Serves: upto 10 generous helpings; Preparation time: 40 minutes including washing/chopping/cutting/roasting/grinding.
3 tsps oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jheera, Jilakara)
4 Dry Red chillies (Endu mirapakaya)
1 fistful Peanuts (Moongphalli, Vesinaggkaya)
1 fistful Sesame seeds (Til, Nuvvulu)
2 bunches- Mint (Pudina) greens
4 large stalks- Cilantro (Hara Dhania, Kotimeera)
1 tbsp Tamarind paste
1 medium sized onion
4 Green chillies
1.5 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
(The Dry Red & Green chillies are to taste, use generously if you like the spice. Adjust the salt and tamarind accordingly. Large mild green chillies lend an awesome flavour to this recipe. Otherwise, use the usual small fiery Indian green chillies.)
1. Wash the greens (Pudina and Cilantro) in fresh running water. If the Pudina greens are young, they can be used whole. If the stems are fibrous, discard them & only use the leaves. Coarsely chop the Pudina and Cilantro. Set aside. Also chop the onion & green chillies into chunks and keep aside.
2. Heat 2 tsps of oil. When it is medium hot, add the dry red chillies broken into pieces. Roast them. When they are half done, add the Jheera. Add peanuts. Roast. When they are almost done (browned, giving off an aroma), add Sesame seeds. Switch off the flame when Sesame seeds splutter. Set aside.
Now in this same saucepan (it will have left over traces of oil smeared), add the greens and roast them for 1 to 2 minutes until they partially wither in the heat.
In the blender, first add the mixture resulting from step (2). Blend with a little water to make a smooth paste. Next add the contents of step (3), these should be coarse ground using quick spurts of power on pulse so that the onion-green chilli chunks are still visible. Finally, add the withered greens and sugar, mix them in properly. Grind with quick spurts of power on pulse so that they are coarse ground.
This Pacchadi is coarse ground, individual ingredients release an awesome medley of flavours & taste when crushed under our teeth as we eat, so make sure not to grind it too smooth.
Culture & Health:
This Pacchadi has the goodness of fresh Pudina (Mentha arvensis var. piperascens) & Cilantro- vitamins, antioxidants, essential oils, all those miracle phytochemicals, minerals. Peanut-Sesame provide protien and are a store-house of minerals. Half roasted onions & green chillies also provide vitamins & minerals. Traditional Andhra cuisine is full of such fresh chutneys and Pacchadis for a healthy lifestyle. Traditional cooks make Pacchadi fresh everyday, to make optimum use of antioxidants & those goodie-chemicals that get oxidized/denatured if stored. Moreover, it has such little oil, great taste along with health!!!
My favourite favourite pacchadi from childhood. This is my mother's recipe, she does very little cooking, but what little she does, she has some wonderfully yum recipes. I believe she learnt this recipe from her househelp-cook, Nagamani. How I used to pester Tittu to make this!
The recipe turned out very long in writing and explanation, but believe me, it is one of the easiest, you only need to chop the ingredients into large chunks, half roast them and lazily half-heartedly grind them coarse! :-P Put the minimum effort needed to make it, and you'll be surprized at how yummy it tastes. Thanks to Nagamani, wherever she is!