Authentic Recipes from the Kitchens of Shriya, Nithu & Arthi!

Idli Podi – Spicy Chilly Powder

Idli podi or Idli Milagai podi is made of dry red pepper and a perfect blend of spices which is served with idli or dosa. You can make this and store it in your pantry which comes for a long duration. When you are in a hurry or if your chutney or sambar is over, this always helps. I always like to have idli podi though I have other side dishes. Idli podi with Sesame oil gives a nice aroma. When you spread this in idlis and leave it for two to three hours, it absorbs the oil and flavor of the powder and just melts in your mouth. My mouth waters when I say that. I am sharing my version of idli podi here…

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Spice level: 4 out of 5


  • Split chickpeas/Channa dal – 1 cup
  • White lentils/Urad dal – 1 cup
  • Dried red chillies – 10 (1″ size)
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds –  2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper corns – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 string
  • whole tamarind – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Oil – 1 1/2 tsp (vegetable/sesame/olive/canola)
  • Salt to taste

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
  2. Once they splutter, add asafoetida, cumin, coriander seeds, pepper corns, red chillies, fenugreek seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves. Keep tossing for 2 minutes.
  3. Adjust red chillies to your taste.
  4. Once the aroma of spices comes out, transfer to a plate and cool them.
  5. Now add 1/4 tsp of oil to the same pan and fry channa dal and urad dal separately till they become golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer it to a plate to cool.
  6. Do not add more oil. It is just for the flavor.
  7. Now grind the spices and the lentils with tamarind and salt to a coarse powder.
  8. Idli podi is ready.

idli podi 1

🙂 Mix the idli podi with some sesame oil or any oil and enjoy with hot idli or dosa…


  1. Hey Nithu:

    How long you can store this Idly pody? can you provide the method of storing for longer use (because tamarind)

    • This will come for nearly 2 months. depending on your usage, you can make the right amount. I store it my pantry. No complaints so far. But then, if you are not using it often moths may conquer it. So you can store it in an airtight container and refrigerate it.

  2. Lovely and spicy podi. I am bookmarking it for making it 🙂

  3. I have never tried this podi at home, i always used to buy it but home made ones are so fresh and best…thanks for the recipe nithu, will try making it next time

  4. i too make it in a similar way, but adding tamarind, pepper and coriander seeds is new to me. nice pictures

  5. I love idli podi! Sometimes, I eat the powder directly! This looks good!

  6. looks great…..lovely picture

  7. Thanks for all your comments. Thanks for stopping by…

  8. My all time favourite with dosas, i do the same too..

  9. Beautiful clicks. A gr8 combo for idlies 🙂

  10. My favorite side dish for Idlis and Dosas….I like to have it though I have chutneys and Sambar on my plate.

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  12. Yummy Chutney pudi as we call it, looks so tasty. It’s so versatile to use in anything. Good one.

  13. Looks spicy podi..Nice combo with anything!!

  14. Nithu,

    Idly powder looks good, we don’t add any coriander and tamarind.

  15. nice recipe.. this is like a dry chutney.. sounds interesting with oil..

  16. This is an interesting recipe! I loved the first Click!

  17. This Podi looks yummy…I usually buy the ready ones.
    I like to sprinkle it on dosa while making.


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