Idli Podi

‘What’s for dinner? ‘

‘Idly with left over sambhar’

‘Will the sambhar be enough for all four of us?’

‘No Dear, we can have  Idli podi if we run out of sambhar.’


After the dinner is ready and served  on table,


‘Dear, come , let us have dinner.’

‘Why don’t you feed the kids? I am not so hungry, I will join a lil later …’


I will be chuckling as I know he IS hungry and is waiting for the sambhar to be done, so, he can have the podi.

(So will be my intention 😉 )

That is the taste of the podi that can sidetrack even a perfect tasty sambhar. Podi is usually our last resort on lazy evenings, our supplement to scarce servings.  For those who are unfamiliar, it is a spiced lentil  powder mixed with sesame oil used as an accompaniment for rice, idli . People dip , spread or mix it as per their  style of choice.

There are many brands of store  brought podis available, and are made of  various ingedients, yet never can replace the home made . The base is dry roasted  lentils and chilies and salt. The optional additions are toasted sesame seeds, dry coconut powder, garlic etc etc.

This is a recipe from our family friend, Salammal, a seasoned cook . This is a classic , had been our regular ‘to go ‘ recipe ever since she shared it with us.

Idli podi



Gram dall / Bengal gram – 1 cup

Moong dall – 1/2 cup

Urad dall- 1/2 cup

Whole coriander seeds- 1/4 cup

Dry red chillies- 10 number

Salt – 1 tsp

Hing /asfoetida – 1/8 tsp

Dry roast the lentils and chillies individually. Pulse them in  a mixer grinder with salt and hing. Give it a taste , it has have to be a light high on spice level as it will subdued when adding oil .  Save this  and use it with oil (Sesame oil is traditionally used, sunflower/canola oil can also be used)  along with idli / dosa / rice . You will start finding a chance to use it just like us. 🙂



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