2 medium size bunches of coriander leaves (about two baking cups measure)
12-14 dry red chillies
1 lime size ball tamarind
1/2 cup Urad dal (baking cup measure)
2 tsp (flat) asafoetida
Salt to taste
1. Wash and dry the coriander stem and leaves.
2. Chop the stem and leaves into little pieces. This helps with the grinding process later on.
3. Heat a pan on low fire and dry roast the red chillies. This takes just a few seconds. Don't over roast else the chillies start turning black and this will give the powder a bitter after taste. Set the roasted red chillies aside to cool.
4. Roast the urad dal until the dal turns a light shade of brown. Set aside to cool.
5. In the same pan, on a low fire, now roast the chopped coriander stem pieces and leaves. Roast until it wilts / has considerably dehydrated. It does not completely dehydrate, there will be a bit of moisture left but the leaves and stem pieces should have a rather blanched / shrunk look.
6. Blend the coriander stem / leaves in a blender while still warm. The cooler it gets, the more fibrous it becomes and hence more difficult to grind.
7. Once the coriander is a bit ground up, transfer the coriander to a bowl.
8. Get the rest of the ingredients into the blender and grind until the dal and the chillies have broken up into little bits.
9. Now add the previously ground coriander and give the whole thing a good whiz in the blender / food processor.
10. Once the powder has cooled down, transfer to an airtight bottle. Would be better to refrigerate the powder because the coriander retains some of the moisture even after grinding.
This powder / dry chutney is one of the most versatile of Tambrahm recipes and can liven up anything from simple toast to idlis and dosas to plain rice with the dollop of ghee to yoghurt rice :-).