Thursday, 8 April 2010

Palli pachadi / nilakadalai chutney / peanut chutney

Rajender's faaavouriteeeeeeee. If I make idly or dosa the first question from him will be 'Did you make palli chutney?'. He will be very happy and satisfied if there is palli chutney. But there is no wonder in it. He comes from a region where groundnut is one of the staple crop. All year round there will be groundnut in his home. His mother makes variety of dishes with groundnut, even for  pongal (pulagam) my adds powdered groundnut instead of moong dhal. In the beginning it was difficult for me to get used to groundnut chutney. In my home, coconut chutney is the standard side-dish for idly and dosa. But once I got used to this palli pachadi, coconut chutney lost its special place. Palli pachadi is very wholesome, satisfying and several times healthier than coconut chutney. Peanuts are rich in heart-healthy fats, proteins, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. The main disadvantage of coconut is its high saturated fat content. Only after marriage I got to know this tasty chutney. I think everyone knows it well and  this is for people who still do not know this healthy dish. Here comes the recipe:

Ingredients :

Groundnut- 1 cup
Green chillies- 4 nos
Garlic- 1 pod
Jeera seeds- 1 tspn
Onion-  2 or 3 nos of pearl onion or 1/4 of a ig onion
Tamarind- a small piece
Dried red chillies- 4nos
Curry leaves- few leaflets
Jeera seeds,  mustard seeds and urid dhal- 1/2 tspn for tempering
Salt to taste
2 tbspn of oil for tempering

Method :

Fry the groundnuts until they emit a nice aroma. Remove from fire and allow it to cool. Then deskin the groundnuts. If you grind chutney with the skin intact it acquires a bitter taste. Now add green chillies, garlic, jeera seeds, onion and tamarind to the peanuts and grind it to a smooth paste. You can dilute this paste according to your desired consistency. Now temper it using dried red chillies, jeera, mustard and urid dhal. Heat oil in a pan. Add urid dhal when the oil is hot enough. When the urid dhal turns brown add jeera and mustard seeds. When they splutter add red chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds. Now transfer this to the peanut chutney. Add salt to taste. Tasty, tasty groundnut chutney will be ready to be served. Peanut butter can't even compete with it in texture and taste.

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Make sure you remove the skin before grinding. Small variety  peanuts taste much better than the larger ones. If you need to save time you can also use the deskinned,  fried and salted peanuts which are sold as snacks. One of my friend once added nicely minced red onions to the peanut chutney. It tasted awesome!!! (Thanks Shoba) Happy cooking friends!!!

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