I know I have been talking about pachadis and chutneys a lot these days :-), I have many more coming up on the blog. One of the reasons is my in-laws are here with us now and we are making varieties of pachadis and mainly because I love them. So, you will see many pachadi recipes but I promise to space them out so as to not bore you with the same kind of dish.
I have blogged about ginger tambuli before but today's pachadi is very different in taste and texture and very versatile too. Now that I have a blog, my family is also enthusiastic about making dishes in the kitchen and I hear a lot of 'Have you put this yet'?, 'You should blog about this..' every day now. Infact, my FIL has declared that he made this trip especially to taste the dishes that go on Sattvaa and also to give me gyan on many more recipes to put on the blog. So for the allam pachadi (ginger chutney), all the credit goes to him for patiently peeling and cutting the ginger roots. Then it was taken over my amma for further processing.
Allam pachadi is a very quintessential Telugu recipe and fares commonly in home meals, festive occasions and restaurants. If you happen to have an Andhra thali in an authentic restaurant, you will see this as one of the side dishes. It is also a great accompaniment for Pesarattu (Moong dal dosa) as it complements the mild pesarattu very nicely. Again, both Amma & Nana were discussing the variations of this pachadi and enlightened me that some people make the pachadi with raw ginger (no frying involved). While they wanted to make it both ways, I vetoed it down since we had only so much ginger at home. So we ended up making it the way amma does and we all love. May be, I will try the non-fried ginger another day and tell you how it worked out. But for now, here is a very fragrant, spicy chutney made with fried allam(ginger).
We made a bowl full of this pachadi yesterday and packed it for our lunch today as we went for a drive up the mountains. The bowl was emptied and wiped clean after the pachadi very ably accompanied sandwiches, curd rice and every thing else we had packed. So, I will be buying more ginger on my next grocery shopping trip :-)
Allam pachadi mudda(allam pachadi mixed with hot rice) in a plate made of chips :-)
What do you need to make Allam Pachadi?
Fresh ginger roots - washed, peeled and chopped into small pieces to fill 2 cups
2 Tblsp mustard/aavalu
1 Tblsp fenugreek/menthilu
1 golf ball sized tamarind
1/2 cup grated/crushed jaggery (adjust to taste)
10-12 dry red chilies
1/8 Tsp of good quality asafoetida/hing
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
2 Tblsp cooking oil
1 Tblsp water
How do you make Allam Pachadi?
- Wash, pat dry, peel and chop the ginger roots into small pieces (See notes)
- Heat 1 Tblsp of oil in a pan, add asafoetida, mustard, fenugreek and red chilies and fry for a minute or two until mustard splutters and fenugreek turns pink. Keep this aside.
- In the same pan, add the remaining oil and the ginger pieces and frequently stirring, fry it for 4-5 minutes until ginger turns slightly brown and your kitchen fills with a gingery aroma. Take it aside and let cool.
- Add water to the hot pan, add the tamarind and jaggery and switch off the stove after 30 seconds. Let it cool. The idea is to gather any sticking remnants of the ginger in the pan and also heat the water to be used in the pachadi later. This process also softens the tamarind.
- When all the ingredients have cooled to room temperature, take them to your blender with salt and grind into a smooth paste. Avoid adding any more water, start by pulsing the mixture, once it gets broken down, put it on grind and make it into a smooth paste.
- This pachadi stays well upto 10 days if you refrigerate and use clean, dry spoons to serve. The allam pachadi you see in the stores has lot more oil and stays longer.
- Choose ginger that is fresh and tender. Do not use old, dry ginger as it spoils the taste of pachadi.
- Cutting ginger into small pieces is important as it gets cooked evenly and faster when you fry it.
- You need to balance ginger's fieriness with tamarind and jaggery, adjust the quantity to suit your taste buds.
- Use 1.5 Tblsp of tamarind concentrate in place of tamarind and replace jaggery with brown sugar if you like.