Idli podi is a South Indian condiment. It is a blend of lentil, spices and herb that makes a mildly spicy, very flavorful spice powder to drizzle on warm Idli along with ghee. Podi translates to spice mix. It is also known as Milagai Podi in Tamil.
My son enjoys Idli only with Idli podi, which is why I make it at home, since the store bought ones are usually a little too spicy.
This spice powder/podi can be used in dosa, uttapam and different kind of savory pancake. It tastes good even with rice and ghee. I even sprinkle on Pesarattu. It is very easy to make and takes only 10 minutes to prepare.
Ingredients you need for Idli Podi
Lentils : Chana Dal (yellow split peas) and Urad Dal (split black peas). These are two different varieties of lentils used to make this spice powder.
Spices : I use cumin seeds, sesame seeds, chili powder, dry red chili and asafoetida. I use Kashmiri chili powder and mildly spicy dry red chili. Depending on how spicy you like your food, you can add different kind of chili powder and dry red chili.
Garlic : Fresh garlic cloves will give the flavorful garlic taste to the Idli podi.
Dry Coconut and Curry Leaves - Both dry coconut flakes and curry leaves adds to the taste and aroma.
The measurements are mentioned below in the recipe card.
Steps to prepare Idli Podi
The step is very simple. You have to roast everything and then grind to make the powder.
The only important thing to remember is to dry roast the ingredients separately or in groups, so everything roasts evenly.
1. Dry roast the lentils together for a couple of minutes and then place in a plate.
2. Dry roast the garlic, dry red chili and curry leaves together. For 1 minute and put it in the same plate with lentils.
3. To the same pan now add sesame seeds and cumin seeds. Dry roast for 1 minute.
4. Finally, dry roast the dry coconut flakes.
5. Let the dry ingredients cool for a minute and then place in a grinder. Add chili powder, asafoetida and salt. Blend to make the Idli Podi.
6. Let the Idli Podi cool down completely before you store in a dry-clean airtight jar.
If you are allergic to sesame seed, you can skip that, as it is not a mandate in the podi recipe.
Storing the spice mix
Store the Idli podi in a clean dry airtight container. You can keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 months.
Make sure not to dip a wet spoon or else the moisture can spoil the shelf life of the Idli podi.
It is mildly spicy, with warm flavors of spices and lentils. The fresh curry leaves and coconut adds to the aroma and also taste.
Apart from using it with Idli, you can use it with dosa, with rice and ghee. You can use the spice mix even to make fried idli, or add in curries too. It is a very flavorful spice mix that you can use in various different ways.
You must store in a dry-clean airtight jar. Idli Podi will stay good for 3 to 4 months in room temperature. If the humidity is very high in your location, then store in the fridge.
- ⅓ cup Urad dal
- ⅓ cup Chana Dal
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 3 Dry Red Chili
- 10 to 15 Fresh Curry Leaves
- ¼ Cup Sesame Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
- ¼ Cup Desiccated coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Asafoetida
- 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
- In a heavy bottom pan, dry roast the urad dala nd chana dal together. Roast for 2 minutes and then place it in a plate.
- To the same pan, add the garlic, dry red chili and curry leaves. Dry roast for 1 minute and add it to the roasted lentils.
- Now to the pan add sesame seeds and cumin seeds. Dry roast for 1 minute and place to the plate along with the other ingredients.
- Finally, dry roast the coconut flakes and add it to the plate
- Let the roasted ingredients cool down and then place it to a spice grinder. Add chili powder, salt and asafoetida.
- Grind to make the Idli Podi. Taste for salt and add more if needed.
- Let it cool down completely before you store in an airtight jar.