The very thought of home ground spice mix aka podi warms my appetite not to mention the aroma that emanates my kitchen during it preparation. Podis or spiced powders/blends are an essential part of South Indian cuisine with each home having their own versions of preparing it. We in Andhra share a fondness for our podis and I know of homes who eat podi each and every day, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. I grew up in a household where podis and pickles were an integral part of our daily meals and not having a jar of pickle or a bottle of podi on the dining table was a rarity. Podis come to our rescue on days when we are rushed up for time or run out of vegetables.
A flavorsome, protein-packed, lentil-spice blend is Kandi Podi, a classic Andhra recipe. Tur dal and channa dal are slow, dry roasted along with red chillis and cumin seeds and finely ground to a coarse powder and finished off with asafoetida and salt. An absolute delight to the senses, almost addictive, Kandi Podi is usually eaten, mixed with white rice and a drizzle of ghee.
Recipe source: Amma
Prep & Cooking: 20 mts
1 small cup kandi pappu/red gram/tur dal
1 small cup senaga pappu/bengal gram/channa dal
1 1/4 tsps cumin seeds
7-8 dried red chillis (adjust)
15 curry leaves (optional)
1/2 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1 Heat a heavy bottomed vessel and add both the dals and slowly, dry roast on low to medium heat stirring constantly till they turn red. Donâ€™t burn them. Remove from pan and keep aside.
2 In the same vessel, add the cumin seeds and toss them on medium heat for 2-3 mts. Remove from pan and keep aside.
3 Next drizzle some oil in the vessel, add the dry red chillis and curry leaves and stir fry for 3-4 mts. Remove and cool.
4 Once cool, grind all the ingredients to a slightly coarse or a rough texture. Add salt to taste and asafoetida and combine. Store in an air-tight container.
6 Serve hot with white steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
You can increase or decrease the red chillis according to your spice level. Curry leaves is optional. The podi should not be ground to a fine powder but be slightly coarse.