KARUR: With Ayudha Poojai being celebrated on Thursday, the increase in demand for puffed rice (pori), flattened rice (avul/poha) and roasted groundnuts has brought cheer to traders and manufacturers, who suffered a huge blow last year owing to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Puffed and flattened rice, along with roasted groundnut and bengal gram, are important offerings during the festival. They are also among the main ingredients for rice balls, which is prepared using jaggery.
Last year, traders suffered owing to dip in demand and price owing to the pandemic. All businesses, including puffed rice manufacturing, came to a screeching halt with the lockdown announcement.
Balasubramanian, a puffed and flattened rice manufacturer and roasted groundnuts wholesale dealer in Karur, said, "Things have started returning to normal, and the demand for puffed rice and groundnuts has increased this year. Puffed and flattened rice are obtained after processing paddy for about a week. The paddy used is of the Andhra Ponni IR-64 variety, procured from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This variety is specially cultivated for making puffed rice. Last year, the lockdown hampered the inflow, thereby affecting production. This year, business seems to be good."
A bag containing 50 'pakkas' of puffed rice is currently being sold at Rs 600 as against Rs 550 last year. While this is wholesale price for small vendors, retail price has also increased to Rs 15 for one pakka against Rs 12 the previous year. Groundnut price has also gone up to Rs 140 a kg from Rs 125 a kg, along with the flattened rice which is being sold at Rs 85 a kg against Rs 75 per kg last year. Bengal gram is being sold at Rs 110 per kg.