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Indian multipurpose spice powders with spices, pulses and herbs

Updated on April 22, 2016
Venkatachari M profile image

Venkat is experienced in cooking since his mother's demise in 1966 and cooks Indian cuisines better. He uses healthy, easy ways in doing so.

Importance of Spice Powders

Any foodstuff is incomplete without spices. You simply can't eat up any stuff without seasoning it using the spices and spice powders. Unless you are otherwise advised by the Doctors to take very simple, plain and tasteless food for some health reasons; or unless you are practising austerity on your own, you should keep some spices at hand to spice up your food stuff.

So, we use spices to add taste and flavour to our recipes. We may be using them either in raw form or fried and seasoned form. In seeds and herbs/leaves form or in powder form as per our likes and habits.

For our convenience, most of us like to procure or keep stocks of ground spice powders in different mixtures or combinations so as to be readily available for our immediate daily consumption instead of preparing them as and when they are required.

I am describing below some easy methods of preparing these delicious and differently tasting spice powders so that you may be able to get an idea of preparing tasty and varying types of five spice powder (using red chillies, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves with different combinations of pulses) on your own.

Images of varying spice powders

Spicy multipurpose powder ready for use
Spicy multipurpose powder ready for use | Source
Powder put into air-tight container for daily use.
Powder put into air-tight container for daily use. | Source

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5 stars from 5 ratings of Spicy powders

Multiple uses of Spice powders

I don't think anybody there, who does not like spicy food stuff. Do you?

These spicy powders are going to be for multipurpose uses.

  • You can use the spice powder for preparing your snacks by sprinkling the powder on them after or during cooking or frying them.
  • You can use it for preparing tasty and delicious soups.
  • You may have it instead of the sauce or chutneys at your breakfast tables for eating your bread loaf or toasts, idlis, burgers, dosa or any other kind of breakfast stuff of Indian or continental cuisines.
  • It is very useful in preparing all your curries, both vegetable and non-veg items. Simply, you will have to add these powders into those recipes while cooking them. You can add one teaspoonful to three teaspoonfuls of these powders according to your tastes and likings and experience the difference it brings to your recipes.
  • All your family members will definitely enjoy these spiced up food stuff pouring off best compliments upon you.
  • Further, these spice powders are good from your health point also as they do not do so much harm as other packed food items that you purchase from stores or consume at eateries.

Fry Time & Preparation/ Grinding Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: .200 grams powder per week for 4 member family

Ingredients for spice powders

curry leaves two bunches
curry leaves two bunches | Source
green peas
green peas | Source
yellow split pigeon peas
yellow split pigeon peas | Source
Black pigeon dehulled peas
Black pigeon dehulled peas | Source
mustard seeds, cumin seeds
mustard seeds, cumin seeds | Source
Red chillies
Red chillies | Source
coriander seeds
coriander seeds | Source

Ingredients Required

  • 100 grams green pulses( green pigeon pea), no need to fry
  • 50 grams yellow pigeon split-peas, to be fried dry
  • 30 grams black pigeon hulled peas or split peas, to be fried dry
  • 15 to 20 nos. Red dry chillies, to be fried with a little bit oil
  • 10 grams dry coriander seeds, to be fried with a little bit oil
  • 3 to 5 grams mustard seeds, -----------Do-----------------
  • 2, 3 grams cumin seeds, -----------Do----------------------
  • 5 grams tamarind (optional), without seeds (while grinding)
  • 2 spoonfuls salt, while grinding
  • 1 spoon turmeric powder, while grinding
  • one or two bunch green curry leaves (sweet neem leaves), either fried or raw (optional)

