Those days, you'd never find a South Indian breakfast table without this 'podi' or one of its several variatons. The statement is probably still true. So, let's see how it is made.
Red dry chillies
Salt to taste
1. Heat a tava, add the urad dal and dry roast until it turns golden (and starts smelling heavenly). Lower the heat if required. Remove and keep aside.
2. Now roast the chillies and then the coconut separately.
3. Run the urad dal in your mixie first.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients expect coconut and run it.
5. Finally add the coconut and run the mixie for about 30 seconds.
Variation1: Roast and add tamarind instead of coconut or along with the coconut.
Variation 2: Add roasted seasame seeds (எள்ளு) along with tamarind instead of coconut.