India is a warehouse of spices and lentils used in every household in their day-to-day food preparations. These spices hold a very special corner in every Indian heart. I still remember the summer vacations, where I use to visit my grandparents and my grandma uses to serve those pipping hot idlis coated with spicy Podi, drenched in homemade ghee. Grandma’s story was a stable companion to my Idli Podi during those days. Idli Podi remains my comfort food to this day and I guess, it will forever be.
Podi is a common side dish for South-Indian delicacies - idlis, uttapams, and dosas. It is a coarse spice powder, originating from the Indian subcontinent, with a mixture of ground dry spices that typically contains dried chilis, black gram, chickpeas, salt, and sesame seeds. The spice mix is commonly referred to in informal speech as "gunpowder" or chutney powder. It is generally mixed with gingelly (sesame) oil or melted ghee when it is served alongside idli or dosa.
I prefer to add dried garlic to the Milaga podi or Milagai podi to give a garlicky taste. When I toss those hot Idlis in the Podi mixed with ghee, the gun powder absorbs the ghee and enhances the flavor that just melts in my mouth. Podi for me is a perfect blend of spices and unconditional love of my Grandma with her curious stories.
What's your Podi companion?