North karnataka style Gurellu Pudi / Hucchellu Pudi made with a handful of ingredients
Each regional cuisine has its own set of defining ingredients. Karnataka cuisine being so vast and varied, has its own too and the defining ingredients vary within the state, every 100 kilometres or so.
Niger seeds (pronounced Ny-jer) as they are known in english go by the name Gurellu, Hucchellu or Ucchellu in North Karnataka and here in Mysore-Bangalore regions respectively are a characteristic ingredient one can find in North Karnataka dishes.
Gurellu and Gurellu Pudi both are a mainstay in North karnataka cuisine. In fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that Gurellu pudi is not merely a recipe, it is a lifestyle in itself.
Gurellu / Hucchellu may look like elongated sesame seeds to an untrained eye, but can be distinguished by their long “tilak” shape and unmistakable sheen that is so unique to them. What I did not know is that Niger seeds are used as bird feed in many parts of the world.
wonder why the name Niger? These seeds are native to Africa, abundantly cultivated in Ethiopian highlands but are grown in southern parts of India – mainly North Karnataka and Maharashtra
othe names After much time spent on scraping from Google, I found that Gurellu ಗುರೆಳ್ಳು (botanical name –Guizotia abyssinica) is also known as Karale in Marathi, Ram Til in Hindi and Verri nuvvulu in Telugu
where can you buy them from?
Best chances of finding Gurellu or Hucchellu is in local grocery stores or in traditional Grandhige Angadi (stores) in Bangalore/Mysore areas.
If you can’t find it in your local grocery store or department store, you can try buying online on Amazon by searching for aliases it goes by such as Ramtil, Khurasni, Khursani, Karale.
Authentic Utthara (North) Karnataka style Gurellu Pudi calls for only a handful of ingredients and Garlic is a must in this spice mix.
It takes me back to the summers spent in a remote village near Hubli where Amma had learnt to cook local foods from her generous neighbors.
Gurellu Pudi has got to be one of the easiest recipes to make taking under 10 mins to get done. Delicious as well as nutritious, it is the perfect accompaniment for Jolada Rotti (Jowar / Sorghum Roti) when paired with thick yogurt. I like how it brings out a unique flavor when added to curries.
In Mysore-Bangalore side though, Huchhellu Pudi recipe also includes peanuts and Kobri (or dried coconut) and garlic is optional.
From all the reading up that I did, I found that Niger seeds have great home remedial properties.
One of the best sources of vitamin K2 much more than Ghee, it has been used since time immemorial by naturopaths as an effective, natural cure for rheumatism.
Niger seeds are an immune booster, sleep inducer (great for insomniacs or restless sleepers), pain reliever and blood circulation supporter as well as prevent cough and common cold.
Since the spice mix can go rancid easily, I prefer to make it fresh in small batches as and when needed.
Also, as an extra tip, if you are a bird enthusiast and would like different types of birds to visit your garden, fill your bird feeder with Niger seeds in the mix
What are you waiting for? Go make this recipe super soon.
You might also like Karibevu Chutney Pudi | Curry Leaves Spice Mix
Nuvvula Avise ginjala Podi | Andhra style Roasted sesame and flax seeds powder
Ellu Unde | Black Sesame Seeds Laddoo
- 1/4 cup gurellu / niger seeds
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder more if you like it spicier
- 1 stalk of curry leaves
- 6 garlic cloves peeled (whole garlic if using the smaller organic variety)
- salt to taste
Dry roast gurellu on medium heat in a kadai or skillet until they begin to splutter.
Take care to not let them burn.
Next, in the same pan, similarly dry roast washed and dried curry leaves until crisp.
Let both cool.
Once cooled, grind all ingredients in a small jar grinder to a fine powder
Store in an airtight container
Serve with hot jolada rotti and thick yogurt
Can also be used as a curry powder for vegetable stir fries.
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