This recipe is part of the Don’t Call Me Chef series on the columnists’ 2014 cooking resolutions.
- 1½ cups firmly packed curry leaves (stems removed)
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp asafoetida powder
- 2 tbsp black gram (urad) dhall, rinsed and drained
- 3-5 dried chillies, soaked to soften and drained
- 1 piece dried tamarind (assam gelugor)
- Wash the curry leaves and drain well to remove as much water as possible. Dab with a kitchen towel. In a dry frying pan over medium low heat, toss the curry leaves until they are dry and slightly crisp. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low flame. Add mustard seeds and sauté until they start to sputter. Add the asafoetida and dhall. Fry until the dhall turns reddish brown, about two minutes.
- Add the dried chillies (use to taste and tolerance to heat) and tamarind. Stir until chillies start to colour and become crisp, one to two minutes.
- Add curry leaves and toss together, one minute.
- Take mixture off the heat and grind to a powder in a mini blender or food processor (how fine is up to individual taste). Add salt to taste. Cool and store in an air-tight jar.