Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Recipe for Sanketi Chutni-Pudi

The Sanketis are a small community of Brahmins who supposedly migrated from Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu as well as from Trichur district of Kerala, to finally settle in the Mysore province of Karnataka (today they reside in Bangalore, Mysore, Chikmaglur, Hassan and Shimoga). They speak Kannada-infused Tamil in a sweet sing-song style. Since Sanketi names sound more or less like Tamilian or Kannadiga names, you cannot find this community unless you happen to ask someone. They are hidden.

The ingredients for chutni-pudi
This community was reputed for its intellectuals in the traditional vedic learning and produced many experts in Carnatic music, Sanskrit language, etc. Naturally some of them ended up as advisors to the Mysore rulers including Tipu and the Wodeyars. Other Sanketis cultivated arecanut, coconut, betelnut, and banana. More recently, they have taken to English education, with many of them migrating abroad to work as scientists, doctors, researchers etc.

Sanketis are keen eaters  and are said to be fond of competitive eating at weddings! There are folk tales of a favourite character called "Hotte-Baka" who is known for his appetite. 

Here is a recipe for a Sanketi version of that Karnataka favourite, chutni-pudi. Chutni-pudi can be eaten with dosa, idli etc, but also goes fantastically with akki-roti.

  • Kadala bele (chana dal or Bengal gram split and skinned) - 1 cup
  • Uddina bele (urad dal or black gram) - 1/2 cup
  • Togari bele (tuvar dal or pigeon pea splits and skinned) - 1/2 cup
  • Ona menasinakai (dry red chillies) - 6-7
  • Ingu (hing or asafoetida) - a small bit
  • Kari bevu (kadi patta or curry leaves) - one handful
  • Hunase (imli or tamarind) - marble size
  • Ellu (sesame) - 1 teaspoon
  • Copra - as much as you like
  • Oil - 2 tablespoons
With the kadhai (cooking pot) on a low flame, dry roast the kadala bele.
When it is a little roasted, add uddina bele.
After a minute or so, add togari bele.
Now roast all 3 beles together, until you get the nice roasted smell. Keep flame low and be patient, do not over-roast.
Next step, take oil in kadhai, roast the other ingredients except copra (red chillies, curry leaves, tamarind, asafoetida, sesame).
You need to scrape or cut the coconut into smaller bits and fry it in the end for a very little time, just to get the rawness out.
After this, powder all the ingredients, and add salt to taste.
Can use more chillies if you like it spicy.

Ta-da! Mix with oil/ghee and enjoy with idlis, dosas and akki-rotis.

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