Idli Milagai Podi/Idli Podi is a coarse spicy powder that is popularly served as a side dish/ accompaniment for Idli, Dosa in South India. Podi is a term used in South India for the word ‘powder’. It is very easy to prepare this powder at home and is of great use on busy days when you cant prepare chutney or sambar. I always prefer using homemade podi and not a fan of the store-bought ones. The aroma and flavour of freshly made powder are unbeatable.
Idli Podi is a staple in my kitchen. This particular podi recipe is a family favourite. I have grown up eating idli smeared with this milagai podi atleast twice a week. Absolute comfort food for me. Also, this is an excellent travel companion. Any trip, be it a road trip, train travel or flight travel, idli + milagai podi is my saviour.
Every family has their own way of making this Podi. The one I am sharing here is a recipe passed on to me by my mother. She makes the best Idli Podi ever. Every time she sends a package from India, she sends some Idli Podi too. Nothing can beat such homemade packages, right?
Now, thanks to always having homemade ones, I just cannot relish store-bought powders anymore. Try this recipe once and I am sure you will agree with me on this!
The spice level depends on who is eating the podi. I personally don’t enjoy a very spicy one. But, like I mentioned, each family has their own way of making this Podi. So, the taste would definitely vary based on the proportion of spices used.
Step by Step Instructions
In a pan, add 1 tsp oil. Once hot, add 1 cup red chillies. Saute for few minutes till the colour changes and a nice aroma comes. Be careful not to burn it.
Saute half cup chana dal till it turns golden brown. Keep aside.
Saute half cup urad dal till golden in colour. Set aside.
Add 2 tsp black sesame seeds. Fry till it starts to crackle. Make sure not to burn it. Switch off the flame.
Once everything cools down, grind it to a coarse powder by adding needed salt and pinch of asafoetida to it. Adding jaggery or sugar is optional. But a pinch of it enhances the taste of the Idli Milagai Podi.
Serve with Idlis or Dosas by adding sesame oil to it. A little goes a long way. Start with a tbsp or two of this Podi and increase if needed.
Points to note
1) Always, store the powder in an air-tight container. You can easily store it for around 6 months at room temperature. Not that it will last that long!
2) Use a clean spoon to use the powder.
3) Make sure you roast them well on a medium flame till the ingredients turn golden brown. You should be able to sense the aroma and see the change in colour. Else, the Idli Podi will not turn out good!
4) The spice and colour vary depending on the variety and type of chilli you use.
5) This recipe is a basic version of the powder. You can add curry leaves, garlic, coconut, flaxseed etc to enhance the powder.
6) Milagai Podi is best served with sesame oil. Podi can be kept on the side of Idli, dosa or smeared on top of it.
7) Grinding the Podi coarse or fine is up to your preference. We like a slightly coarse one so that we can feel the texture while eating it.
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Idli Podi | Idli Milagai Podi
- 1 cup Red Chillies
- 1/2 cup Chana Dal
- 1/2 cup Urad Dal
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds black or white
- 1 tsp oil
- salt as needed
- asafoetida a pinch
- sugar / jaggery a pinch
- In a heavy bottomed pan, add oil.
- Add the red chillies. Roast till colour changes a little. Do not let it burn. Keep it aside.
- Next, add the chana dal. Roast it on medium flame till it becomes golden brown. Keep it aside.
- Add the Urad dal. Roast till it changes colour to golden you get a nice aroma. Keep it aside.
- Finally, add the sesame seeds. Saute for 2 mins or till it splutters. Remove and keep it aside.
- Let everything cool and come to room temperature.
- Add asafoetida and salt. Grind it to a coarse or fine powder.
- When the powder is almost done, taste and adjust salt if needed. At this point, you can taste and add some sugar or jaggery depending on the spice level. Start with 1/4 tsp and add more if you prefer. Jaggery/Sugar is added to balance the heat of the powder. Once added, grind again for a few seconds for it to blend with the powder.
- Idli Milagai Podi is done. Store it in a clean dry air tight container.
- Serve with idli , dosa. Drizzle some sesame oil on top of it while serving.