Idli Podi

Idli milagai podi is an indispensable condiment in every south Indian’s pantry.  I do not like to use store-bought idli podi as it is nicely powdered; I find idli podi satisfying only when I feel the coarse grits on my tongue. We use roasted rice for its sandy texture; roasted asafoetida & raw garlic for its wonderful flavor that brings everyone into the kitchen while grinding.

IMG_9518

Idli podi reminds me of my childhood days spent in my mother’s village along with my siblings & cousins. Every morning we had to go to a nearby river (Thamiraparani) for taking bath but we used to spend couple of hours there playing hide & seek under water. We came out with red eyes and we were in a grave hunger; we all sat on the rocks to have our breakfast with scrumptious idli or dosa marinated in idli podi & sesame oil. While we started unwrapping our food, a shoal of fish used to appear suddenly from nowhere waiting for us to feed them. After food we drank the river water itself yet that was the sweetest water I have ever tasted till now. By the time we reached home our lunch was almost ready; we could hear the mustards crackling! We all still cherish those beautiful memories!

In those days we carry our food wrapped in a banana leaf as shown below. It was an eco-friendly, use ‘n’ throw wrapper used for a picnic like this or for long train travels. When hot food is enveloped by a banana leaf, it gets infused with an aroma of banana leaf; we can catch the whiff of its unique pleasant fragrance while unwrapping! Still some of the restaurants here use the same method for packing food and also they serve food on banana leaf. We do serve food on banana leaf on special occasions like festivals, wedding, etc.

idli parcel

Now let us get into the idli milagai podi recipe:

Time Taken: 20 min

Yield : 1½ cup

Ingredients:

  1. Sesame oil – 1 tsp
  2. A pinch of asafoetida block
  3. Red chillies – 25 Nos.
  4. Split black gram (de-skinned) – ½ cup (100 g)
  5. Bengal gram (split chickpeas) – ½ cup (100 g)
  6. Rice – 1 tbsp (15 g)
  7. Garlic – 1 bulb (10 pods)
  8. Salt – 1 tsp

Method:

  • Heat a pan with oil in medium flame, roast asafoetida and red chillies separately.
  • In the same pan roast black gram, Bengal gram & rice separately until they release nice aroma.
  • When roasted lentils reach room temperature, add red chillies into a dry mixer-grinder jar & grind into a powder.
  • Then add lentils & grind into a coarse powder.
  • Add garlic & salt and blend together in “pulse” mode.
  • Store in a dry air-tight container.

Please Note:

  • Please be careful while roasting red chillies, avoid them getting burnt, as idli podi’s color is mainly dependent on the color of roasted chillies.
  • You can just use garlic pods without even peeling its skin, it may help to enhance the flavor.

Useful Tips:

Freshly roasted asafoetida is more flavorful than store-bought asafoetida powder. You can buy an asafoetida block that is soft & supple (if it is hard, you can keep it in a warm place for some time), pinch and shape into thin sheets or tiny balls, dry them & store in a cool dark place so that it wont get melted.

This can be used in recipes like sambar (as it can be dissolved in boiling water) or any masala powder (as it can be powdered) but not for sundal (as it never gets mixed while stir frying). Alternatively you can roast these pieces in hot oil, powder them and store in a dry jar for later use.

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79 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh! I’ve never seen asafoetida in a block before! How long does it keep? I’m very curious about the taste of it fresh versus store-bought. The idli podi itself sounds wonderful and versatile, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks Liz! You can keep this block even for an year, it is more flavorful than store-bought powder but no difference in its taste.

      Like

  2. Such a versatile condiment! I’ve actually never had it before, but now it may become a indispensable part of my kitchen pantry. I can imagine it working well with an endless array of dishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely, luv the way u put up pics 👌

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vidya Narayan says:

    I don’t think we can ever live without this podi .. south india’s fav !!

