Thursday, June 5, 2008

All kinds of PODIS - Spice Powders

Father bought all our groceries from a Society in the congested market place after mother wrote down the elaborate list. The provisions were loaded in a horse carriage (jutka) and brought to our house.
Lingamma cleaned the groceries one by one with the help of winnows and sieves. Then mother stored them in their respective containers and bottles, and arranged them in the store room (Ugrana) shelves. After this, the sambar powders, chutney powders and other spice powders were prepared in bulk.

Gowramma was especially summoned for this purpose.
Gowramma was a short and frail person. Her well oiled, back combed pig tail was rolled into a tight bun, well above the nape of her neck. A black bead chain adorned her neck and she wore at least a dozen of colourful glass bangles on each of her hands. Her cotton saree always stood at ‘ flood level’. She wrapped her saree pallu masking her nose and mouth in an abortive effort to smother the cascading sneezes while she roasted the red chillies in the huge iron “bandli”, at the farthest end of the vast kitchen. Her half closed dreamy eyes, her protruding front teeth, the rhythmic jingling of the glass bangles while she pounded the spice in the enormous stone mortar and iron pestle– she looked a picture of a saint in meditation.
A simplified version of Gowramma’s recipes for preparing the ‘podis’ are given below.


Red Chillies --- 250 gms
Coriander seeds---250 gms
Tuvar dal ---- 50 gms
Bengal gram dal ---50 gms
Black gram dal----1 tbsp
Black pepper---1 tbsp
Cumin seeds ---1tbsp
Fenugreek seeds -1 tsp
Dry turmeric sticks -2
Or turmeric powder-2 tsps
Mix all ingredients except red chillies and lightly roast in a preheated pan or sun dry all ingredients.
Dry roast or microwave or sun dry chillies until crisp.
Powder all ingredients smoothly in a mixer.
Cool and store in dry containers.
This powder can be used in the preparation of sambars, spicy curries and gravys.


1. Tuvar dal -1 cup
2. Black pepper corns -1/4 tsp
3. Asafoetida – 1 pinch
4. Red chilly -1 or 2
5. Salt -1/2 tsp
1. Heat a pan and dry roast all ingredients together till it gives out a pleasant aroma.
2. Cool and powder with salt into a slightly coarse powder.
One spoon of Paruppu Podi with a spoon of ghee or sesame oil or olive oil, with hot plain rice is a delicacy.
Vattal kuzambu (tamarind based spicy gravy) and roasted papads go well with Parappu Podi rice.


1. Coconut gratings -2 cups
2. Asafoetida -1/4 tsp
3. Split black gram dal-1/4 cup
4. Red chillies -2 or 3
5. Salt -1/4 tsp
6. Oil -1/4 tsp
1. Heat oil in a pan and roast asafoetida.

2. Add black gram dal and roast to a golden colour
3. Add red chilly and roast until crisp
4. Transfer the seasoning into a plate and allow it to cool
5. Add the coconut gratings in the same pan and roast to a golden colour on low heat until it emanates a pleasant aroma
6. Powder the cooled seasoning coarsely.
7. Add the roasted coconut gratings and salt and run the mixer for ½ a minute so that all the ingredients blend together .
8. Cool and store the Tengai Podi and store in a dry container.
This delicious podi may be used as a side dish or savored with rice similar to Paruppu Podi.

1. Bengal gram dal -1 cup
2. Black gram dal-1 cup
3. Sesame seeds -1 cup
4. Asafoetida -1/2 tsp
5. Broken red chillies -12
6. Salt -11/2tsp
7. Sesame oil -1/4 tsp
1. Heat a pan and add sesame seeds and roast until it splutters.

2 Transfer the sesame into a plate and allow it to cool.
3. Heat oil in the pan and roast the asafoetida.
4. Add all the dals and roast to a golden colour.
5. Add the red chillies and roast till crisp.
6. Allow all ingredients to cool.
7. Coarsely powder all ingredients except the sesame seeds.
8. Lastly add the roasted sesame and salt and run the mixer for a minute.
9. One tsp of jaggery blended with the Milagai Podi will tone down its sharp stinging taste.
This podi with ghee or sesame oil or olive oil goes well with idlies, dosas and adais (A thick dosa prepared with rice, dal and spice).


