For South Indians, nothing comes close to being the perfect accompaniment to spice up a piping-hot plate of idli, dosa or even thayir sadam (curd rice for the uninitiated) than the unassuming podi or ‘gunpowder.’
I am sure that folks across the country who have had the opportunity to savour this coarse powder mixture would agree with this statement, and those who haven’t tried it yet should definitely give it a shot!
There are several podi recipes which have their origins in different regions of South India and it would be safe to say that each of them is a prized and fiercely guarded secret in kitchens.
However, you can now have these delivered to you no matter where you are located in the country, thanks to one woman in Coimbatore, who makes an eclectic range of podis that would remind you of your grandmother’s culinary skills but with a twist!
Suganya Selvaraj flagged off Grandma’s Goodies last year in October, after being encouraged by the stupendous response that her podis received at a carnival organised in her niece’s school.
“It was not pre-planned. My niece had a carnival at her school, and my mother-in-law took the initiative to [set] up a stall to sell podis. All our products were sold out in no time, and that gave me the confidence to turn it into a business,” said the 46-year-old entrepreneur to The Hindu.
Interestingly, Suganya learnt how to prepare podis from her mother-in-law, and she says that there are four types of podi on their dining table at all times. Tapping right into that facet, Suganya’s son came up with an apt name for the venture—Grandma’s Goodies!
Through her venture, Suganya is giving her customers a trip down the memory lane, with that familiar burst of flavours and aroma reminding them of their homes.
While preparing podi for a household isn’t really rocket science, one needs to be careful and precise and ensure that the proportions of ingredients is correct while preparing it in large quantities, in order to maintain the taste. For Suganya, that was a tough task initially, and she took some time to ascertain the right quantities for every recipe.
Suganya has an interesting array of podis to offer including Dandy Dal, Tamarind Temptation, Gusty Garlic, Peanut Perfection, Moreish Moringa, Comforting Curry, Crunchy Coconut and Scrumptious Sesame. Apart from podis, she also sells masalas such as sambar podi, rasam podi, vatha kuzhambu masala, fish fry masala, chicken or mutton kuzhambu masala, chicken or mutton fry masala and pepper fry masala.
“The podis and masalas are made in small batches of four kg according to the order. This ensures that all my products are fresh. I buy the ingredients from the local market, except moringa leaves, which I source from my farm. These have a shelf life of four to eight months (depending on what they are) and contain no added preservatives or artificial colours,” Suganya added.
In the last one year, Suganya has participated in about ten exhibitions across Coimbatore as well as Chennai, where she says that her products received a fantastic response—most of her buyers were young working professionals!
While she home delivers orders that are placed in Coimbatore, she has also been sending her goodies to people across the country. The products are priced between ₹120 to ₹180 and weigh between 100 gm and150 gm.
As for future plans, Suganya adds that pickles and thokku are in the pipeline, and she plans to introduce them as soon as she finishes working on the menu.
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You can place an order by pinging Suganya on Whatsapp (9965520839) or visit the Facebook page, here.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)