This month’s theme for the Shhhh Cooking Secretly Facebook group is ‘Chutneys’. All the participating bloggers were challenged to whip up a chutney that makes use of the two secret ingredients their partner assigns them with.
I have been paired with Kriti Singhal Agrawal, the talented blogger who writes at Krispy Kadhai, this month. She assigned me ‘curd’ and ‘any fresh herb’ as my secret ingredients. I decided to make Dangar Pachadi, a long-lost heirloom recipe from Tamilnadu, that uses curd, roasted urad daal, coriander (the fresh herb!) and, sometimes, curry leaves. Well, technically, this is a raita and not a chutney, but then, anything ground and mixed into curd will inevitably become a raita, right? So, I decided to let that be.
Like I was saying earlier, dangar pachadi is a traditional recipe from Tamilnadu, particularly the Tanjore region, which has been lost somewhere in the chaos of modern life. There is another variation of this raita too that used to be prepared back in the olden days – a version that used roasted urad flour instead of urad daal – called dangarma (colloquial for ‘dangar maavu‘) pachadi. ‘Dangar maavu‘ here refers to ‘urad flour’.
This pachadi has a very interesting history associated with it. Apparently, there was once a section of Brahmins from Maharashtra residing in the South Indian district of Tanjore, called the Tanjore Marathis. It is these Tanjore Marathis who are believed to have invented the dangar pachadi. ‘Dangar‘ is the Marathi word for ‘the dough used to make papads‘, i.e. urad daal flour. A variation of this recipe was popular among traditional households in Maharashtra as well.
Dangar pachadi is something that my mother has grown up eating frequently, a dish I’ve heard her talk about often, but something I haven’t had too many times. I have never tried making it before. Amma was more than happy to teach me how to make this raita, for this challenge, and that is how this post happened. The raita turned out delectable, the smell of roasted urad daal in it heavenly. I served the dangar pachadi with Gujarati-style bajri-methi na thepla, and I am pretty sure it would go wonderfully well with any kind of parathas or as a side dish for rotis. Traditionally, this raita would be served with rice-based dishes.
Now, let’s learn how to make this beautiful raita, shall we?
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
- 1 cup curd
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons urad daal
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 green chillies, slit length-wise
- 2 pinches of asafoetida
- A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- Dry roast the urad daal in a pan, on medium flame, till it emits a lovely fragrance. Transfer to a plate and keep aside to let it cool down completely.
- In the meantime, whisk the curd well. Add salt to taste.
- Add the finely chopped coriander leaves to the curd.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Turn down the flame to medium. Now, add the asafoetida and split green chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, and then add to the curd mix.
- When the roasted urad daal has completely cooled down, use a mixer to pulse it to a coarse powder. Add this powder to the curd mix.
- Mix everything well, ensuring that all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated together.
- Serve with parathas, rotis or any rice preparation.
- I used home-made curd that wasn’t too thick. If you are using very thick, store-bought curd, use about 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup of water.
- Increase the quantity of urad daal, if you think you’d like it that way.
- Make sure you roast the urad daal lightly, till it emits a good fragrance. Take care to ensure that it doesn’t burn.
- Increase the quantity of green chillies, if you would like the raita to be slightly more spicier.
- You need to just coarsely crush the roasted urad daal, and not make a fine powder.
- Curry leaves can be added to the raita, too, but I skipped them.
- If you aren’t planning on using the dangar pachadi immediately, you should refrigerate it until use so that it doesn’t turn too sour.
You like? I hope you will try this dish out too, and that you will love it just as much as we did!