1. Curry leaves – 2 cups
2. Black gram dal -4 tbsps
3. Black pepper corns -1 tbsp
4. Cumin seeds -2 tsps
5. Asafoetida -1/4 tsp
6. Red chilly (optional) -1
7. Salt -1/2 tsp
8. Sesame oil – 1/4 tsp
1. Separate curry leaves from stalk to make 2 cups.
2. Wash and spread the leaves on a tissue to drain and dry.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida.
4. Add black gram dal and roast till golden in colour
5. Add pepper and let it crack.
6. Add cumin seeds and red chilly and roast for a minute.
7. Allow all roasted ingredients to cool down.
8. Dry roast the thoroughly dried curry leaves till they crack.
9. To preserve the green colour the curry leaves can be micro waved till crisp.
10. Cool all the ingredients and powder smoothly with salt.
Karuvepilai Podi  is a very good digestive. Enjoy with steaming hot rice and ghee or with curd rice. A dash of this podi in a glass of butter milk will make a refreshing drink.


1. Coriander leaves – 2 cups

2. Black gram dal -2 tbsps
3. Bengal gram dal 2 tbsps
4. Asafoetida -1/4 tsp
5. Red chillies – 2
6. Salt -1 tsp
7. Dry tamarind -1/4 tsp (Can be deep fried or dry roasted and cooled)
8. Sesame oil -1 drop
1. Clean and chop the coriander leaves and allow to drain and dry on a tissue. Stalks can also be used provided they are tender.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida.
3. Add the dals and roast till they are golden in colour.
4. Add red chillies and roast till crisp.
5. Cool all ingredients and grind coarsely with salt and dry tamarind.
6. Add the thoroughly dried coriander leaves and run the mixer for a few more seconds just to blend
7. Air on a dry plate. Break evenly if there are any lumps.
8. Store in a dry container
Enjoy as a side dish.


1. Roasted gram / Pottu kadalai / Hurugalle - 1 cup
2. Red chillies( broken) - 4
3. Garlic - 4 cloves
4. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
5. Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp
6. Salt - 1/2 tsp
1. Heat oil and roast the garlic cloves till they turn golden brown in colour.
2. Add  the broken red chillies and Roasted gram and roast till crisp.
3. Add asafoetida powder and stir till it emanates a pleasant aroma.
4. Cool all the roasted ingredients.
5. Add salt and grind into a silky smooth powder.

Enjoy the Andhra Pappu Podi  mixed with steaming hot rice and a spoon of ghee or sesame oil.

9 Post your Comments:

YOSEE said...

Podis are great aapathbaandhavas ! especially on those evenings when you stare at the vegetable-less fridge shelves and start banging your head to put together a decent supper. And then, the PODIs ! with ghee and a humble appalam ! Real feast !

Poor Gowrammas and Lingammas of yore ! I'm happy i live in mixie-age ! Otherwise, "atishoo-atishoo, we all fall down !"

Lakshmi said...

Podi recipes are gr8..somehow never got that dosai podi to try it another time from your blog.

Ria said...

Hi! I have been following your blog for a while, and love your recipes. I am a big fan of dosa and sambar and have been looking for a good authentic Sambar powder recipe for a long time. I'd love to try the one in this post, but I don't have a scale to measure out in grams and have no other ideas at this point. Is there a way to measure out the ingredients in cups and spoons?

Dibs said...

Hello Anamika - Thanks a lot for visiting our blog. Mom normally just buys the amounts from the store and gets them ground. She will measure out in cups and check and publish a post very soon on Sambar powder alone this week, which may help you. Thanks again for visiting.

Hema Subramanian said...

I have prepared the podis which you have published it is very delicous

Momblogger said...


I need help to find the karibevu(curry leaves) chutney pusi recipe.. I am pregnant now and suddenly remembered eating this somewhere.. can't recall where.. It was a semi dry chutney powder.. with curry leaves and tamarind in it.. that is all I can remember.. but it was not in a powder form...nor a gravy was a semi dry mixture.. sour too.. Can you please help me find this. It would be a great help.

Chitra Amma's Kitchen said...

Hi MissedCall,

Just posted Sambar Puli.Hope you like it.

Wish you a happy and comfortable pregnancy, and a safe delivery.

Wish you all the best.

SK said...

Hi Chitra amma

1st time in your blog when i was browsing for Sambar podi. All your dishes are mouth watering. Mom's techniques are always the best and thank you for sharing these special dishes with everyone.

I am very new to Indian cooking and I am hearing everywhere about rasam. Do you mind to share the Rasam powder recipe with me pls. I really appreciate that.

Dibs said...
I generally use the powder posted in the above link for preparing rasam as well as sambar.
I have just posted a special rasam
called Udupi rasam.You can find the recipe for the special rasam powder there.
Wish you all the best.