December 15, 2013

Kariveppillai Podi / Spiced Curry leaf Powder

How to make Kariveppillai Podi/Spiced Curry Leaf Powder

          The name itself, takes me back to the days when we would get requests from the kitchen for fresh Curry leaves.  We had a tree in the backyard, that was two stories high, so we would go to the roof of the building to lean over & grab a few tender Curry leaves for cooking. Although  they're an essential component of South Indian cooking; they add a subtle aroma and complexity to simple dishes. Most of the time, the Curry leaves are promptly picked out of the plate & discarded. Is it because, we are not aware of it's nutritional benefits? These dark green leaves are believed to possess anti-diabetic properties amongst numerous others health benefits.

           This recipe is one attempt at preventing the disregard that we have for  the humble Curry Leaf. Ever have lot of curry leaves around & wonder what to do with them? Try this recipe and serve it with hot rice with a drizzle of sesame oil/ghee; it also tastes delicious sprinkled on curd rice. Some even like it with Idli's & Dosa's too. I'm sending this delicious recipe from Meenakshi Ammal's book to this week's CCChallenge.

How to make Kariveppillai Podi/Spiced Curry Leaf Powder


Curry Leaves - 2 Cups
4 Dry Red Chillies
1/2 Tbsp Black Peppercorns 
1.5 Tbsp Urad Dal
Marble sized, seedless Tamarind 
A pinch of Asafoetida
1 Tsp Sesame oil
Salt - 1 to 1.5 Tsp as preferred

  1. Prep Curry leaves, by removing the leaves from the stalk, wash them & allow them to dry for couple of hours, until completely dry. 
  2. Dry roast Curry leaves in a heated pan on constant low/medium flame. Make sure to toss them around to prevent any burning. Roast until the leaves are curly & crisp and remove from heat. (To check if they are done,  crush a leaf with your fingers - it should crumble to tiny pieces) 
  3. Heat oil in a pan, add the Asafoetida & Mustard seeds, once it crackles, add the red chillies & fry until crisp are aromatic - transfer to a plate.
  4. In the same pan, add the Tamarind pieces & saute for a few minutes & transfer to a plate.
  5. Next, dry roast the Urad dal & Peppercorns until crisp & golden. 
  6. Dry grind the contents of step 3, until the chillies are powdered fine. Follow with the Tamarind pieces, Salt & powder again. Repeat grinding, by adding the Urad dal, Peppercorns. Follow with the Curry leaves & powder to your desired texture. Check seasoning. 
  7. Serve with hot rice & ghee/sesame oil. 


  • This powder is unrelated to the ground spice mix called 'Curry powder', which is widely used to flavor Indian Curries & Gravies.


  1. Karuveppillai podi looks yummy and delecious :)

  2. We always try to have this stocked at home..and especially in different ways..very nice podi!

  3. Very healthy podi indeed!!! I too make it with lot of pepper! !! With hot rice n ghee it tastes heaven! !!

  4. I have fond memories of curry leaf podi. Now you got me craving for it

  5. Nice and flavorful podi,love to have it both rice and idly...

  6. I love karuvepillai podi. My mother in law makes a huge batch for us everytime when we return back to US.


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