I am all about the keeping the kitchen well-stocked with the pantry staples. My pantry shelves are adorned with a variety of ready-to-eat podis*, which are lifesavers during those lazy or sick days. If I am being absolutely honest, I could eat podi saadham in every meal! More than being merely convenient they are a delightful addition to a simple or elaborate meal.
Paruppu podi particularly is an in-house favourite. This South Indian classic is a combination of the delicately roasted lentils and fragrant spices. When savoured with a heaped spoon of paruppu podi mixed with hot rice and topped with a generous spoonful of ghee is comfort food at its best. Alternatively, if you prefer a vegan option, mix rice, paruppu podi and sesame oil.
I got this recipe from my father and he makes some really amazing podis. His paruppu podi recipe is a keeper!
* Podi, which literally means powder is a spice and lentil blend. It is consumed with rice and/or other delicacies such as idly, dosai, oothappam.
Makes: 2 cups
- Toor dal – 1 cup
- Roasted gram / pottu kadalai – 4 to 5 tblspn
- Black pepper – 1 tspn
- Cumin seeds – ½ tspn
- Dry red chilli – 10
- Curry leaves – 6 to 10 leaves, cleaned and dried
- Salt – As required
- Sesame oil / gingely oil – 1 tspn
- Heat oil in pan
- In low flame, roast the toor dal for about 2 minutes.
- Add roasted gram dal and roast both until you achieve a golden-brown colour. Keep stirring around while at it.
- Transfer the roasted lentils onto a clean, dry plate.
- Use the same pan to dry roast the remaining ingredients.
- In low flame, roast the cumin, curry leaves chillies and pepper.
- Roast until fragrant.
- Transfer them into another dry plate.
- Allow all the roasted ingredients to cool.
- Once cooled, grind all the ingredients in batches or at once with required salt.
- Grind until you achieve the desired texture. Some like it with a bit of crunch but I prefer a smooth podi.
- Savour the podi with hot rice and ghee or sesame oil.
- Adding garlic is another yummy variation. I usually add 5 to 7 cloves of fresh garlic, pan roasted, to the podi. I have even used store-bought garlic granules without roasting them while grinding the podi.
- Adjust spice levels to suit your taste.
- The podi stays fresh and fragrant in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.
- You could swap oil in the recipe for ghee.
- If you’d like to achieve a deep red colour, roast a few dry Kashmiri or byadagi chillies.