Nimmakaya Kharam: A Traditional Recipe from Andhra & Telangana

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Nimmakaya Kharam is a simple but HOT side dish that goes fantastically well with hot rice and ghee or mudda-pappu Annam, or then with Idli or Garelu (Medu Vada or Ulundu Vada). I had quite forgotten about this accompaniment till I had it at my nephew’s place in Chennai, when I visited him in December. Thank you, Jyoti and Rani, for this marvellous heirloom recipe.

Nimmakaya Kharam
Nimmakaya Kharam

Nimmakaya Kharam is very easy to make and is essentially made by mixing roasted lentil and chilly powder with lots of lemon juice (Nimmakaya in Telugu means lemon). The powder also has mustard and fenugreek, and these provide a hint of bitterness that beautifully offsets the tang of the lemon and the heat of the chillies.

I was reviewing the recipes I posted in the years gone by. I was so amused to see my Andhra origins coming through loud and clear with the number of pachadi and uragaya recipes I have posted. This post is in keeping with that trend. Do try my recipes for a Spicy Idli Chutney Powder with Tuvar Dal, Thengai Podi | Spiced Coconut Chutney Powder, Nuvvula Podi, and Nalla Kharam.

This recipe was first posted in February 2013 and has been updated with new pics and ingredients by weight.

Recipe for Andhra Nimmakaya Kharam

Ingredients

  1. Udad Dal, Minapa Pappu, Husked Black Gram – 2 tsp (~15 gms)
  2. Chana Dal, Senaga Pappu, Husked Bengal Gram – 2 tsp (~15 gms) 
  3. Rai, Avalu, Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  4. Methi Dana, Menthulu, Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  5. Spicy Red Chillies – 4 to 6
  6. Oil – 1/2 tsp
  7. Lemon Juice – 4 tbsp (2 Large Lemons)
  8. Salt to Taste

Method to Make Nimmakaya Kharam

  1. Over medium heat, heat the oil.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  3. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add udad dal and chana dal.
  4. Fry till the dal change colour to golden brown.
  5. Add the red chillies and asafoetida.
  6. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Let the mix cool.
  9. Grind to a coarse powder.
  10. Transfer the powder into a bowl.
  11. Add the lemon juice and salt.
  12. Mix well.
  13. Serve with hot rice and ghee, idlis, or medu vada.

Tips

  • You can store the powder in an air-tight jar and use as much as needed with the appropriate amount of lemon juice.
  • The red chillies should be really spicy for you to appreciate this dish. 🙂
Nimmakaya Kharam for Idli and Dosa
Nimmakaya Kharam for Idli and Dosa
Nimmakaya Kharam from Andhra Pradesh served with Idlis

Nimmakaya Kharam

This is a tangy and spicy side-dish made by mixing roasted lentil and chilly powder with loads of lemon juice. It is neither a chutney nor is it a podi. It is quite common in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as an accompaniment to idli, dos and garelu (vadas).
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Cooling Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Accompaniment, Chutney, Podi
Cuisine Andhra Pradesh, India, Telangana
Servings 4 People

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tsp Udad Dal, Minapa Pappu, Husked Black Gram (~15 gms)
  • 2 tsp Chana Dal, Senaga Pappu, Husked Bengal Gram (~15 gms)
  • 1/4 tsp Rai, Avalu, Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Methi Dana, Menthulu, Fenugreek Seeds
  • 4 to 6 Spicy Red Chillies (Must be really spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp Oil
  • 4 tbsp Lemon Juice (Juice of 2 Large Lemons)
  • Salt to Taste

Instructions
 

  • Over medium heat, heat the oil.
  • Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds start to pop, add udad dal and chana dal.
  • Fry till the dal change colour to golden brown.
  • Add the red chillies and asafoetida, and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  • Transfer the mix to a plate and let it cool.
  • Grind to a coarse powder.
  • Transfer the powder into a bowl.
  • Add the lemon juice and salt, and mix well.
  • Serve with hot rice and ghee, idlis, or medu vada.

Notes

  • I make the powder and store it in an air-tight jar. I then mix lemon juice as and when I want to make Nimmakaya Kharam.
  • If you want to store the Nimmakaya Kharam, refrigerate it.
  • The red chillies should be really spicy for you to appreciate this dish. 🙂
Keyword Nimmakaya Kharam

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