Thursday, May 3, 2007

Idly Milagai Podi

No tamil homes,I would say,without this red spicy aromatic powder,preserved in small or big jars,glass bottles or plastic containers.A 'must' served item of any Tamil home for the 'tiffin'.Of course every home has its own version of making the same...less spicy...more spicy..a bit more of asafoetida/hing added to it...a bit more garlicky or less and so on...

Idly Milagai Podi, served with generous amounts of gingelly oil or ghee serves just right for Idly or Dosa .This recipe is specially posted for the portal, Tamil Recipes.

Here's the recipe I mastered from my husband's granny,who is very specific in measuring the ingredients in Tamil Nadu's traditional containers called padi.Well,I too take the measurements in the padi as she does...the oru padi,ara padi or araikkal padi as it suggests for 1,1/2 and 1/4 respectively.I have put the same into tea cup measurements for the sake of my fellow bloggers:).

The asafoetida piece in the centre,rock salt,bengal gram dal,
urad dal and the red chillies(after roasting).

Thevai: yeilds 1 1/2 cups of powder.

2 cups of well dried destalked Red chillies / Kayntha milagai (30 gms).
1/2 cup Bengal gram dal/kadalai paruppu.
1/2 cup Broken urad dal / udaitha uzhutham paruppu.
A small piece of rock asafoetida/Katti perungayam.Using the hard perungayam gives more aroma to the powder..can be replaced by the powdered one as well.
A tsp of Rock salt or as you need.
A tsp of Oil.

Roast the ingredients one by one till deep brown.


1.Heat a wok(iron wok preffered) and DRY roast the bangal gram dal and the Urad dal SEPARATELY until deep brown.Keep the flame'medium',taking care not to over or under fry.The frying part is the most important slot as this decides the quality of the powder. See picture carefully.

2.Now add oil in the same wok and roast the piece of asafoetida.Remove soon and keep aside.

3.Using the same oil fry the red chillies,taking care not to burn them,in a low flame till the colour changes and its aroma comes out..(you tend to cough:) at this stage).Add salt and mix.Remove the chillies from the wok.

4.Cool the roasted ingredients and powder altogether in a mixie.Some prefer it a little coarse and some like it too powdery.Do it as you like..

Podi smeared idlies-perfect to pack away.


If you like the flavour of gingelly seeds/ellu,fry 4 tsps of them,after frying urad dal,separately and grind together with the other ingredients.
If you go for a garlicky flavour,avoid gingellyseeds and use 4-5 flakes of garlic/poondu and dry roast it separately till brown, grind with the other ingredients.

See also the related , Kerala version, Chammanthi Podi .


  1. ayyo podi iddodu :(

    naku kavali (pure telugu for our 'naavu kavale')

    1. naku kavali means "enaku vendum" and not naavu .....

    2. 'naku' had turned 'naavu' while we converse and she had corrected/mentioned it :)

  2. Hello!

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    Please do contribute. For more details, I have made a post on this at:

    Err.. does this comment look like spam? :O It really is not! Also, tell me what you think about the idea and better ideas of how I can go about this, if any.

  3. This is one of my favorite podi's Bharathy. I eat it with idli, dosa, chapati, curd rice...I just need an excuse to have it :-) Haven't tried making it myself,got a huge packet from amma :-P. And the podi smeared idli's are just how my mother packed them for me in the tiffin box. No hassle way of enjoying them at school.

  4. Bharathy I love all kinds of chutney podis, kerala or tamil doesn't matter.. I love this with idlis and dosas! BTW what did you serve it with in the picture, are those idlis?

  5. I'm getting nostalgic now ...
    I never made podi after coming to US :-( ...
    Thanks for the recipe...
    The pics are looking lovely

  6. OMG!! Bharathy,at first I thought you fried the Idlis!!!They are brushed with podi,right?Looks delicious.I can't thank you enough for this traditional recipe.Hugs to you:)

  7. hmm...reminds me of hostel days when I used to have my breakfast with this podi and idli as the sambar served was not at all good :) I wouldnt say NO to a bottle of this ;)


  8. Hey Bharathy
    Nice blog and nice presentations. Love the way you presented the Idly and podi:). Will keep visiting.

  9. Hi Bharathy,

    First time commenting here.I just finished me stock of amma's milaga podi and was going to call up to ask for the recipe when I saw your post. I will definitely try it; the pic helps a lot.

  10. hi ur idles look so cool...i haven't heard of this yet...
    anywayz nice recipe

  11. hey that podi dipped idli looks awesome! can i get some :)
    i'm not sure if my grinder will be able to do justice to this podi, but will try :)

  12. thanks a lot for the recipe. was in need of it. BTW lovely pics.

