ipods & headphones. We were each allowed to buy a comic, before boarding the train; which we would exchange once we were done reading it. Or we would just sit by the open window & enjoy the (hot or cool) wind blowing on our face; only to find out after a few hours that our face & hair is covered with soot!! Remember the good old steam engines? Those carefree days of fun & frolic, a time when we enjoy everything under the sun.
Getting back to the recipe, please take caution, (as mentioned below) while grinding the coconut; so you don't end up with an oily paste. Enjoy your Thengai Podi/Coconut chutney powder with a drizzle of sesame/gingelly oil & some steamed idli, dosa varieties or steamed rice. Sharing one of my favorite recipes from mom with my fellow bloggers at CCC# 32: May -- Week 4.
1 cup, Coprai/dehydrated coconut flakes
1.5 cups of fresh grated coconut
5 to 7 no:s, dry red chillies
Salt to taste
2 sprigs of curry leaves
a small marble sized ball of tamarind
1/8 tsp of asafoetida
1 tbsp, channa dal/bengal gram dal
1 tbsp, urad dal
1 tbsp, oil