Chilli Powder for Dosa and Idli or Molaga Podi

The Idly and dosai are the ubiquitous breakfast items in every South Indian household. The Molaga podi / powder is served in most homes, as a accompaniment to them , drizzled liberally with ghee or gingelly oil. Idlis smeared with idly podi is favourite for train travel and car journeys, as it hardly get spoiled, keeps good for a day or two. This powder is available in stores but can be easily made at home and stored for a month or more. When one doesn’t have time to make chutneys along with idly or dosai this podi  makes for a ideal combination. Can be made in bulk and stored for more than a month.

Recipe taken from Cook and See Part – 1


  •  Dried Red chillies – 3 cups ,
  • New tamarind – lemon sized,
  • Black gram dal – 1/4 cup,
  • Bengal gram dal – ¼ cup,
  • Gingelly seeds – 1/4 cup,
  • Kopra or dry coconut(preferred) or fresh coconut desiccated – 1 cup,
  • Mustard – 1 teaspoon,
  • Asafoetida powder – ½ teaspoon,
  • Jaggery – a small lump (marble size),
  • Oil for shallow frying – 6 tablespoon,
  • Salt ½ cup


1. In a deep  pan , dry roast the gingelly seeds till it pops.

2.  Add 3 tablespoons of oil   in deep pan and shallow fry , the red chillies till they become crisp  . However do not blacken them while frying them Keep aside .

3.  Shallow fry ,coconut to reddish brown colour, in the same pan  . Remove . Shallow fry the dals ,to reddish brown.
4.  In a blender or a mixie , powder the gingelly seeds . Add salt and tamarind . Blend them well.  Now add asafoetida , fried  coconut, mustard and red chillies and grind to a smooth powder.
 Mix well and bottle . Use as and when required.

  1.  While using the red chillies, in making powders or adding in kuzhambus or gravies, remove the stalk and use.
  2.  If coconut is omitted in the above recipe, you could increase the quantity of the gingelly  seeds by doubling their quantity .
  3.  Tamarind too can be omitted, Red chillies, mustard and the dals could be shallow fried to reddish brown and powdered along with salt, to make Idly molagapodi.