idli podi

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Idli podi recipe with step by step pics. Idli podi is also known as milagai podi and is a dry condiment served with idlis or dosa. A vegan recipe.

idli podi recipe

It is also used as a chutney substitute while travelling or for tiffin or lunch boxes. Basically idli milagai podi is a dry powder made with lentils and red chilies. There is some spiciness and heat in a typical milagai podi. There is a variation of idli podi called as gun powder which is spicy and includes more red chilies as well as garlic.

In tamil language, the word milagai means red chilies and podi means powder. Idli podi is always mixed with some sesame oil or ghee and then served with idli, dosa or uttapam. There is a dish called Podi idli where idlis are smeared with a mix of idli podi and sesame oil or ghee.

Now after describing what is idli podi and what it is made up of, let me tell you its taste. There is a slight crunch in it from the roasted lentils and the earthy, smoky, pungent, nutty taste of everything is all felt at once when you dip the idlis in a mixture of podi and sesame oil. If you have had idli podi like me many times, then you know how addictive and tasty it is.

The idli podi recipe, I am sharing is a recipe which I have been making for many years now. There is always a small jar of idli podi in my house. Even though I make both coconut chutney and sambar to go with idlis, podi is a must.

idly podi recipe

Tips for making idli podi

  1. To reduce the spiciness in the idli podi, use red chilies which are less spicy and pungent. Best to use red chilies like Kashmiri red chilies or byadagi chilies as the podi will have a nice bright orange color and will be less spicy. For a more spicy taste, you can increase the number of chilies. you can always add more or less dry red chilies as per your needs. 
  2. You can either dry roast everything or use oil in roasting. choose whatever suits you.
  3. Some desiccated coconut can also be added.
  4. I always add some sesame seeds in the idli podi. You can skip if you want. Both white or black sesame seeds can be used.

Before making any homemade powder or spice mix, its best to follow some tips as mentioned below:

  • Use spices and lentils which are fresh and in their shelf period.
  • Pick and clean the spices, seeds, lentils etc of stones. Especially for seeds like sesame seeds
  • Make sure that the dry red chilies do not have mold from inside. Just break them and check if there is any whitish or greyish mold inside. They should feel crisp on touch and not moist.
  • Rinse the curry leaves and dry them in a cotton kitchen towel.

How to make idli podi

A) roasting lentils and spices

1. Keep all the spices and lentils ready before you begin. Take a heavy kadai or a pan and heat it. Keep the flame to a low. Add ¼ cup urad dal to the pan. keep on stirring often while roasting urad dal.

making idli podi recipe

2. Roast till the urad dal becomes golden and you get a nice aroma of the roasted urad dal.

making idli podi recipe

3. Remove the roasted urad dal in a separate plate.

making idli podi recipe

4. Then add ¼ cup chana dal to the same pan.

making idli podi recipe

5. Keep on stirring often, while roasting chana dal.

making idli podi recipe

6. Chana dal takes longer to roast. the chana dal should get browned or golden. For uniform cooking and color, keep on stirring them often.

making idli podi recipe

7. Remove aside on the same plate.

making idli podi recipe

8. Now take 2 tablespoons sesame seeds in the same pan.

making idli podi recipe

9. Stirring often roast till the sesame seeds change color and start crackling and popping.

making idli podi recipe

10. You will also get a nutty aroma from the sesame seeds after they have been roasted well.

making idli podi recipe

11. Keep them aside.

making idli podi recipe

12. In the same pan add ½ teaspoon oil. You can use sesame oil (gingelly oil which is made from raw sesame seeds). You can also use sunflower oil or peanut oil. Add 4 to 5 dry red chilies. Remove the crown from the red chilies, before roasting them. Break or halve the chilies and remove the seeds before roasting them.

making idli podi recipe

13. Mix the red chilies with oil and roast them on the lowest flame.

making idli podi recipe

14. Roast the red chilies, stirring them till they change color and you can get their pungent smoky aroma.

making idli podi recipe

15. Add 22 to 24 curry leaves (2 sprigs of curry leaves) in the pan.

making idli podi recipe

16. Stirring non stop, fry for a few seconds till the curry leaves become crisp.

making idli podi recipe

17. Switch off the flame and add ½ teaspoon hing (asafoetida).

making idli podi recipe

18. Mix well.

making idli podi recipe

19. Then add 1 teaspoon salt.

making idli podi recipe

20. Mix again.

making idli podi recipe

21. Take this spice mixture on the same plate. Let all the roasted spices cool down and come at room temperature.

making idli podi

Making idli podi

22. In a grinder jar, add the entire roasted spice mixture.

making idli podi recipe

23. Grind in intervals of some seconds to a coarse or fine powder. Do not grind at a stretch as then the sesame seeds will release oil. I usually grind it to a fine consistency as that’s how we prefer idli podi. Check the taste and add some more salt if required.

