I love milagaipodi or molagapodi as we call it. Even if you give me three different varieties of chutneys, and Sambar, I will still want a spoon of this powder and a generous drizzle of nalla ennai. I remember my mom packing idlis for school in my lunch box. My friends would be waiting to have the podi smeared idlis. The podi smeared idlis were a regular feature during our train journeys along with lemon rice or puliyodarai.
I love the podi my amma and grandma make. I don't remember making this podi by myself till the time I was in India, as I would always get a stock of the powder from my mom or grandmom or MIL. It is only after coming here that I started preparing this myself.
There are many variations to this podi. Infact, each family may have their own measurements and small variations. The recipe I am posting today is my grandmother's which my mother has been following ever since her marriage and now I too follow the same. So do try our family version.
What you'll need
- Urad Dal (whole, without skin)/Muzhu Ulutham Paruppu – 1 cup
- White Sesame Seeds/Ellu – 1 big handful
- Dried Red Chillies – 20 to 25 (adjust according to the your tolerance), I used the small round ones
- Asafoetida – a big piece
- Salt to taste
- Oil – 2 tsp
- Heat a heavy bottomed Kadai, add the sesame seeds and roast on medium flame with constant stirring until the seeds start spluttering or turn light brown. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
- Now add a tsp of oil and add the piece of asafoetida, fry till it puffs up well. Take it out and keep aside.
- Now add the Urad dal and fry till golden brown. Fry on medium flame stirring continuously. If you fry on high flame the dal will turn brown soon, but won’t be fried properly.
- Transfer to a different plate.
- Finally add the remaining one tsp oil and fry the red chillies till they turn bright red.
- Transfer to the same plate as Urad dal.
- Once everything cools, transfer the asafoetida, red chillies and urad dal to the mixie jar and grind to a coarse powder.
- Finally add the sesame seeds and grind again to the desired texture.
- Add salt and give a pulse so that it is mixed well.
- Transfer to clean bottle and enjoy with idly/dosa
- You can dry roast the ingredients without using oil too. But my mother always adds a little oil, so the podi gets a good color.
- You can use ¼ cup of Channa dal/Kadala paruppu instead of using urad dal fully.
- You could substitute white sesame with black also.
- You could use urad dal with skin too, but the color of the powder will be dark.
- Adding sesame seeds gives a lovely flavour.
- Add enough asafoetida as that also gives the required aroma to the powder.
- Roasting all ingredients on medium flame with continuous stirring is important. Else the dals will brown on the outside without being fried properly.
- Always use a dry spoon.