  13. Ohhh this podi makes my mouth water


  14. i always got this made by i can try for myself!! thanks a lot:)

  15. I have been wanting this recipe since long.Thanks:)

  16. wow...looks wonderful...gonna have to try this recipe....thanks for sharing

  17. thks a lot for this one ...cute pics and well taken ...simple and yummy

  18. wow,what a picture Bharathy..! kothiyaayittu vayya..

  19. Yumm!!I always wanted to try out this but didn't have the recipe.
    thanks for posting one.
    now my Idilis have company
    chammmanthipodi :)

  20. Im here for the first time.Lemme tell you you have a wonderful blog going on here.This idli dish is totally new to me.Im gonna try this.Lovely color also.Thanks for sharing

  21. Warm welcome to you girls,priya,shivapriya,nalini and dr.soumya:)...BTW coulnt visit your blogs shiva and nalini:(..

    Thanx roopa..

    yeah sig..they are idlies:)..the photos were taken in a hurry and those are the ones I had in my archives..

    Thanx Shanti,Richa,Ayesha and Mishmash :)

    Sharmi,meera and Archana..thanx a lot for your encouraging words..

    Sushma you have a wonderful Site out there :)..

    Thanx to you too dilip bhai!:)...and you too seena..

    welcome to my place mallu recipes:)..

    thanx a lot deepa...all the best for your AFAM...such a good choice of fruit...but I am leaving in another 4 days!!let me try my best...really feeling guilty of not contributing..:(

  22. Hi bharathy,
    podi with idlies are my all time favourite..looks good.

  23. Bharathy,

    I checked out your post from Tamil Recipes! I like your pictures a lot as well. Very creative presentation!

    Hope you had a good trip to India.

  24. Wow! The idli dipped in milagaipodi .... mouth watering.
    And the spinkling of thamizh vaarthaigal in between makes your post entertaining!
    Neenga ennoda blogla ezhuthara comments roombha peduchirrukku!

  25. hello,
    this is good one...u know 2 more item i used to add....instead of channa dal i ass puttukadala.....and also 4 to 5 peppercorns.....try that...its good too

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Hi Bharathy

    I tried out your recipe for milagai podi just today. It turned out super! Thanks! This is the first time I'm trying to make podi by myself and I'm gonna note down this in my recipe book for future reference. At least I wont need to trouble my mom and granma every year for this. Thanks again.


  28. Vidhya :)!..
    Readers like you and Feed back like these makes my effort of Blogging pleasant and meaningful!..
    Glad to note that and Thanks a ton, for making my day! :)

  29. Hi Bharathy..thanks for ur recipe for podi.. i tried this for the 1st time and i some how miscalculated the no of red chilli's and its come out really spicy.. can u give me some idea to reduce this kaaram in podi.. thanks in advance.

  30. Nithya, try making another batch(avoid the chillies)...and mix together...:)..
    ..hmm, is my recipe too spicy??if so...I'll make changes with the measurement of chillies...

  31. thanks bharathy.. ur recipe is good.. i miscalculated the number of red chilli's.. :-)..

  32. Thanks madam,
    I've added a link to this post in my blog. :)

  33. Thanks for your post. I have bookmarked it.

    I can't imagine having Dosa or Idli without the milagai podi. The store one's (in the US) are not good.

    Your post helps. Good Blog.

  34. Hi Bharathy.. when i wanted to make the podi, i realized it was 3:30 in the morning for my mother back in India n then google helped me get the recipe from ur blog! thanks but it was unbelievably spicy for me n my hubby.. i came back here to check whether i had done something wrong.. later remembering my mother in law making it.. i made a second round with jus the dhals, ellu n lil bit of jaggery n and half a tsp of salt.. it came out good :) i am sharing so that ny one like me n nithya (i noticed she too had same prob) find it too spicy can adjust! Anyway.. i really liked the way u described!! keep going :)

  35. Thanks a lot for getting back after making it, Sneha :)

    A bit surprised to note that it's unbelievably spicy!

    Nithya mistakedly counted the chillies and hence had a bit of too hot powder which she rectified.Did you measure in individual cups tucking the chillies one by one?
    If you measure them loosely packed in a pyrex glass or so, it wont go much wrong.

    Many had tried and mailed me with positive results and this particular recipe tops the google search due to popularity.

    This is the measurement I personally follow too.In fact I use 40 gms of chillies :) and always serves right for the family as well as the guests!

    If you still think I have to make changes shall I make a note to reduce the chillies to half the measurement?(1 cup)for less cpice lovers like you?..will that do fine, Sneha?

    Awaiting your response...

  36. ur recipe i excellent..i add 2 tbsp of roasted rice to it ,its my grand ma's stule ..

  37. Is there any reason to use split urad dal?


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