South Indian spice mix

I have always wanted to post indian spice rubs/mixes that can be stored and used it on pretty much anything. Here is my first post.

This is a aromatic combination of coriander seeds, dried red chillies and channa dal (bengal gram dal). It has a nutty and spicy flavor that goes great with eggplant, green beans, green peppers, cabbage and many more veggies. This mix combined with curry leaves or cilantro is heavenly!  I will try and cover as many dishes as possible with this spice mix going forward. 

This spice rub can be stored for 1-2 days. But it is so easy to make that when you try it once, you will want to make it fresh every time.

5 tbsp channa dal (bengal gram dal)
5 tbsp coriander seeds
6-7 dried red chillies (this might seem like a lot, but when used with vegetables you will need this level of spice)
1 tsp canola oil

Heat canola oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the channa dal first. Keep stirring until the dal just starts to brown. Add in the coriander seeds while stirring. You need to move fast as the dal and the seeds may burn easily. After a few seconds of frying the seeds and the dal together, throw in the red chillies, drop the heat to low and fry for a few more seconds. You know it’s done when a. the coriander seeds toasting makes the whole kitchen smell divine! b. the channa dal has become golden brown and c. the dried red chillies have gotten a darker, deeper color but should not be blackened.

Remove from heat, cool to room temperature before transferring to a blender. Grind it into a coarse powder and store.

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2 thoughts on “South Indian spice mix

    1. Although Channa Dhal and Coriander seeds with the dried chilli is a classic south Indian combination, you could also use Urad Dal. But I do have to give a disclaimer that it vastly changes the flavor profile. Channa dal when roasted gives a kind of nuttiness that urad doesn’t. So, if absolutely necessary, then substitute.

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