Milagai Podi (pudi) is a lentil based spice powder stored in the kitchen shelves. It is ideal with idli and dosa. It is commonly made in Tamilnadu cuisine.

I love the flavours of Tamilnadu, variety of dosa and idli with delicious chutney and flavoursome sambar, not to mention the crispy vada. They also have a variety of tasty snacks such as murukku and thattai. Among the rice dishes, puliodarai and lemon rice are commonly prepared.

But, why am I speaking of Tamil Nadu cuisine ? The Shhhh secretly cooking group is preparing from this state for the month of September and I was paired with Kalyani. Kalyani gave me black gram and dry red chilly as the secret ingredients and I decided to make this humble Milgai Podi.

The secret ingredients given by me were bengal gram and dry red chilly, she has prepared the Arichivitta Mulangi Sambar . Do check it out, it pairs well with hot steamed rice.

Now, coming to the Milagai Podi, this is one of the essentials in any Tamilian home. It is a lentil based, dry chutney powder, preserved all round the year. They serve it with idli as an additional accompaniment along with chutney and sambar. It is usually mixed with sesame oil or ghee, the nutty flavour of sesame is really good.

The other uses of Milagai Podi :

  • It can also be used with hot steamed rice. It tastes good with chapati and roti too.
  • In times of urgency, one can serve it immediately with idly or dosa. It is also handy during travelling.
  • You can use the left over idlis, lightly roast them on a skillet with ghee and sprinkle this chutney powder over it.
  • It makes a good accompaniment with curds rice.

Milagai Podi / Idli Podi


  • 1 cup bengal gram
  • 1 cup black gram
  • 1 cup sesame
  • 8-10 dry red chilly
  • a few curry leaves
  • a small piece tamarind
  • jaggery
  • salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida


  1. Dry roast the sesame seed until they splutter and lend a good aroma.
  2. dry roast the curry leaves.
  3. Take half a teaspoon of oil and roast bengal gram on a low flame. Let them turn golden in colour.
  4. Now, similarly roast the black gram with a little oil
  5. Put half teaspoon of oil and roast the red chillies. Once, it is done, put asafoetida over it.
  6. Take a small piece of tamarind and slightly toss it in the pan.
  7. Grind the lentils and sesame seed together, do not pulse for a long time. Grind for a few seconds and again repeat it, the sesame seeds may ooze the oil out of them. Then, add the red chillly, salt, tamarind and jaggery to it, pulse it again. The chutney powder should be coarse.
  8. Once it is done, store in a clean, air tight jar.

Take a tip:

  • Different versions of milagai podi are prepared. The quantity of bengal gram may be reduced, but I used both equally.
  • Tamarind and jaggery may be avoided, but they do give a good taste to it.
Milagai Podi/ Idli Podi
milagai podi

Milagai Podi

Milagai Podi is a earthy, nutty, flavoursome side dish used with idly and dosa.

Course condiments
Cuisine south india
Keyword milagai podi, tamilnadu cuisine
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 cups of powder
Author jayashree


  • 1/2 cup bengal gram
  • 1/2 cup black gram
  • 1/2 cup sesame seed
  • 6-8 dry red chilli
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 small piece tamarind
  • 1/4 teaspoon jaggery
  • salt


  1. Dry roast the sesame seeds. they splutter and give a good aroma. Similarly, dry roast the curry leaves.

  2. Take half a teaspoon of oil and roast the bengal gram. It should be golden in colour. Put it aside.

  3. Similarly, roast the black gram.

  4. Put the tamarind and toss it in the kadai for sometime.

  5. Take a little oil and roast the red chillies.

  6. Once the ingredients, cool down, at first grind the lentils and sesame. Do not run it for long, the oil may ooze out from the sesame seeds.

  7. Then, add the red chillies, salt, jaggery and tamarind. Grind them once again.

  8. Once, it is a coarse powder, remove and store in an airtight container.

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Milagai Podi (Pinterest)
milagai podi

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shhhhh secret cooking challenge
shhhhh secret cooking challenge


  1. The Milagai Podi looks just perfect! I love how versatile this podi is. It goes with so many things – rice dishes, idli, idli upma, dosa.. I use it to spice up sundal and stir-fries too. 🙂

  2. It is amazing how many varieties of podi one can make. I find these spice powders so versatile. Have not tried milagai podi but would love to make it at home so that I can use it with rice or idli.

  3. One of my go to recipes at time, but I make it a bit different. I would love to try your version too, comes in so handy when we do not have chutney or sambar prepared

  4. Molagapudi is as essential as salt in most south Indian homes. It is so versatile that it can be had with dosas , ildis , rotis and also mixed with hot rice and ghee 🙂 the color of your podi is inviting

  5. I make it exactly the same way Jayashree, sometimes subbing some of the Urad dal with roasted flax seed for a different variation. Our morning breakfasts cannot function without this condiment, and the kids love it topped with Nallennai for Idli / dosa.

  6. This is must to have in our home and my kids will love them. Looks so tempting and would need some hot idli now. I don’t generally add tamarind and jaggery. Will try next time

Appreciate all your comments.

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