Molaga podi/ Milagai podi

Molaga podi/ Milagai podi

Molaga podi is a dry chutney powder (spice powder) served as an accompaniment with idlis and dosas. ‘Milagai’ literally means red chilli in Tamil and ‘podi’ is powder .Red hot spicy..yes that’s what Molaga podi is all about. If you are ‘frail hearted” or spicy is not part of your taste  buds, then watch out.  “Fiery” is the word for this condiment also known as gunpowder .

I think I have scared you enough but don’t you worry!.You can actually adjust the spice ( red chillies) according to your taste. Molaga podi is a spice powder constituting of coarsely ground sesame seeds, red chillies and lentils. It can be prepared in large quantities ahead of time and it can last months.There are a lot of variations to the molaga podi prepared by different people especially with the proportion of lentils used. Some people also add garlic to theirs. I add tamarind and jaggery to mine which many people don’t. So you can also juggle a bit giving in your own twists and tweaks..after all cooking is an art!


  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (black gram)
  • 1/4 cup chana dal (bengal gram)
  • 2 cups red chillies*
  • salt
  • a small piece of tamarind
  • 1 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1-2 tablespoons grated jaggery

* 2 cups of red chillies is almost 40 in number. You can adjust as per personal taste.

Dry roast the lentils individually in a wok (kadai). Start with chana dal first followed by urad dal and roast them till they are golden brown.Ensure that you roast them on a medium flame taking care that they don’t burn.
Next roast the sesame seeds followed by red chillies. I love to smell the aroma of roasting sesame seeds. You can also hear them splutter as you roast them until golden brown.
Allow all the roasted ingredients to cool.
Using a mixer or coffee grinder start grinding the chana dal and urad dal. Once they are manageably ground add the red chillies and continue grinding. Finally add the sesame seeds , tamarind grated jaggery , salt, asafetida and grind everything together into a coarse mixture. Do not venture out to grind everything together in the first attempt as the dals need more time to grind whereas the sesame seeds might turn out oily and sticky due to over grinding.I have a vitamix mixer with the dry container which I absolutely adore for all my grinding and blending needs!
Serve with steamed idlis or dosas with a little oil on top.


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