Milagai Podi

Milagai Podi in Tamil means Chilli Powder. It’s a very common spice accompaniment to several south Indian breakfast foods including dosas and idlis. In northern India it is commonly known as “gun powder” because of its spice levels.

Every household in south India has their own version of the powder, a formula arrived at taking into account individual spice and taste preferences. Once made, this powder can be stored for as long as 6 months in an airtight container.

Milagai Podi

1 cup Channa Dal
2 cups Urad Dal/ Split Black Gram
3/4 cup dried Red Chillies (or according to taste, depending on how spicy you’d like it)
10 Curry Leaves
10 cloves Garlic
1 tsp Oil (vegetable oil is fine)
1/2 tbsp Asafoetida
Salt, to taste

In a heated saucepan, roast the lentils for a few minutes. Add the red chillies and curry leaves and continue to roast until the lentils turn golden (about 7-8 minutes). Add the oil and continue stirring and roasting for about 4-5 minutes.

Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the stove. Add the garlic, asafoetida and salt and do not stir. The heat from the lentils will slowly roast the garlic. Wait until everything has completely cooled down.

Grind to a medium-fine powder in a spice or coffee grinder. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

A typical way to eat it is to add a heaped teaspoon to your plate. Make a well in the center of the powder and drizzle in some oil. With your finger, incorporate the powder into the oil (mix it around). Dip the dosa or idli into the powder and eat!

I make a non-spicy version for my daughter by leaving out the red chillies and adding curry and cilantro leaves. This recipe can be completely personalized – add or subtract ingredients at will! Here are some recipes on my blog that would be great with this powder:
Savory Kozhakattai, Neer Dosa, Pesarat, Akki Roti and Tomato Dosa.

For more from the recipe marathoners check:
DK, Siri, Srivalli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya, Lakshmi, Raaga, Lakshmi, Sripriya, Viji, Kamalika, Pavani, Karuna and Roochi.


20 Comments Add yours

  1. Raaga says:

    Moong dal in the podi seems new… will try it sometime 🙂


  2. Curry Leaf says:

    Moongdal addition is new to me.Looks good though


  3. lakshmi says:

    my favourite milagai podi is the the karanataka version with copra and jaggery – i love it, my family dislikes it though!


  4. Srivalli says:

    lovely colour…I always love it with idlis!


  5. Sunshinemom says:

    Isn’t this the best! It is so versatile – serves as a spread in bread too:) Thanks for your version. It is always good to know whats cooking in other houses too:). Like you said we have a different version that I have readied but not blogged as yet!


  6. Holler says:

    That is very interesting! I haven’t come across anthing quite like this before.


  7. Bharti says:

    Thanks! I’ve always wondered what gunpowder is! and I’m still amazed that you can have garlic in this recipe and store it for 6 months.


  8. Madhu says:

    I never made pudi with garlic in it, will try this next time i make some pudis. Great texture, looks good Anu.


  9. Divya Vikram says:

    Did not know it was called gun powder..My grandma always makes this for me.So have never ventured trying this on my own!!


  10. Bhawana says:

    masala powder looks good.


  11. Dragon says:

    Who wouldn’t like some ‘gun powder’ with their breakfast! 🙂


  12. Curry Leaf says:

    A,I hope I did not confuse you.I saw your comment in Aparna’s blog.Let me clarify.I am not sure now that honey is used for gluten development.The recipe I used for bagels,used honey,yeast and little wheat for making homemade gluten,which is then added to the wheat flour and then dough is made.The recipe said wheat being denser,we have to add gluten and so this.So I thght honey is always added for gluten development whenever wheat based breads are made.


  13. G.Pavani says:

    Hi,it looks really yummy n mouthwatering…thx for ur lovely comments


  14. Medhaa says:

    looks really nice


  15. Arundathi says:

    Raaga – Yeah, we kinda changed it around a lot.Curry Leaf – ThanksLakshmi – mmm that sounds delicious – kinda sweet, i guessSrivalli – Yup, so do weSunshinemom – Yeah we use it on pretty much everything at home tooHoller – 🙂 Do try itBharti – Yup – isnt it great – was always surprised that the garlic didn’t get soggy when ground either!Madhu – Thanks.Divya Vikram – Do try it!Bhawana – thanksDragon – Yup – taking it up a notch!Curry Leaf – thanks for clarifying – its really interesting. would be great if it is used for glutenG Pavani – thanksMedhaa – thanks


  16. Vandya says:

    I saw channa daal in the picture. I think you forgot to add that in your recipe.


  17. Arundathi says:

    <>Vandya – Thanks so much for pointing it out. I made a mistake and wrote Moong instead of Channa! 🙂 Corrected it now.


  18. Madhuram says:

    Yay! found it! Going to try it now.


  19. Madhuram says:

    Tried it out and I like it so much Arundathi. I halved the measurement but kept the quantity of garlic the same. It was so good. Thanks for this recipe.


  20. Arundathi says:

    Madhuram – Glad you liked it. Sorry it was so difficult to find. I have to get someone to help my install an index!


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