The Man Behind India’s Favorite Snack Foods

Originally published on Saveur · October 27, 2017

Three years ago, I packed my suitcases to move to Colombo, Sri Lanka as an Indian expatriate. In addition to the glossy silk saris and the gold jewelry I had been given for my wedding, I packed several small, sealed packets that carried their own significant emotional heft. I had tucked away small batches of milagai podi—“gunpowder,” a searing South Indian blend of roasted and powdered lentils and spices known as to mix with rice or sprinkle over buttered bread, along with plastic bottles of ghee and a few kilograms of fine coffee powder. Like Indian migrants through the ages, I had a contingency plan for homesickness—and it included condiments and ready-to-eat meals by Maiyas.

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