CHENNAI: A plateful of steaming idlis tempered with spicy podi, a spoon of paruppu podi mixed with hot rice and ghee... the power of flavours is in the podi details. Four women are spicing up meals for Chennaiites. Started a month ago, their brand Trupti, which means contentment in Tamil, offers sambar podi, idli podi, paruppu podi, ellu (sesame) podi, rasam podi, and porridge powder (made of pearl millet, finger millet (ragi), chana dal, maize and wheat).
On December 14, 2018, mother-daughter duo — Swarna Sundaresan, a homemaker, and Swathi Priyaa, an MSc medical microbiology graduate — conceptualised the idea of the brand. Her sister Sowmia Lakkshme and friend Janani Natarajan managed the marketing end. “Five years back, we prepared an assorted sweet box with traditional delicacies for Deepawali and circulated it among our friends and family. It turned out to be a successful attempt. My mother has been making spice powders for several years now and they’ve been popular through the word of mouth. The powder stays fresh for a few months but not the aroma. Although it’s a competitive field, the method of preparation, no preservatives or adulteration, and authenticity are all what set us apart,” said Swathi.
With their base in Anna Nagar where they live, the duo prepares the powders in-house. The raw materials for the powder are purchased from a nearby market. They’re segregated, cleaned and roasted at home after which, they’re taken to a grinding machine mill. In order to retain the originality of flavours, no two spices are mixed. Every powder has a different colour, aroma, and texture. The final products are weighed, packed in aluminium foil paper and sealed. Initially, a sample of 100 grams is given and later, based on orders, powders in 250 and 500 grams packets are couriered to places within Chennai.
“I belong to the village of Mayavaram near Sirgazhi. These are the recipes of my mother. During those days, the fresh produce from our own farm would be sourced and dried in our Agraharam (neighbourhood of a village that consists rows of houses on either side). Working women and hostel students are our clients. These powders won’t take much time or effort to prepare and are pocket-friendly,” said Swarna, recollecting her childhood days. They’re reaching out to gated communities and hostels in their ambit with sample packets. The brand also makes curry leaf powder. Upon orders, specific powders can be customised and prepared. Currently, they courier only in Chennai. Idli powder for 100 gram starts from 25. Prices differ based on the choice and quantity of powder.
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