Nalla Karam is a traditional chutney powder from Andhra Pradesh that is used with idli, dosa as well as with rice. Made with Udad Dal (with skin), curry Leaves, coriander seeds and chillies, the name literally means “spicy black powder”.
Cuisine Andhra, Andhra Pradesh, Indian Food, South Indian, Telangana
1/4CupCoriander Seeds, Sabut Dhania(25 gms)
4tspUdad Dal (Whole or split, but with skin) (20 gms) See Notes
2tspChana Dal(20 gms)
1tspCumin Seeds(5 gms)
1/4CupFresh Curry Leaves(10 gms)
6 to 8Spicy Red Chillies(6 gms)
1 to 1.5tspOil
1/2tspGhee(Vegans can use oil)
Salt to Taste
In a heavy bottomed kadhai, over medium flame, add a few drops of oil and roast the coriander seeds till they start to change colour. Transfer to a plate.
Add a few drops of oil and roast the udad dal till it becomes aromatic. (Important: See Notes). Transfer to a plate.
Add a few drops of oil and roast the chana dal till it becomes golden brown. Transfer to the plate.
Add a few drops of oil and roast the curry leaves till it become crisp but be careful they do not become black. Transfer to the plate.
Add a few drops of oil and roast the red chillies till they change colour. Transfer to the plate.
Without any additional oil, roast the cumin seeds till they start to change colour. Transfer to the plate. Roast the cumin seeds at the end because they tend to stick to the kadhai. If you fry them earlier, then there is a good chance that some seeds will stick to the kadahi and char when you fry other ingredients.
Just add some salt and the tamarind to the kadhai and leave them till all other ingredients cool. Transfer to the plate.
When all the roasted ingredients cool to room temperature, grind them with the salt and tamarind to a coarse powder.
Over low heat, melt 1/2 tsp ghee.
Add the ground Nalla Karam and roast till the powder is aromatic.
Turn off the heat and let the chutney powder cool to room temperature.
Enjoying Nalla Karam
Serve Nalla Karam by itself or then mixed with ghee along with Idli or Dosa.
Mix a spoonful of Nalla Kharam with ghee in hot rice. Mix well and enjoy as the first step of a meal.
Nalla Karam is always made with udad dal with skin. It is this roasted skin that gives this powder its distinctive dark colour.
Roasting the udad dal can a bit tricky if you are using whole udad dal with skin because you won’t see any change in colour. Here you have to rely on the aroma. If you use split udad dal with skin you will see the lentil change colour and become golden brown.