idli podi recipe

Idli podi recipe

By Swasthi on August 6, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Idli podi is a flavorful condiment made of lentils, seeds and spices. It is known by different names such as milagai podi, gun powder, idli karam podi or chutney podi. Pudi or podi is a generic South Indian term that refers to powder. Since it is eaten with idli, it is known as idli podi. The recipe shared here will yield you idli podi that has a unique flavor and taste. It is a good addition to serve with idli topped with sesame oil or hot ghee.

idli podi

Most people love to enjoy their idli with idli sambar & coconut chutney. But this podi is great to have if you have fussy kids at home.


1. Dry roast red chilies till they turn crisp. Set this aside. Dry roast urad dal and chana dal on a medium flame till lightly golden and aromatic. Transfer these to the plate. I did them together. The red chilies didn’t crisp well this way.

If you are making idli podi in more quantity then you will need to roast the chana dal and urad dal separately as each dal has different roast timing.

roasting dal chilies spices in pan for idli podi

2. Add curry leaves. I prefer to dry roast instead of using oil. If you prefer you can fry them in oil but the podi may not blend well with oil.

dry roasting curry leaves until crisp to make idli podi

3. Dry roast on a low flame till they turn crisp. Set these aside as well.

crisp fried curry leaves

4. Add sesame seeds, cumin and coconut. Fry until the sesame seeds begin to crackle. You can also roast them separately. Using copra gives the best taste and flavor instead of using ready desiccated coconut.

You can also replace sesame with peanuts. Fry until peanuts turn aromatic and light brown.

adding sesame seeds cumin and coconut

5. If using garlic add it now. Then toss for a while. You can skip garlic but it adds a good flavor. Cool all these ingredients.

adding garlic for idli podi recipe

How to make idli podi

6. Powder finely red chilies and dals first. Scrape off the sides of the blender jar, then add sesame seeds, coconut, cumin, garlic and salt.

blending ingredients

7. Powder them. If you try to blend all the roasted ingredients together, it may yield a very coarse powder unless you have a powerful blender.

made a coarse powder

Serve idli podi with idli & ghee.

idli podi milagai podi

Store idli podi in an airtight glass or steel jar. It keeps good for several months. Different regions made idli podi in different ways. Here are some variations:

idli podi swasthis recipes

Variations of idli podi

1. Traditional Tamil style milagai podi is made of only 6 ingredients – urad dal, chana dal, sesame seeds, red chilies, hing & salt. However ingredients like jeera, tamarind, jaggery & garlic are also included by many.

2. Andhra style idli karam podi is made in so many different ways. Each region has their own variations. The ingredients are the same as shared in the recipe card below. But includes coriander seeds and excludes sesame seeds.

I make idli podi only few times a year. I make the peanut podi or flaxseed podi more often since my kids love both of those. They are also more healthy than the basic one.

To make idli podi, I use chana dal, urad dal, dried coconut and sesame seeds in equal quantities. Dried coconut is optional but I prefer to use since it is high in calcium. It gives a nice nutty aroma but ensure to use fresh and good quality copra. Do not use rancid smelling coconut.

Red chilies are used to spice up the idli podi. To add flavor cumin and garlic are used. For health benefits curry leaves or flax seeds can also be added. These proportions work well to make a flavorful milagai podi.

I do not use tamarind and jaggery, only reason there is no way to filter and use them for this recipe, so i skip them. idli podi remains fresh for a couple of months if handled with moist free spoons.

I make idli podi with so many variations, you can try with peanuts, flax seeds or even with some almonds. This was another time I made with some peanuts instead of sesame.

For more South Indian recipes, you may like to check
Dosa recipe
Poori recipe
Restaurant style masala dosa

You can also use this podi for other breakfasts like upma, idli, semiya upma and even with rice. During winters, you can also add a bit of dry ginger or ginger powder.

Recipe card

idli podi milagai podi

Idli podi

Idli podi is a flavorful condiment from South Indian cuisine served with idli & dosa. This homemade Idli podi is full of flavors and is healthy. You can tweak the recipe with healthy ingredients like roasted flax seeds or peanuts.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time7 minutes
Total Time12 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ¼ cup chana dal or bengal gram
  • ¼ cup urad dal or urad dal
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds or peanuts
  • salt as needed
  • 6 to 8 red chilies (adjust to suit your taste)
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin or jeera

optional ingredients

  • ¼ cup dried coconut (copra) or desiccated coconut
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoon flax seeds
  • tamarind as needed, cleaned
  • jaggery as needed


Preparation for idli podi

  • Wash curry leaves and pat dry.
  • Clean all the ingredients, pick debris and discard.
  • Dry roast chana dal and urad dal on a low to medium flame until golden and aromatic. 
  • Set them aside to cool in a plate. Next dry roast red chilies till crisp & remove to the plate. 
  • To the same pan, add curry leaves and roast on a low flame till they turn crisp. 
  • Set these aside as well.
  • Add sesame seeds and cumin to the hot pan. Roast till the sesame seeds begin to splutter. 
  • If using peanuts, then dry roast the until deep golden and aromatic. 
  • Next add coconut,garlic and toss. Set this aside as well to cool.