Instructions for preparing Spice Powders

  1. Take the green pulses direct into a grinding jar without frying. They will be ground as they are along with other ingredients when grinding takes place.
  2. Now, light the stove and put the frying pan on the flame (hollow deep) and heat it for 10 seconds.
  3. Dry fry the yellow split peas in the dry pan without adding any oil for 1 or 2 minutes so that their colour transforms to a reddish yellow shade and remove them into a large plate to cool.
  4. Similarly, fry the black hulled or hull removed pulses also in the hot pan till they fry to a light yellowish/ reddish colour and remove them to cool. You can keep them in that same plate in which yellow peas were kept for cooling.
  5. Now, add a tablespoonful of edible oil into the frying pan and fry the red chillies and mustard seeds and cumins in it and add the coriander seeds and curry leaves also into the pan and fry for a while till all the seeds begin making splitting sounds.
  6. Now, remove the pan from flame and allow the ingredients to cool for some time (say for 2, 3 minutes).
  7. Then, transfer all the ingredients into the grinding jar in which the green peas were kept at the beginning. Add salt and turmeric powder and some tamarind also (for taste) as instructed in the ingredients requirement.
  8. Grind the whole ingredients in the grinding jar for one minute giving breaks after every 20 or 30 seconds of grinding for mixing them with a spoon during those breaks for a better grinding.
  9. Now, your spicy, multi-purpose spice powder is ready for use.
  10. Remove the powder into a container having a lid and store it dry till it lasts. Whenever you want to prepare your recipes with this spice powder, add one spoonful or something like that to your recipes while cooking or after frying is completed.

Some more Important Tips for preparing the spice powder

You may change the ingredients and quantities as per your likings.

The total quantity is taken as 200 grams for utilising within one week as per my experience with a four-member family using the powder only 5 days in a week. You may prepare more or less powder according to your needs with appropriate changes in ingredient quantities. The powder can be stored even for a full month if stored dry in airtight containers.

I have taken more quantity of green pulses as it is healthier with tasty fibre

Instructions with images for preparation of spice powders

frying pulses in dry pan
frying pulses in dry pan | Source
change in colour of fried pulses
change in colour of fried pulses | Source
a bit oil for frying other than pulses.
a bit oil for frying other than pulses. | Source
fry red chillies, then add mustard and cumin seeds and then coriander
fry red chillies, then add mustard and cumin seeds and then coriander | Source
before removing from heat add sweet neem(curry) leaves, mix them and remove from heat.
before removing from heat add sweet neem(curry) leaves, mix them and remove from heat. | Source
after cooling put all pulses and other ingredients into grinding jar and grind.
after cooling put all pulses and other ingredients into grinding jar and grind. | Source
final powder ready for use after grinding.
final powder ready for use after grinding. | Source

Special Instructions for spice powder

You may have your own adjustments in quantities of the pulses according to your likings and priorities. You can use chickpeas also in the mixture and any other pulses.

Take care that the ingredients do not get over-fried or burnt while frying them.

Do not grind the powder too-soft or fine, as a little bit of roughness is good for health and also, may give you more taste.

Idli spice powder in a different style

About idli spice powder video

In this video, they have used the following ingredients:

Coriander seeds, Bengal gram, Black gram, Red chillies, fenugreek, cumin seeds, tamarind, curry leaves - all fried in a little bit of oil and ground in a mixie adding salt and turmeric powder. The video is in a Telugu language but they provided the subtitles in English.

My style of using these spice powders

I have given above, my experiences of the spice powders being prepared and used by me. I use the powder for any kind of preparations.

  • We eat idlis with this powder. Half-a-teaspoonful of spice powders is enough for eating four idlis.
  • Similarly, you can eat any kind of your breakfast item with this powder by simply applying a little bit powder to the toasts.
  • When preparing curries, I add one or two spoonfuls of this powder according to the type of curry being prepared. If it is a fried curry with lady's finger, beans or bell chillies, I add the powder after it gets fried and before removing from the heat, along with some salt.
  • If it is plain (cooked in a cooker) curry, then also I add some powder into it during cooking or before removing it into the bowl.
  • When I prepare curries with tamarind juice, I add two spoonfuls of this powder with salt and some turmeric powder while cooking itself.

So you are able to see that it is a multi-purpose spice powder with lots of uses. You may invent your own kinds of uses of this powder and prepare tasty delicious recipes that give enjoyment to your family.

Your appetite will also be increasing while tasting these dishes.

