Pachadis or Chutneys, especially the ones that are made in Andhra, the fiery hot ones with various vegetables, tomato, ginger, cilantro, mango, peanut, cauliflower (I posted this one before) are a favorite in my home. Our friend, Anitha, hails from Andhra and, in my opinion, makes the best pachadis. I’ve taken the recipes from her many times but never got around to actually trying them on my own. So when she offered one evening to come home and give me a live demo of four of her best pachadis, it was more than anything I could ask for! All she requested was that I get the ingredients ready and do a little “prep” work before she arrived. The pachadis are simple, only we were going to make four of them at once, so did need some planning.
What follows here is a step by step method of making four pachadis – kothmir pachadi (cilantro chutney), allam pachadi (ginger chutney), beerakkaya pachadi (ridged gourd chutney) and mavidikkaya kobbari pachadi (mango coconut chutney). I’ve included the traditional Telugu names on purpose as the method described is the traditional Andhra pachadi recipe.
Before starting on the chutneys, Anitha started to make a batch of fresh red chili powder and fenugreek powder.
For this, she roasted 2 (you may also use upto 4) cups of dry red chilies in about 2 tbsp of oil till they become bright red and crisp. Cool and grind to a fine powder. You need to use a powerful blender for this step, to get a smooth powder.
For the fenugreek powder, dry roast (without any oil) about 1/2cup of fenugreek seeds till light brown. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
The above powders are a staple in her kitchen apparently, and find their way into the various pachadis, vegetable curries etc, so this is an essential step before you start making the pachadis.
Cilantro Chutney (Kothmir Pachadi)
Ingredients: (for making 1 12 oz jar of chutney)
6 bunches cilantro leaves (keep the stems aside)
1/3 cup mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafetida
1 cup tamarind paste
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
salt to taste (4 tbsp)
6 heaped tsp chili powder
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom vessel. Add mustard seeds, asafetida. When the mustard seeds crackle, add the cilantro leaves.Fry the leaves well until they turn a darkish brown.
2. Mix the tamarind paste, salt, turmeric and chili powder (use the fresh powder for better taste). You may add some warm water if needed.
3. Add this paste slowly to the cilantro mixture in the pan. Continue to fry/stir the ingredients until well mixed. Stir on a low flame till the mixture starts to come together.
Ginger Chutney (Allam Pachadi)
Ingredients: (for one 18 oz jar of chutney)
Ginger root – 3 large, sliced and chopped into long pieces
Dry roasted unsalted peanuts – 1/3 cup
Urad dal (Split black gram lentils) – 1/3 cup
Chana dal (Split bengal gram lentils) – 1/2 cup
1/4 tsp asafetida
Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds (dhania) – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Tamarind – 3 big lemon sized balls, soaked in warm water (Note that this chutney has a longer shelf life than the other chutneys and the secret is to use warm and not cold water when blending or soaking tamarind etc.)
Brown sugar – 6 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom vessel. Fry the chana dal and urad dal till light brown.
2. Add the cumin seeds, sesame, coriander and peanuts and fry well.
3. Add the asafetida and about 1/2 tsp of the fenugreek (methi) powder.
4. Then add the curry leaves and the ginger pieces.
5. add about 5 tsp salt or to taste and fry till they are well mixed, about 5 minutes.
6. Now add the soaked tamarind and fry for another 5 minutes.
7. Add the brown sugar (6 tsp), 10-12 tsp of the freshly made chili powder and 1 tsp turmeric.
8. Fry for another 3 -5 minutes. Cool.
9. Grind to a smooth paste using a powerful blender. Make sure to grind in batches with some warm water to soften the ginger pieces. Alternatively, you may add some warm water to the cooled mixture in the pan and let it soak a little before grinding, to ensure a smooth paste.
Store in a dry container/jar. This chutney, when stored in the refrigerator has a shelf life of about 3-5 months.