How to make idli podi

  • Powder red chilies and dal first in a blender jar. 
  • To the same jar, add the curry leaves, sesame, cumin, coconut and garlic. 
  • Also add in salt and blend to a powder. Store idli podi in an airtight dry jar.


  1. I have not used oil completely in this recipe. However you can fry the red chilies and curry leaves in hot oil. If you prefer to store the idli podi for a few months then avoid oil and coconut too in the recipe.
  2. I always use sesame and coconut in my idli podi as they are high in calcium & other nutrients. You may skip if you do not like or have them.
  3. Adjust the amount of red chilies. The number of chilies mentioned in the recipe will give you a moderately spiced idli podi.
  4. For variations you can also use roasted peanuts or flax seeds.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Idli podi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 70 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 5mg0%
Potassium 136mg4%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Vitamin C 28.7mg35%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Idli podi recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.

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Hello Swasthi. Might this be similar to molaga podi which my friend from Mangalore refers to as ‘Gunpowder’. She suggested i serve it to my son inlaw who is the only one in our family who likes his food chilli hot. She said he could sprinkle on his curry.

దోసె కోసం ఈ రెసిపీ బాగుంటుందా?

5 stars
Hi swasthi I tried this recipe it’s very awesome thanks a lot

5 stars
It is superb. I avoided coconut. Used sesame instead of ground nut. Lovely recipe. I mixed it with hot ghee and Served with rava dosa. 👍👍👍👍👍

5 stars
I tried this podi without tamarind it is so yummy. Pls let me know if i need to add tamarind how much should i add – I mean for 1 X which is (12 servings). ? Can i add 1/2 nellikkai size ? Also how much jaggery can be added ? I want to try with ALL ingredients.

5 stars
Hi Swasthi if I choose to use corriander seeds instead of sesame seeds, do I have to use the same quantity (1/4 cup) in place of sesame seeds? I am also wondering, how it would taste if I use both corriander seeds and sesame seeds (50/50) ratio in this recipe. Thanks for your input.

Swasthi, thanks very much for your input. Yes, I remember people using a little bit of tamarind in this podi. I think I am going to try a 50/50 combo of corriander and sesame seeds. Who knows it might taste great!!!

5 stars
Thank you so much sister…such a wonderful recipe…you guide so well.. Love you so much sis❤ Because of your wonderful guidance I’m cooking good food for my husband & daughter..thank you❤God bless you..

5 stars
Made it. Very tasty authentic and tasty. Thank you for the recipe.

5 stars

5 stars
I made it today and came out really well. Liked the taste.
Thank you

5 stars
Very nice.. Tried and loved the taste.. I added salt..

5 stars
Hi Ma’m,

How are you? Hoping to see many more recipes from your end during this lockdown.

I tripled this recipe and followed the procedure to the T and it came out perfect. Mainly my MIL loved it.

I have tried many of your recipes simple ones to complex ones, vada to Biryani, sweets to cake, podis to ice cream and almost all of them turned good.

As per my family, my culinary skills improved a lot during the last few years. All thanks to you for presenting each recipe clearly along with pictures. Keep continuing your excellent work.

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

Perfect Podi. Tried many of your dishes, all superb. THANKS!

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

Fist of all thank you for all the recipes. Your blog is the bible for My cooking. The site is very presentable and I feel comfortable going through it. Thanks for it.

Need one help,

I tried the above powder and it came out very spicy for me , is there any way i can tweak it. Please let me know , thanks in advance.

5 stars
This is padma from vizag. I like your recipes. Please give me the recipe for endu kobbari podi.

To be very honest, all your recipes are simple & good. I have been following your recipes & my cooking skill has been found to be improved which is acknowledge too by family members. I am obliged to you for this. Thank you very much.
I request you to mail me some more podi recipe than sambar, Rasam, parpuu, peanut, milagai, flaxseed, garam masala. I wish to try some new podi with your recipe guidance. Thanks once again.

5 stars
Love your recipes very much. This idli podi is my gals favorite with hot ghee and idli, uttapam, dosa, rice. The addition of peanuts enhances the taste. Thank you very much for such good recipes.

5 stars
My daughter loves idly podi
U r receipe great. It comes very good

5 stars
Very good. My kids liked it with idli and dosa

4 stars
Hi…i alrdy made tis podi twice. 1st for my family & 2nd time for my parents last wk. It was a quick & simple recipe. All like it very much. I dont hv flax seed, so i didnt add. Tq.

5 stars
Thank you the recipe Swasti. My daughter loves idli podi and this is a keeper.