So, why are you waiting for? Immediately jump into the kitchen to give a try at these spice powders and have your nice, delicious recipes prepared using these multi-purpose powders to enjoy a spicy life.

Comments

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    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 13 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      That's a very good attitude. I also try to look at multiple cultures, their recipes, habits, dressing codes, music, history and everything and get some good from them.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

      Gina Welds Hulse 13 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      I love learning about new cultures and have traveled extensively as a result. It is no pain for me. I love it and I think everyone should expand their boundaries of travel, taste, music, dress...to create a more rounded, loving, caring and open-minded individual.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 13 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      You are most welcome, Gina. I appreciate your taking pains in knowing about different food cultures.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

      Gina Welds Hulse 13 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Ah! Thanks for clarifying! That certainly helps. I actually have all those ingredients, except the curry leaves, but I can get those readily. Thanks, again, Venkat.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 13 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Yes, Gina. When you say dhal, they generally refer to split yellow pigeon peas. But, the more appropriate term is Arhar dal (also known as Toor dal). Because dhal can refer to any variety of dal. There are the split yellow pigeon peas, the black pigeon peas, and the green pigeon peas which are all in the category of dal. Each one of them can be used for making the mixed spice powders.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

      Gina Welds Hulse 13 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Yes, I use all of those spices, but I never thought of using beans/peas in that fashion. Is the split pigeon peas called dhal in India? Pardon the ignorance. I'm asking because I have a big bag of dhal, and they look like the image you shared.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 13 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thank you, Gina. It is really a good, healthy recipe and the spices mentioned herein are all healthy too for your body. You should try them.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

      Gina Welds Hulse 13 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      I absolutely must try this!!! I use turmeric everyday in various ways, but this spice powder sounds wonderful. I could smell the aromas as they combine just from reading your article. This is actually a great blend of anti-inflammatory spices. I look forward to making it.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thanks for the reply, Parul. Now, I am free. The marriage was over yesterday and there was the Satyanarayan vrat today. I returned home in the evening. It was a great hectic week.

    • sriv profile image

      Parul Srivastava 2 years ago from Lucknow,India

      Thanks Sir, for visiting and commenting.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Hi, Parul. Thanks for the visit and nice comment. I like to visit the spicybhojan blog and learn new things. Presently, I am busy with my brother's son marriage.

    • sriv profile image

      Parul Srivastava 2 years ago from Lucknow,India

      Thanks for sharing these spice preparations of south.My mother says she will try these wonderful spices.She also has a blog of food,

      http://www.spicybhojan.blogspot.in

      You are welcome to visit it.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Many thanks Mary, for liking my hub and adding it to your to do list. It is quite right that we need some spice in our life to enjoy it.

      Thanks for your voting and nice comment.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Peachpurple, I would rather say these are more better than packed spice as home made are more healthier.

      Thank you for your visit and nice comment.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Phyllis, it's great to see you like these spice powders. Thanks for your visit and nice comment and sharings.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I have added this to my to do list! Great spices prepared well. We certainly can't live without a little spice in our life ;)

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      This homemade spice is similar to pre packed spice right?

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Venkatachari, I intend to make this spicy powders to add taste and zest to my cooking. Thank you for sharing these great tips. Your photos really enhance the hub and help a lot. I am excited to make and use these powders. voted up, awesome, interesting and H+ , G+

      Well done, my friend.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      You are welcome and thanks for liking my hub.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wonderful information. I love spicy foods and I can use your information. Thank you.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      You are welcome. I knew that people may not find some ingredients easily available. But you can adjust things according to your convenience. I have given an idea how to prepare things. You may input your own ideas and make it better to suit your needs and circumstances.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      I live in Brazil and some of these things aren't readily available to me. I may need to make a few adjustments but your explanation of how to do this is wonderful. Our spice powder here leavesa lot to be desired.

      Thanks for this.

    • Venkatachari M profile image
      Author

      Venkatachari M 3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      You are welcome. And happy that you like it. I hope you will definitely enjoy preparing and tasting it.

    • preweb profile image

      preweb 3 years ago from UK

      Nice preparation of spice powder. Thanks for sharing.