podi idli

Podi Idli Recipe (Podi Mini Idli)

By Swasthi on May 17, 2023, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Podi Idli is a quick South Indian Breakfast dish made by tossing steamed idlis in a spicy ground lentil condiment known as Podi. These fluffy Podi Idli are delicious, nutty, and super healthy & sure will be loved by your entire family. Podi Idli are protein-rich, gluten-free and are vegan if you use oil. Apart from being a great Breakfast, they can also be served for a snack or a meal any time & also go well in an office & school box.

podi idli with mini idli

For the uninitiated, Idli are steamed cakes made from fermented lentil and rice batter. These are one of the most basic breakfast in traditional South Indian homes. Usually idli are served with a Chutney and/ or Tiffin Sambar.

About Podi Idli

This Podi Idli is yet another way of serving them where you toss or temper the steamed idlis with ghee or oil & podi.

Podi Idli, Pudi Dosa, Podi Uttapam are common delicacies served in Udupi & Karnataka Restaurants. They are served with a combo of Tiffin Sambar and Coconut Chutney. But they are good and can be eaten on their own without any side.

Every restaurant has their own recipe to make a special aromatic podi. The Karnataka restaurants use a combination of peanuts and roasted chana dal (Chutney dal). In Tamil restaurants you will taste the chana dal more prominently and sometimes even sesame seeds are used.

In the Tamil version idlis, are smeared with sesame oil while in Karnataka restaurants they are tossed in oil & drizzled with ghee or sometimes ghee is served separately.

My Recipe

My recipe will help you make delicious Podi Idli under 20 to 25 minutes, if you have the steamed idlis ready. If you have pre-made podi you can simply toss them in a bowl with a drizzle of some hot oil or ghee.

I make podi idli often for breakfast as my kids’ love them. Most often I stock up few kinds of spice powders (Condiments) like Podi, kobbari karam podi, Peanut powder, sesame seeds podi, Flax seed podi and Curry leaves podi.

With so many varieties in stock, I have this quick option of tossing warm idlis in some podi with hot ghee.

In this post I have shared podi recipe just enough to make 8 to 10 podi idli. You can also make the podi the previous night. Just steam the idli in the morning and you are done with the breakfast just by tossing them in oil or ghee along with podi.

But I have also shown a tempering method here, if you can spend 2 more mins you can try that way too. I have used mini idlis here you can use regular idlis.

For more Breakfast Recipes, you can check
Rava Idli
Idli Sambar
Masala dosa

How to Make Podi Idli (Stepwise Photos)

Make Podi

1. Dry roast 3 dried red chilies and 2 tablespoons peanuts until the peanuts are almost golden but not fully roasted.

roasting chilies peanuts for podi idli

2. Add 1 tablespoon chana dal and 1 tablespoon urad dal to the same pan. Roast on a low to medium heat until golden & aromatic. If you like you can also add a small garlic clove.

roasting dals to make podi idli

3. Add 1½ teaspoons sesame seeds and 1½ teaspoon copra / desiccated coconut. Copra tastes best. I did not have copra so did not use.

sesame seeds coconut to make podi idli

4. Next add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.

adding cumin to make podi idli

5. Add 1 sprig curry leaves. Wash and pat dry first. Roast until the leaves turn crisp and all the ingredients are golden and aromatic. Make sure none of them taste raw. Set this aside to cool.

adding curry leaves to make podi idli

6. Add them along with ¼ teaspoon salt or as needed to a grinder jar. I do not use tamarind and jaggery but you can use them if you like them.

adding ingredients to blender for podi idli

7. Make a fine powder.

powdered spices to make podi idli

Temper Mini Idlis

8. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoon ghee or oil in a pan. Add a pinch of hing and pinch of mustard, both are optional.

heating ghee to make podi idli

9. When they splutter, switch off the stove. Add the idlis. I used 3 plates of mini idli (3 servings), you can use the regulars idlis too.

adding idlis to toss in podi

10. Then add the podi more or less as desired. Toss the idlis gently in the pan. If needed add more oil or ghee. Taste test and add more salt and more podi if you want.

tossing idlis in podi

Serve Podi Idli as breakfast or evening snack.

podi idli recipe

Pro Tips

  • Idlis: Though plain soft idlis are the most commonly used, you can also use any kind of idlis. Like ragi idli or any millet idli and even rava idli go well in this recipe. If you do not have mini idlis, you can also cube large or regular idli and use them.
  • Cold Idlis: If you are using cold idlis from the refrigerator, heat them in a steamer, cooker or Instant pot until hot. Let them cool a bit and then use in the recipe.
  • Nut-free: To make these nut-free, simply skip using peanuts and use the same amount of lentils (chana dal and urad dal).
  • Ghee: We personally love using ghee. You can also use wood pressed or cold pressed sesame oil. In this case you may simply skip heating the oil and mustard seeds from the recipe. When the oil turns warm, turn off the stove. Add the idlis and podi. You don’t necessarily want to heat this kind of oil.
  • Podi: You can also use store bought podi.
podi idli

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

podi idli recipe

Podi Idli Recipe (Podi Mini Idli)

These Podi Idli are simply delicious! They are tossed with ghee and a spicy condiment made with lentils, spices and herbs.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 2 tablespoons peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal (bengal gram)
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal (skinned black lentils)
  • 3 dried red chilies (Adjust to suit your spice levels)
  • teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)
  • teaspoons copra (dried coconut or desiccated coconut, optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon tamarind (cleaned, optional) (I do not use)
  • 2 pinches jaggery (powdered, optional) (I do not use)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 8 to 10 large idlis or 3 plates of mini idlis (3 servings)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ghee or raw sesame oil
  • 1 pinch mustard seeds optional



  • If you are new to making idli, then you can follow this Soft idli recipe.
  • While the idlis steam, dry roast peanuts along with red chilies until light golden.
  • Add urad dal and chana dal. Roast on a medium flame until they turn golden. Make sure peanuts, urad dal and chana dal  all are roasted well to deep golden.
  • Add sesame seeds, coconut, cumin & curry leaves. Dry roast until the leaves turn crisp and sesame seeds smell good.
  • Cool these and powder finely along with enough salt, tamarind (optional) and jaggery (optional) if using. Check the salt and add more if needed.

How to make Podi Idli

  • Remove the idlis from the mould. Allow them to cool a bit. 
  • Pour ghee or oil to a hot pan. Add mustard seeds if using. Let them splutter.
  • Add idlis and then switch off the stove. 
  • Sprinkle podi over the idli and toss gently. Add more or less podi & ghee as desired. Coat the idlis well with podi.
  • Serve podi idli warm.

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
Podi Idli Recipe (Podi Mini Idli)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 38mg13%
Sodium 28mg1%
Potassium 355mg10%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 680IU14%
Vitamin C 117mg142%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Podi Idli Recipe first published in August 2016. Updated & republished in May 2023.

Podi Idli Recipe (Podi Mini Idli)

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. More about me

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5 stars
Love these podi idli anytime. I have made these several times and my kids like them.

5 stars
Excellent for all who love Indian cuisine really appreciate

5 stars
This look and sound absolutely delicious, Thank you for sharing the idea of this healthy and delicious recipe.

5 stars
Luved ur recipe !

5 stars
Guntur idli ka powder muze kaha milega….
Pl.send address …
Thank you…

5 stars
I like it..easy to make ???

5 stars
Hi Swasthi ! Your recipes are too good , thank you.

5 stars
Thanks for sharing. They came out super good.