Friday, February 1, 2013

Milagai Podi for idlis and dosais - version 2

At home, seven times out of ten, milagai podi  mixed with gingeley oil (oil from sesame seeds) is the only side dish preferred for idlis and dosais. We used to make do with that and left over sambhar. Chutney was not an option unless there was some excess of coconuts. My grandmother had a way of having her idlis. She would crumble them and mix with the milagai podi and ghee / oil. She would then roll them and eat. We have been offered those and enjoyed them along with her.
But things were different in my marital home. Idlis were staple breakfast and with six highly yielding coconut trees, chutney was the main side dish. Here again, sambhar was an option only when we had left overs. They never had stock of milagai podi. So, for many years, I used to get a small stock from my mother or sisters and keep them for myself.
Once at my parents place that my husband ate his idli / dosai with the podi my mother had freshly made. He liked the aromatic sesame seeds addition. Then on, I also started grinding and keeping stock. I have found many other variations and have made the Gujarathi podi and the Bangalore Chutney podi
When I ask for recipes from my aunts, they suggest quantity of ingredients randomly with hand measures. They are so good with the eye-ball measures that it was difficult for them to be more specific. It was up to one to deduce how much was a tight fist or a fist-full and most times just  'a little'. It comes with practice that you fix the quantities to suit your taste. I got used to such practices and only when I have to make a clear list for sharing in a  post, I measure them out.
I am trying to document recipes, most of those scribbled down in any piece of paper. This is one such recipe. I was at my sister's home and found a notebook where she had jotted a few that I found interesting. The only piece of paper I could find immediately was the envelope of some invitation. To keep all of those safe is not easy. The blog is my current journal where I record recipes. So the podi has been made and posted.
The ingredients listed are not typically those in the regular podi, but they just add to the taste. So here is Mala's milagai podi as my husband has labelled that.

Yield: 250 grams milagai podi
I have used a cup that measures 200 millilitres as standard for this recipe.
200 ml (heap it up) dry red chillis ( broken in pieces)
100 ml channa dhal
150 ml split urad dhal
1 tablespoon tamarind (torn in bits)
3 tablespoons coconut (if using fresh, roast well. It is ideal to use copra)
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
50 ml curry leaves
50 ml coriander leaves
Salt to taste

Dry roast the red chillis until they are browned and brittle, but do not char them.
Remove and transfer to a dish.
In the same pan, roast the tamarind, curry leaves and the coriander leaves until the leaves wilt and get dry.
Roast the salt to remove the moisture.
Roast the coconut until very aromatic but not very brown.
Dry roast the dhals separately until they are golden.
Allow the ingredients to cool.
In a spice grinder, first powder the chillis, tamarind, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
When they have been coarsely done, add the dhals, salt and asafoetida and grind to a near fine powder.

Remove from the grinder and spread on a flat dish to cool.
Place the coconut in the grinder and pulse at lowest speed allowing it to powder. Take care not to over run the grinder that the coconut oozes oil.
Transfer the coconut also to the already powdered mix and mix well with tips of fingers.
Allow the podi to cool and store in clean glass jars with air-tight lids.
Enjoy podi mixed with sesame oil or ghee with soft pillow idlis or dosais.


  1. yummy podi.and dont forget in everyday menu

  2. Nice pics and clear instructions. Loved it!

  3. nice back to basic post

  4. Love idli podi with crispy dosas, we do almost the same.

  5. The coconut and tamarind are great additions - what a tasty twist that must be.

  6. lovely molaga podi to have with idli and dosai.

  7. milaga podi sprinkled over idli take me back to my early days at work. I just used to love these when my friend brought it to work. The store bought ones are so awful and I look forward to making it at home some day now.

  8. Yummy , authentic and flavourful podi for sure.

  9. Cute blog.First time here and i like all ur recipes. When u r free please drop into my blog.

  10. Milagai podi rolled idlies, mmmm mouth-watering!!! Adding copra and tamarind to podi is very new!!!! Loving it, will try sometime

  11. Idli/Dosa powder,so many variations with slight differances,love the taste.
    Sai Padma Priya

  12. Awesome - I'm always looking for different recipes for this podi - the one I made uses a lot of sesame seeds. Will try this when I run out of my current stock.

  13. Love Milaga Podi with idlis. Beautiful colour!


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Lata Raja.