Preparation / Directions:
This hottish powder is widely used in southern Indian Brahmin cooking, which is vegetarian, to flavor pulses, braised and stewed vegetables, and sauces. The dal in the blend give it a nutty taste, and also serve as a thickening agent. Remove the seeds from the chiles. Heat a heavy frying pan and dry roast the whole spices over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. When the seeds stop spattering, add the asafetida and turmeric and stir for a minute longer. Remove the mixture to a dry bowl, add the oil to the pan and fry the split peas and gram beans until they darken, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add them to the bowl of spices, mix well and grind when cool. Stored in an airtight container, the powder will keep for 3-4 months. Source: Jill Norman "The Complete Book of Spices" Viking Studio Books, 1991 ISBN 0-670-83437-8 The book is lavishly illustrated with full color photographs of the herbs and spices- whole, mixed, ground.