A South Indian Podi Dosa For Anushka Sharma In Cape Town; 7 Podi Recipes To Try At Home
Image Credit: Source: Screengrab of Anushka Sharma's story/Instagram

Whether you like croissants for breakfast or a juicy fried chicken burger for lunch, the heart of an Indian always beats for his own desi food. As they say, phir bhi dil hai hindustani, the famous Bollywood actor, Anushka Sharma has proved it right. Though hailing from a Punjabi household, her palate seems to be enjoy the South Indian flavours too. This can be seen in her latest stories from Cape Town. What caught our eye among the plethora of stories shared by her was the one with food, of course. The actor shared a picture of her lavish food spread which had peeled oranges, some chutney, side dishes with a big plate of dosa in the centre. 

Interestingly, it was no ordinary dosa but a spicy podi masala dosa. Dosa, for those untouched by the phenomenon, is a South Indian-style crepe made from a fermented batter of rice. It comes with or without a mashed potato filling. However, the podi dosa shared by Anushka Sharma isn’t like your regular masala dosa. It is special because it contains podi. Here take a look. 

                                               Source: Anushka Sharma/Instagram 

A coarse mixture of spices, podi is a South Indian masala powder made from a host of dry spices. It consists of coarsely ground dried chillies, chickpeas, sesame seeds, black gram and salt. That’s a typical podi mixture, also known as gunpowder is several parts of North India. Although that’s a classic podi mix, there are several other podi traditions arising from different South Indian cultures and giving the overall meal, a distinct taste. 

The podi powder is packed with a strong taste that adds a punch to the flavours. From milagai podi to chamanthi podi, there are a wide array of sweet, spicy and crunchy podis to be paired with dosas, idlis and more. 

Podi ki baat hogayi, so how about some podi dishes? Here are some flavourful dishes that can be enhanced with the podi punch. 

1.  Podi Dhokla 

The famous Gujarati snack, dhokla is a spongy and moist cake that is generally topped with mustard seeds and comes with thick and spicy green chillies. The balance of sweet and savoury in a dhokla makes it a powerhouse of flavours. To spruce up the dhokla even more, sprinkle some podi masala on the dhokla and enjoy. 

2.  Avalose Podi 

This is a Kerala-special snack that is quick and easy-to-make. The bite-sized balls of grated coconut, roasted rice flour, cumin seeds and salt are rolled up and ready to be eaten in a matter of few minutes. 

3.  Podi Idli 

Idlis, for the uninitiated, are small, round South Indian cakes made from rice flour. The semi-thick batter is steamed in moulds and idlis come out hot and soft. Sometimes, lentils are also added to the batter to give it a different flavour. You can enhance the flavours of these mini cakes by tossing them in a spicy podi masala. This makes the dish so complete that you wouldn’t need any chutney with it too. 

4.  Pan-Fried Podi Chicken With Yoghurt Sauce 

A refreshing non-vegetarian delicacy, the dahi wali kadhi gets a meaty touch with this chicken in yoghurt sauce. The chicken in tossed in a podi masala of curry leaves and pan-fried. The chicken is then dunked in a creamy yoghurt gravy and enjoyed. 

5.  Podi Ari Kanji 

This is a light and healthy meal from the South. The broken rice is used to make this dish, which is spruced up with grated coconut, salt and water. The parboiled rice is the highlight of this Kerala specialty. Easy to make and good for nutrition, this dish is a perfect treat. 

6.  Vendakkai Podi Kari 

Diced into smaller pieces, ladyfinger or bhindi is made in the South Indian style. Made with turmeric, tamarind and jaggery, this lady finger recipe is popular in some parts of Tamil Nadu. The star of the dish has to be the spicy podi masala which enhances the flavour. 

7.  Karuveppilai Podi Rice 

Rice dishes can also be enhanced with the addition of podi masala to them. Stuff your boiled rice with potatoes, onions and green chillies. Toss in some peanuts and cashew nuts for the crunch. Once that is done, toss your rice in podi masala and relish it.