7 Types Of Podi From Andhra Pradesh To Elevate Any Meal

Andhra Pradesh boasts a rich culinary tradition with a diverse array of delectable dishes that can captivate the palate of any food enthusiast. Among its lesser-known specialities are the 'podis' or powders, which offer up a range of unique flavours and varieties. 

According to Sangam literature (ancient Tamil texts), podis originate in Southern India and are a distinctive blend of lentils, spices, and various ingredients that serve as a complement to popular breakfast items like dosas, idlis, rice dishes, and more. Beyond being accompaniments to breakfast, podis also enhance the flavour of curries, dosa batter, rotis, bhaji batter, or are even consumed plain with hot ghee rice.

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Each household has its unique podi recipe, and the flavours vary from region to region too so there are innumerable types to consider. Crafting these seemingly simple podis requires years of mastery to hit upon the perfect blend of lentils, spices, and other ingredients is an art in itself.

Regardless of the podi you choose, pairing it with your favourite dish is an experience of pure bliss, providing maximum satisfaction to your taste buds. Their versatility makes them a convenient choice whenever you crave a wholesome and flavourful dish.

1. Kakarakaya Podi

Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Kakarakaya Podi features bitter gourd, or Karela, resulting in a condiment that retains the gourd's natural bitterness. Tamarind imparts a slight tanginess. Rich in Vitamin C, it pairs well with rice and ghee.

2. Nalla Karam Podi

Nalla Karam Podi, named for its deep hue, achieves this colour through the inclusion of urad dal with skin and roasted curry leaves. The term "karam," denoting spiciness, is owed to the presence of fiery red chillies.

3. Kandi Podi

Also known as Paruppu Podi in other parts of South India, this homemade lentil powder is crafted by roasting a blend of dals, red chillies, curry leaves, pepper, cumin seeds, hing, and garlic. A staple in many Andhra meals.

4. Nuvvula Karam

Nuvvula Karam Powder, an earthy sesame blend, consists of sesame seeds, urad dal, Bengal gram, curry leaves, red chilli powder, and various spices.

5. Pulihora Podi

Pulihora, or Tamarind Rice, a traditional southern Indian dish, involves a pre-made pulihora gojju (paste) or pulihora podi (powder). This mix, containing tamarind, is stored and later combined with cooked rice for instant pulihora.

6. Verkadalai Podi

A speciality of Andhra Pradesh, Peanut Podi is a flavoursome blend of peanuts, coriander seeds, cumin, red chillies, tamarind, and garlic. It adds a nutty dimension to any meal.

7. Vepa Puvvu Podi

This chutney powder, made with neem leaves, contributes to overall well-being and digestive health. Dry roasted neem flowers, sesame, curry leaves, hing, chillies, and dal combine to create this beneficial blend.

These are just a few of the dozens of podis that Andhra Pradesh has to offer and if you’re feeling creative, you can even use them for inspiration to create your own. That’s the magic of podis, they are deeply traditional but leave room for innovation so you can amp up any meal in minutes.