Huli Pudi / Sambar powder

Sometime I come across categorical statements declaring the 'curry powder' to  be the innovation of creative British babus posted in India. I feel very sorry for such authors. They have absolutely no clue as to  how diverse India is and  how diverse the cuisine is. I am pretty sure that a north-Indian cook can very well assume it to be the fact. May be no 'Indian' ever made curry powder. But a south-Indian would rather jump into a well than accept the statement. We always had a variety of spice blends to make our life easy in the kitchen. It might have been that the recipe for such blends were not seriously published until after some Brit did. The turmeric based concotion that the standard curry powder is, on the other hand might just be a corrupt version of our own spice blends, that was mild enough to be on the bland British table.
My own grandmother had at least 3 spice blends - one the Huli Pudi, Tili Saaru Pudi and Palya pudi.I also have Rasam Pudi in my pantry. These apart from the assorted Chutney pudis!
My grandmother is an expert  when it comes to spice blends. This last season, the batch she made turned out to be a spice-gold! Everyone is  hoarding them. Mine own supplies reaching the  bottom of the jar very soon, I reached out to several  people in the family,  to check if they have some  to spare. Well, everyone is polite but firm in turning me down.May be I will have to make my  own this later this season. I have made it  before, and will make it once more. Hope next batch my grandmother  turns out will be just as delicious and hopefully I should be getting my quota too.

Long long ago, many summers and springs ago, my grandmother spent a week with me at my place. I made sure that I get most of my recipes from her. She was younger then and she had the energy to show me her signature recipes. This one is also from that session. Most often than not all her measurements were in terms of 'paavu-ser' or even eye-balled. I kind of took to standardize it.

We will need,

Dried red chillies (any combination of Byadagi (for colour and flavour) and Guntur (for heat) chillies) ½ kg
Dhania  ½ kg
Jeera 1.5 pav
Black pepper corns 1 chatak (about 12 grams)
Cinnamon 50 gms
Marti Moggu 2-3
Turmeric  1 chatak  (about 12 grams)
Hing 1 chatak (about 12 grams)
Channa dal ½ pav (30 grams)
Urad Dal ½ pav  (about 30 grams)
Fenugreek Seeds upto ½ pav (about 30 grams)
Mustard seeds upto ½ pav (about 30 grams)
Jaggery  1/2 Cup (crushed)
Curry leaves dried roasted 2 big bunches
Coarse sea salt a handful 

  • Toast all the ingredients except Jaggery and sea salt, one by one till fragrant and toasted. Remove and cool completely. 
  • In a clean dry grinder combine all the toasted spices, salt and Jaggery and pulse till smooth. Else it can be done at one of the flour mills. The flour mill version tends to be smoother because we do not have control over the texture. If the spices are milled at home, I did prefer the blend to be slightly coarse. 
  • Store in an air tight jar. The blend stays good for years! It can also be packed in multiple layers of plastic bags, tightly sealed and store in the crisper tray of refrigerator. I personally prefer to make smaller and more frequent batches of Huli Pudi.
Thanks onlyfishrecipes for thinking of me. Very sweet of you indeed. I need to share a random story about myself.I hate the cream that forms on top of the milk. I have tried eating it several times,but make me sick. Guess it is the texture. But I love cooking with it!

Passing it on to Nagashree, Sushma , Tina, Radha and Priya


Unknown said...

Ajji's recipes and food is the best alwa? I miss it, both my ajjis are long gone. I stopped makign huli pudi as we don't consume huli in large quantities but prefer to fresh grind masala when I make it. Love the addition of maratha moggu in your huli pudi, will give it a try next time.

Tina said...


Khaugiri said...

Wow nice it's some what same which we make at home. I also have huli pudi, palya pudi, and maharashtrian goda masala in my masala box. Pls do share tili sarin pudi recipe.

Spice up the Curry said...

nice one

Savi-Ruchi said...

I also have the ajji's huli pudi recipe with me. They taste the best.
Thanks for thinking of me for the award & congrats for your award too.

Priya Suresh said...

Thats a flavourful puli,with all those spices.

Kannada Cuisine said...

@Nagashree..alwa! Ajjis are the best..

@Khaugir...tilisaaru pudi is already there please check under the labels spice blends :)

@thanks Sushma, priya and Tina

Only Fish Recipes said...

wow...what a flavorful pudi...loved this one dear :-) i hav never tried a pudi before...bookmarked

radha said...

These pudis are always so handy to have around!

radha said...

And thanks for the award!

Sudhir R said...

Possibly north of Karnataka none of these pudis are used, or rather some of them are always freshly made. I remember having samabar at your Mom's place in 1993, its still the best sambar dish I ever had.

ucb said...

Hi, what is Maratha mogu? Sorry, Im a north Indian obsessed with south Indian food with no one to show/tell me what to do :( woe is me ;) like right now I have a tub of pre made idli dosa batter and I think it's over fermented, and I have only the Internet to help me....

Kannada Cuisine said...

UCB..over fermented idli batter gets converted to Paddu at our place. Give it a try I am sure you will love it.

Pavan said...

1/2 pav is I suppose 125gms. U have mentioned it to be 30gms for channa dal and urad dal. How much should v use exactly?

Pavan said...

1/2 pav is I suppose 125gms. U have mentioned it to be 30gms for channa dal and urad dal. How much should v use exactly?

Pavan said...

1/2 pav is I suppose 125gms. U have mentioned it to be 30gms for channa dal and urad dal. How much should v use exactly?

Kannada Cuisine said...

Pav is a volume measure. Denser foods means heavier in terms of weight. But if it is not so dense say like coriander seeds you really cannot say 125 grams. What you need to do is measure out the ingredients using a Pav and then weight them. That way you are adjusting for the density of the food too.