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. Don’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.