Today, I am sharing the recipe for Methkut, a versatile spice powder from Maharashtra that can be savoured with plain rice and ghee as a complete meal, or then used to spice up vegetables, Ukad and the like.
I first made Methkut several months ago when I needed it for Kolhapuri Bhadang, but forgot to take pictures and write about it. I made a large batch this weekend because I wanted needed it for another batch of Bhadang and for a couple of other dishes that I am planning to make.
There are as many recipes for Methkut as there are regions in Maharashtra. I made one version and plan to try the recipes for other versions of Bhadang soon.
This post has been updated since it was first posted with some very valuable tips from Meghana Deshmukh. She told me to grind into a very fine powder and about this process called vastragaal karane in Marathi, which essentially means to use a cloth to sieve the Methkut to get a fine powder. I did as she recommended and the result was a Methkut powder that was much richer in flavour and greater in volume.
Meghana has also generously shared her mother’s handwritten recipe for Methkut with me and this I cherish the most. I will soon try Meghana’s heirloom recipe as well. 🙂
Thank you, Meghana, and look forward to learning more from you.
How to Make Methkut | A Versatile Spice Powder from Maharashtra
Methkut | Spice Powder from Maharashtra
Methkut is a wonderful powder made with roasted lentils and spices. You will find Maharashtrians waxing eloquent over Methkut mixed with rice and ghee, the ultimate comfort food. 🙂 Do try it and you will know why!
To Be Roasted
1/3tspSoonth, Dry Ginger Powder
Over medium flame, heat a kadai (iron, preferable).
Dry roast each of the ingredients listed under to be roasted separately. Roast over medium heat to extract maximum flavour. Stir constantly for even roasting.
Set aside the roasted ingredients in a plate to cool.
Add the nutmeg, turmeric, dry ginger, asafoetida, and cardamom seeds to the dry roasted ingredients.
Grind to a fine powder.
Use a fine mesh and sieve the Methkut powder.
Grind the coarse bits again. Repeat the sieve-and-grind process, if required.
Store Methkut in an air-tight bottle.
There are versions of Metkut that use cloves and cinnamon. I will try those soon. 🙂
Step-by-Step Method to Make Methkut
Over medium flame, heat a kadhai.
Add the chana dal and roast till the dal becomes light brown in colour.
Remove the chana dal into a plate.
Add udad dal to the kadhai and and roast till the dal turns light brown in colour.
Add the roasted udad dal to the chana dal.
Add the rice to the kadhai and roast till it becomes opaque.
Add the roasted rice to the roasted dals.
Add the coriander seeds to the kadhai and roast till they start to change colour.
Add the roasted coriander seeds to the roasted dals and rice.
Add the cumin seeds to the kadhai and roast till they start to change colour.
Add the roasted cumin seeds to the plate containing roasted dals and rice.
Add the mustard seeds to the kadhai and roast till they start to pop.
Add the mustard seeds to the roasted dals and rice.
Add the fenugreek seeds to the kadhai and roast till they start to brown.
Add the browned fenugreek seeds to the roasted dals, rice, and spices.
Add the red chillies to the kadhai and roast for a few seconds till it starts to change colour.
Add the chillies to the roasted dals and spices.
To the roasted dals and spices, add the unroasted pepper, turmeric, asafoetida, nutmeg powder, dry ginger powder, and cardamom seeds.
Let the mix cool to room temperature.
Grind to a fine powder.
Using the finest sieve you can find, sieve the Methkut to separate the coarse bits.
Grind the coarse bits again to get a fine powder and sieve again.
Repeat this sieve-and-grind till you eliminate almost all of the coarse bits. I did it thrice and was left with about 1/2 tsp of coarse bits. Your Methukut is now ready.
I have been meaning to try Panchmel Dal | Panchkuti Dal | Panchratna Dal for a while now (ever since my trip of Rajasthan in the winter of last year) and finally made it this past weekend.
As thename suggests, Panchratna Dal uses 5 different lentils. I used Chana Dal, Tuvar Dal, Chilkewali Moong Dal, Udad Dal, and Masoor Dal. While the dal is delicious, be warned that it is rather heavy on the stomach, so I would advise that you eat in moderation, especially if you have a sedentary life like mine. 🙂
This recipe for Pindi Chole was triggered by a discussion by the admin of a food group that I am a member of. Donna wanted to make “almost black” Chole and there were many suggestions including the traditional recommendations of using tea leaves, amla and iron vessels.
Jwaaricha Peethacha Upma (Jowar Flour Upma | Sorghum Upma) is a recipe from the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. It is a great way to incorporate Jowar into your diet; apart from making the ever-popular Bhakri, Sorghum Dosa, or Thepla.
I have been trying to incorporate as much of millets as I can in my diet. They are are high on fibre and nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Also they get digested slowly and so release energy slowly as well, which keeps you full for a longer time.
Jwaaricha Peethacha Upma is very easy to make and is very filling. As a result, it makes for an ideal breakfast or early evening snack. I also have this savoury Sorghum Upma as an early dinner sometimes. 🙂
How to Make Jwaaricha Peethacha Upma | Jowar Flour Upma | Sorghum Upma
I absolutely love vadiyalu and hope to share many traditional Andhra vadiyalu recipes on this blog as time goes by. Last year I posted the recipe for Pela Vadiyalu and Vidya contributed a recipe for Saggubiyyam Vadiyalu. Today, it is the turn of Atukula Vadiyalu.
