Andhra Pradesh is well known for its chutneys, and for the love that Andhra people have for their chutneys. Called pachadi, the chutneys are not to be confused with the pachadi dishes from Tamil Nadu, which are generally yoghurt based like a raita. An Andhra Pachadi is more like a Tamil Thogayal. I hope that clears the confusion.
Andhra Pachadis are ground vegetables and spices, made to be eaten with rice and a dollop of ghee. But you can use them in sandwiches, stirred into yoghurt, or with snacks, chapatti, idli or dosa.
This is a Spinach Andhra Pachadi, and you have never tasted spinach so delicious. Spicy from red and green chillies, and cooling from the ground sesame seeds, it all comes together into an awesome dish.
You can see our Tamil Pachadi dishes here and here, and our Andhra Pachadi dishes here. Or browse all of our Spinach recipes and our Indian dishes. You might also like to explore our Early Winter recipes.
Andhra Spinach Pachadi | Spinach Chutney
this recipe is adapted from Cooking with Pedatha, by Jigyasa Giri, a great book on Andhra Pradesh cuisine
Spinach leaves and stems – about 6 cups. This will be 1 or 2 bunches depending on the size of the bunches
2 Tblspn thick tamarind pulp
4 tspns ghee
salt to taste
1 Tblspn split, hulled urad dal
2 tspns black mustard seeds
0.25 tspn fenugreek seeds
4 – 8 small dried red chillies with the tip nipped off
3 – 4 green chillies with stalks removed
12 curry leaves
1 tspn split, hulled urad dal
1 tspn black mustard seeds
Wash the spinach and chop roughly, along with the stems. Discard any tough stems.
Dry roast the sesame seeds on a low flame until golden brown and grind in a mortar and pestle until it is a coarse powder. Avoid the spice grinder for this, as sesame seeds easily release oils and turn to a paste.
Heat 1 tspn of the ghee in a kadhai, wok or large saucepan and add the spinach. Cover and simmer over low-medium heat until the spinach is well cooked and the water has completely evaporated – about 10 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In another kadhai or pan, heat 2 tspn ghee and add the mustard seeds. As they begin to pop, add the urad dal. When it is golden, add the fenugreek and as they brown, turn off the heat.
Quickly add the red chillies, and as they brighten in colour, add the curry leaves, green chillies and asafoetida powder.
Turn this spice mix into a mortar and pestle and grind along with the tamarind pulp, powdered sesame seed and salt into a fine paste. Do not add water. I find the mortar and pestle the best method for this as a spice grinder clogs easily when the spices have been roasted in ghee or oil.
Add the spinach and this spice paste to your blender or food processor and blend all together. Place in a serving dish
Make the tadka/tempering. Heat 1 tspn ghee in a kadhai or small pan, add the mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add the urad dal and as it colours, pour over the chutney.
Serve with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
Amaranth leaves can be used in place of spinach.
The recipe can be made with any spinach – there are many different greens in India – I made it with the ubiquitous English Spinach here in Australia.
Mint leaves can be added, even a little garlic.
A little chopped, raw onion can be added as garnish