Milagai Podi (Red Hot Chili & Lentil Powder)

Growing up in a Tamil Brahmin home, eating the likes of idly and dosai's a few times a week was standard operating procedure for us. As children we would have ghee with our idlies, and ghee mixed with sugar, or yogurt mixed with sugar for our dosai. As our palates matured the condiment of choice fast became idly milagai podi, or dosai milagai podi (milagai means chili in Thamizh). This hot dipping 'sauce' is created by roasting and grinding dried red hot chillies with a few lentils, salt, and the ever present asafetida (referred to as devils dung by some). It is then served with gingelly or sesame oil, and then mixed up on your plate right as you begin your meal.


The standard meal "to go" for us is rolled up dosai's or idly's slathered with milagai podi. No matter what is available at home, even if no one has gone to the market, there will invariably be dosai with with milagaipodi 'thottuka', on the side.

Red hot chili powder served with oil, my entry for Nandita's Jihva for Ingredients - Chillies. Nandita hosts a wonderful blog called The Saffron Trail.


Milagai Podi
4 tbsp chana dal, 3 tbsp urad dal, 3 tbsp sesame seeds, 3/4 tsp of asafetida, 10-15 chillies, 1 tsp salt

1. Roast the chana dal, urad dal, chillies, and sesame seeds on medium low heat until they release a little of their oils and leave off a fragrant smell.
2. Grind all the ingredients together along with salt, and the asafetida.

Serve this along with sesame oil. The amount of chillies be adjusted according to ones taste. This is another family recipe, and was taken from my brother-in-law Gopi's website.


33 comments:

Savithri said...

You didn't explain how to make a "well" to fill up with oil to mix it all together! That was the fun part:)

Great pics!! Good luck in the contest!

bee said...

nice recipe. kanchana, have you tried black sesame seeds? in kerala, we use this in our podi. it gives a different flavour dimension. it's stronger and smokier than the white.

Poonam said...

Hi Kanchana, Great recipe and pictures!

Jyothsna said...

I make a diferent version of this podi. I'll blog about that soon!

Padma said...

Wow that really heavenly with hot rice and a ghee. Nothing replaces this flavour. We do make this podi but with minus sesame...
Thanks for sharing.

Priya said...

This is exactly how my mom makes it, actually I add a tiny piece of tamarind which is also sauted in the oil for a few seconds. I just made a small batch to go with Adai and was going to post it on the blog soon :) I absolutely loooove this podi. I even have it with curd rice, upma apart from the normal dosa/idli....I just need an excuse to have some. Wonderful pics !

Asha said...

Bee is right.My grandmother makes it with black sesame seeds with is long and thinner than white til,tastes great mixed with rice and ghee too .Great entry Kanchana.Looks yum!:)

Latha said...

Hey Kanchana,
I am so with u on the eternal availability of dosai with milagai podi thotuka on the side :-)
Lovely pictures. I love the look your website now. The white brings out the essence of your pics!
Cheers
Latha

Nupur said...

Gorgeous pictures, Kanchana! I only started making this podi a few months ago, and I am just addicted to the stuff.

Roopa said...

yummy, nice entry kanchana. the pictures are looking great. oh bee you reminded me to add to my grocery list for black till. it tastes great:)

Linda said...

Hi Kanchana, thanks for visiting my blog :) You take some fabulous pics of some beautiful dishes! Will have to do lots of reading here, I can see :)

Anita said...

Growing up I have had this with fluffy idlies from my Tamil classmates' tiffins! Now I make my own, and it is served always there for the idly-dosa-adai meals! I'm almost out of it and will give your version a try this time - the bright red 'gun-powder', as we call it, still eludes me.

Such gorgeous pictures, always!

Thanks for featuring A Mad Tea Party this week!

Suganya said...

Fantastic entry Kanchana. I have seen some people using black sesame seeds though not in my house :). Idli + podi is such a great combo, not to mention a great to-go meal!

Srivalli said...

Excellent one kanchana...and thanks for adding me to your blogroll...

Srivalli
www.cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com

archana said...

I have bookmarked your recipe. Nice pictures:)

Vcuisine said...

Nice recipe with catching pictures Kanchana. Shall i bring some idlis? :) Viji

Sharmi said...

milagai podi looks so good. I made some yesterday. they are a must in the pantry.

Suma Gandlur said...

Lovely pics. Every south Indian has atleast a favorite spicy powder to go with dosas and idlis.
We love chutney powder, almost a similar kind.

Coffee said...

The pics are to die for Kanchan!! Not really made this kinda dry podi often but it looks too tempting to resist!

Love the new look of you blog. :)

marriedtoadesi.com said...

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for all your wonderful comments.

Happy Cooking!
Kanchana

Bharathy said...

Classic photography and fine recipes..Way to go Kanchana...I too had posted milagai podi,but yours is waaaay ahead!!:)

..You have been Tagged for a meme by me!!..go through my tag post,when you have time :)!!

Bharathy said...

Thanx for the comment in my little sister's blog,Kanchana..Loved it!!!So nice of you...:)..In fact,I had been to Kottayam to nurse her..I am back and she has to go back next week..:)

Looking forward to ur meme..:)..

Anonymous said...

Here is what I do for milagaipodi preparation.Instead of frying the dhals in the wok, for large quantities I just spread the dhal, seseame and milagai on a pizza plate in the regular oven on low heat for an hour or two, for small quantities in my small toaster oven itself.Now the aluminum fry pan is being used with the lowest setting on the range! They get roasted easily and all you have to do is grind in the small blender.One variation is to add a very small pinch of vellam ,(jaggery) to round off the sharpness of the milagai. amma

Krishna Sastri said...

I would suggest that when you grind it should be a tad less than fine, so you have a little bit of 'kaduk, muduk' feeling while eating!

USHA said...

Hi Kanchana,

You are right,,,,it is a must at our homes.,....which sometimes is a good handy recipe for idly /dosai..Nice pictures.

Bharathy said...

Heey,Love the anonymous with that beutiful TIP!!!is that your MOM!!!!???

N said...

hey Kanchana. Amazing pics. Loved all of them. I am sure this recipe is very close to the one amma uses :)

And by the way, thanks for enjoying my blog. I have completed the meme by my sis. Do check it out when you have time.

Also, thanks for the contribution to the simple cooking portal :)

Loves the HRM pic too, u both look phenomenal.

Bharathy said...

..ooof!!..my dear sister n,this is the tamil recipe of PODI...amma doesn't use channa dal and sesame...
This is the authentic Tamil brahmin recipe...My ma-in law(what I make too)does exactly the same..:)...EXACT!!!

sunita said...

I can feel the heat...nice pics :)

Prema Sundar said...

My Mil adds a bit of coriander seeds to and this tastes slightly diff from what my mom makes.. My daughter loves dosa with milagai podi..Nice pics and good recipe.

Latha Narasimhan said...

Hi kanchana,
I dint know that milagai podi will be so interesting if pictures are posted!

Thanks for visiting my blog. Dont worry about the deadline for the festive event. Your participation is all that matters for me.

Anonymous said...

Nice. I added some peanuts to bring up the flavor a notch!!!

Square Meals said...

Just made this podi, it is yummy. Please visit us our space too :-)

Aparna