making idli podi recipe

24. Then spoon idli podi in a jar. close tightly with a lid and keep milagai podi at room temperature. You can even keep in the fridge.

idli podi recipe, milagai podi recipe

25. For 1 serving, take 2 to 3 tablespoons of idli podi. Mix it with a bit of sesame oil or ghee and make a paste. Serve with idli, dosa or uttapam.

idli milagai podi recipe

More spice powder recipes

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idli podi recipe, idli milagai podi recipe

Idli Podi

4.94 from 16 votes
Idli podi is condiment of spiced dry powder made with lentils and red chilies. It is served with idli or dosa and is also known as milagai podi. 
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins

Cuisine South Indian
Course: Condiment

Servings 1 medium sized jar
Units

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup urad dal (husked and split or whole black gram)
  • ¼ cup chana dal (husked and split or whole bengal gram), roasted chana dal can also be used
  • 4 to 5 dry red chilies
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ teaspoons oil – optional
  • 1 to 1.5 teaspoons salt or add as per taste
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves or 22 to 24 curry leaves

Instructions

roasting lentils and spices

  • Keep all the spices and lentils ready before you begin. Take a heavy kadai or a pan and heat it. Keep the flame to a low. Add ¼ cup urad dal to the pan.
  • Keep on stirring often while roasting urad dal.
  • Roast till the urad dal becomes golden and you get a nice aroma of the roasted urad dal.
  • Remove the roasted urad dal in a separate plate.
  • Then add ¼ cup chana dal to the same pan.
  • Keep on stirring often, while roasting chana dal.
  • Chana dal takes longer to roast. The chana dal should get browned or golden. For uniform cooking and color, keep on stirring them often.
  • Remove aside in the same plate.
  • Now take 2 tablespoons sesame seeds in the same pan.
  • Stirring often roast till the sesame seeds change color and start popping. keep them aside.
  • In the same pan add ½ teaspoon oil. You can use sesame oil (gingelly oil which is made from raw sesame seeds). 
  • Add 4 to 5 dry red chilies. Remove the crown from the red chilies, before roasting them. Break or halve the chilies and remove the seeds before roasting them.
  • Mix the red chilies with oil and roast them on lowest flame.
  • Roast the red chilies, stirring them till they change color and you can get their pungent smoky aroma.
  • Add 22 to 24 curry leaves (2 sprigs) in the pan.
  • Stirring non stop, fry for a few seconds till the curry leaves become crisp.
  • Switch off flame and add ½ teaspoon hing (asafoetida). mix well.
  • Then add 1 teaspoon salt. mix again.
  • Take this spice mixture in the same plate. Let all the roasted spices cool down and come at room temperature.

making idli podi

  • In a grinder jar, add the entire roasted spice mixture.
  • Grind in intervals of some seconds to a coarse or fine powder. Do not grind at a stretch as then the sesame seeds will release oil. 
  • I usually grind it to a fine consistency as thats how we prefer idli podi. Check the taste and add some more salt if required.
  • Then spoon idli podi in a jar. Close tightly with a lid and keep milagai podi at room temperature. You can even keep in the fridge.
  • For 1 serving, take 2 to 3 tablespoons of idli podi. Mix it with a bit of sesame oil or ghee. Serve with idli, dosa or uttapam.

Notes

Approximate nutrition info is for 1 tablespoon of idli podi. 

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Idli Podi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 17 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 78mg3%
Potassium 37mg1%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 9mg45%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 23mg28%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 11mg1%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 96µg24%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 5mg1%
Phosphorus 13mg1%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Dassana Amit

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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16 Comments

  1. Hi, can we oven roast the lentils to save time? If so, how to go about doing it? Thanks

    1. You can. Just spread them on a baking tray or sheet and roast for 180 degrees in a preheated oven till golden. Halfway through remove the pan and shake or turn over the lentils.

  2. Tried this today and it was soo good… Perfect quantities of every ingredient as usual…. I had also tried your recipe of Khasta moongdal kachori…. Both the recipes were a thumbs up for me. Thank you so much.

    Mekhala Ranade

    1. Thanks so much Mekhala for the lovely feedback. I am glad both the recipes were great. Most welcome and happy cooking.

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