Made with Atukulu (as Poha or Beaten Rice is called in Telugu), these vadiyalu are very easy to make and need very few ingredients. Also, made correctly, fried Atukula Vadiyalu are light as air and relatively light on the stomach.
I chose to make Atukula Vadiyalu this week because I could do most of the work from the relative coolness of my home and then dry them quickly over the long weekend in the brutal heat we are experiencing.
And my calculation worked! I have 120 of the crispest sun-dried Atukula Vadiyalu waiting to be fried and savoured.
Vadiyalu are small sun-dried fritters that can be stored for months on end and fried as and when required. Called Sandige in Karnataka, Wadi in Punjabi, and Vadagam in Tamil, every region of India has its own treasure trove of these sun-dried treats.
How to Make Atukula Vadiyalu (Andhra Style Aval Vadam | Avalakki Sandige)
Atukula Vadiyalu | Aval Vadam | Avalakki Sandige
Atukula Vadiyalu ( called Aval Vadam in Tamil and Avalakki Sandige in Kannada) are sun-dried fritters made with beaten rice. They are fried as and when required, and are the best accompaniment to Sambar Rice.
Andhra Recipes, Indian
1.5KgsThick Atukulu, Poha
75GmsFinely Chopped Spicy Green Chillies
300GmsFinely Chopped OnionOptional
3HandfulsFinely Chopped Coriander
Preparing the Atukulu
In a very large vessel, dissolve the salt in water.
Add the Atukulu to the salted water.
With a gentle hand, mix well and set aside for 2-3 minutes.Do not use force or the Atukulu will disintegrate and you have have a lump on your hands!
Transfer the soaked Atukulu into colander (s) and drain all the excess water.
Leave the Atukulu to drain for about 30 minutes.
Transfer the soaked and drained Atukulu into a large vessel.
Add the chopped coriander, onion and green chillies.
Using a gentle hand or a large ladle, mix till the onion, coriander and chillies are evenly distributed.
Making the Atukula Vadiyalu
Take 1/2 a handful of the mix in your hand.
Using both your hands, press into a circular disc about 2" in diameter and 1/2" thick. Unless the mix is very dry, do not add any water. If the Vadiyalu are disintegrating just sprinkle some water and mix with a gentle hand.
Place the vadiyam on a plate. You can stack them as you can see from the image in the step-by-step tutorial.
Repeat the process to make other vadiyalu. You will get about 110-130vadiyalu.
Sun Drying the Atukula Vadiyalu
Spread a 2 meter long cotton cloth or plastic sheet in the sun.
Place the vadiyalu on the sheet to dry.
Sun-dry for at least 3 days (24 hours in total) while flipping the vadiyalu over each day.
Store in an air-tight container.
Frying the Atukula Vadiyalu
In a kadhai, over medium flame, heat enough oil to accommodate 2-3 vadiyalu at a time. The Atukula Vadiyalu will swell as you fry them.
Add the vadiyalu and fry them for 2-3 minutes. Flip over after a minute.
Step-by-Step Method to Make Atukula Vadiyalu | Aval Vadam | Avalakki Sandige
Soaking the Atukulu
To a large vessel capable of holding about 3-4 kgs of Atukulu, add 3 litres of water.
Add 60 gms salt to the water and mix well till the salt dissolves.
With a gentle hand, mix till the Atukulu are well-soaked.
Set aside for 5 minutes.
Transfer the soaked Atukulu into colanders and let any excess water drain.
Leave the Atukulu in the colander for 30 minutes. Any excess water will make the atukulu soggy and you will get lumpy vadams that will become rock-hard.
Making the Atukula Vadiyalu Mix
Transfer the soaked and drained atukulu back to the large vessel.
Add the chopped coriander, onion, and green chillies.
Mix with a gentle hand till the onion, coriander and chillies are well mixed. Remember that the atukulu are soaked so be careful not to mash them.
Shaping the Atukula Vadiyalu, Style Aval Vadam, Avalakki Sandige
Scoop 1/2 a handful of the mix into your palm.
Using both hands shape the portion into a disc about 2″ in diameter and 1/2″in thickness.
You will have to use some pressure to ensure the vadiyam holds together.
If you feel the mix is too dry, sprinkle just a little water and mix with a gentle hand.
Place in a plate or vessel.
Shape the remaining vadiyalu. You can stack them in layers; they won’t disintegrate.
Drying the Atukula Vadiyalu
Spread a cotton cloth (you can use an old saree or dhoti) or a plastic sheet in the sun.
Weigh it down so that it does not fly or fold in the wind.
Place the vaidyalu on the cloth/sheet with a few centimetres space between each. See the neat rows formed by my father! 🙂
Let the vadiyalu dry in the sun for at least 3 days.
Flip the vadiyalu over each day so that both sides dry well.
A simple way to check if the vadiyalu are fully dried is to break one or two of them in half and checking the insides. Notice how the atukulu flakes are visible distinctly when the vadiyalu are properly dried.
Store in an air-tight container and fry when required.
Tips for Frying the Atukula Vadiyalu
The vadiyalu swell a bit when you fry them, so always fry just a few of them at a time.
Use oil that is medium hot. Also gently press the vadiyam as it fries. Otherwise, the outside of the vadiyam will fry but the inside will remain raw.