Friday, June 30, 2006

Veppilakatti - chutney powder made with lemon/lime leaves

At last, the recipe for veppilakatti, which I was waiting to get from my mother. Like she says, I wonder why it's called "veppilakatti" when the recipe doesnt call for neem leaves (veppilai) in the recipe... but hey, I have no quarrels with the eccentricities of any language, especially if I dont have to write any exams in it!

I dont have any hope of ever getting to make veppilakatti here, because I cant get the required leaves... but here goes the recipe for those who are lucky enough to have lemon/lime trees growing in their gardens and are interested in making this very different, very tasty chutney powder. The recipe is nearly word-for-word as my mother emailed it - I've only added the English translations where required.

It's really best eaten as a side-dish for thayir-sadham (curd rice). I havent tried it with anything else and wouldnt want to. There speaks the purist in me. Or maybe it's the fuss-budget. It all depends on the point-of-view concerned. (Yes, there are other personalities residing in this one body, but they usually dont get a chance to express themselves. It's safer that way. For all of us, and for all of you!)

Recipe for:


Lemon/lime leaves (tender leaves r better) - 4 cups
10-15 curry leaves (for extra flavour)
omam (ajwain or carom seeds) - 1 tsp
jeera (cumin) - 1/4 tsp
black peppercorns - 5-6 corns
red chilli - 3
lemon juice - as reqd
salt - as reqd
urad dal - 1 tsp fried (optional)


1. Wash and dry the leaves on a cloth.

2. Take out the middle vein from the leaf after folding it (vertically). If the leaves are very tender, no need to do that.

3. Put everything (except the lemon juice) in a dry grinder, grind the till the leaves are nicely powdered.

4. Take the powder out & add lemon juice to taste. Mix well.

Store in a refrigerator for a longer shelf-life. (Amma made some for me in mid-May and it is still going strong.)


Krithika said...

I have never tasted this. Looks very similar to narthalapodi that my mother makes. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I'm so excited to make this. My lemon trees are kind of small, so I may halve the recipe. I will have it with curd rice over this long holiday weekend.

I like your Mom's voice in the recipe too - she sounds like someone who would be fun to know.

Mika said...

Sounds delicious, Shammi.

RP said...

That sounds great. I thought veppilakatti was a kind of chutney powder made out of curry leaves!

Anonymous said...

RP: There IS a chutney powder made with curry leaves, but it's called kariveppalai podi :) That's pretty nice too.

Anonymous said...

Thats so strange. :-)
In Kerala we call 'veppilakatti' for a powder with curry leaves and coconut.

Never tried to do anything with lemon leaves. Thanks.

Ravi said...

Shammi, there is one more similar to this made out of coriander leaves. And yes, as Krithika said, there is this narthanga leaves version too - very good for stomach and related problems.

Nav said...


Thanks for posting this recipe. I am sailing in the same boat as you, so cannot find lemon leaves. But I am definitely going to share this recipe with my mother and may be she can try as we have a lemon tree in our backyard. I was going to ask you if there are any medicinal values to this powder and thankfully Ravi mentioned in the above comment.


Anonymous said...

Finally made this last week (raised my neighbor's tree and pruned it nicely for them) - had some yogurt rice with it for lunch one day and it is indeed a nice flavor. I don't know that I'd pine for it, but not having grown up for it it has no nostalgic value for me.

At any rate, a nice combination of flavors and I will look forward to using the rest of the jar up on curd rice lunches this summer!

Thanks again to you and your Mom!

Anonymous said...

Shammi: Tried this out after failing to find a protocol even in the redoutable Samaithu paar . And gotta tell you..THIS is the real deal.


Thanks to you and your mom for sharing...

Anonymous said...

I looooooove vepela katti. You get the this readymade is stores in Coimbatore (a1 chips) but they are way too spicy for me. And you were spot goes like a dream with thayirshadam. Thanks a lot for your blog. Am from Mumbai so not sure where I will get the ingredients but reading the blog made me happy :) Prakash(

Anonymous said...

My mother used to make Veppilakkatty, and it was not made from Neem leaves which are very bitter. Also I never saw her add any citrus leaves. Veppila is another term for Curry leaves, which she used in this dish, along with coconut, tamarind and spices.