    Like

  5. jyo says:

    This is awesome 👌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sumith says:

    Beautiful video. This post is very nostalgic😍😍. I used to have this straight from the jar, when I was a kid. Goes great with any Indian breakfast. Beautiful post Megala

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Is it very spicy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, it is spicy but not so spicy when mixed with sesame oil ! 🙂

      Like

  8. I found your reminiscing so fascinating as did my 6 year old granddaughter! How do you dry the Idli Podi? I dry in a food dehydrator and grind in a coffe grinder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      🙂 Thanks ! We do make idli podi in small quantity and we do not require to use food dehydrator for a tropical climate here in Chennai.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks interesting, though never tried it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. shalini says:

    Thank you, told amma about ur recipe. Thanks to ur post, suddenly feeling hungry for sundal

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Haha! Thanks a lot for stopping by!

      Like

      1. shalini says:

        Don’t worry, sent link to mom so now she’s gonna explore your recipes and I get to profit with the dishes.. Win win megala

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Megala says:

        Ah! Sounds great! 🙂

        Like

      3. shalini says:

        Yes, ur ingredients are in tamil also, so mom will understand it better. So thank you Megala

        Liked by 1 person

  11. PS says:

    Nice one!!! Useful tips and recipe!! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dreamtemples says:

    Lovely to read about those priceless childhood days on the banks of the Thamirabarani.I have heard that the its water is unique for its taste and that it is the reason behind the unbeatable taste of Iruttu Kadai halwa!
    Will try this idli podi recipe. Your photos are a winner.Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Glad that you enjoyed reading this post. Thanks a lot for your appreciation!

      Like

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  13. Its my favourite, just parcel me your podi ma’am so yummy to look and tempting me to have it 😛😘. Your childhood days are so wonderful and its priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Hahaha! I would love to do so! 🙂 Thanks a lot!

      Like

  14. chefkreso says:

    Really nice flavours and a nice memory 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love Indian food, but never really try to cook it. I think I’m to start now after reading your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Glad to hear that, thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks a lot!

      Like

  16. Dice n Cook says:

    this must be heavenly, useful share

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sandhya says:

    Yummy , Love idli for any meal. Nice Photography.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Awesome childhood memories. Packing hot food in banana leaf is something very special and traditional. You bring lot of memories back in this post. Happy about it. Asafoetida tip is very useful Megala. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks a lot !

      Liked by 1 person

  19. nice.. I will try it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Swati Awana says:

    Seems very yum and interesting recipe. Saw it for the first time here☺☺.👌👌

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Lavs Raj says:

    I’m going to try this Megala.. Ive never seen anyone add rice.. it’s interesting.. lovely reading about your childhood.. thanks for sharing 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I loved reading about your childhood story. I have never tried this before, but it looks appetising! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Awesome post Megala…Loved it..So touching story of your childhood days..Just went into some flashback of my childhood days by reading this..Will try this soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Jeni G.J says:

    Thank you for sharing this chef. Will try it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. A handy replacement when there is no time to make fresh chutney. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I love the name – Idli Podi.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Spicy and yum! Tastes awesome with idli and dosa. I make it at home Megala. I have a query. Why do you use rice? I am hearing adding rice to it for the first time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Megala says:

      Rice makes a significant difference and is used to give a coarse texture. Also roasted rice enhances the flavor. If the podi is powdery, it wont taste as good as the granular one.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the clarification. I am due to make some soon. Will try with rice and see. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Megala says:

        Great! Please let me know how you like it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I made the idli podi yesterday Megala. It was really nice . Thanks a ton for the recipe 💜👍

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Megala says:

        Nice to hear that! Thanks so much!

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Trayee says:

    Childhood memories are the most valuable treasure of our life…Thanks for sharing..I will definitely try..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. contentcreator says:

    Great Post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much!

      Like

  30. Dahlia says:

    My mouth is watering!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks ! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Oh yum 😋 I loved that little video of idlis with podi wrapped in the banana leaf 😃😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Ah! 🙂 Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. priyanjali says:

    Oh I just love idly podi 😍 I’m gonna try this, it looks awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks a lot!

      Like

  33. foodzesty says:

    Such lovely memories…:) Megala can I ask what is asafoetida? I just googled it but I can’t understand what spice it comes close too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      It is a gum extracted from a plant and it helps in digestion, but I have no idea about the plant! Too much of asafoetida (hing) is also not good, we just have to use only a pinch or more in powder form.
      Thanks a lot for stopping by!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. foodzesty says:

        Ok, thank you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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