Idli/Dosai Molaga Podi (Dry Chutney Powder for Idlis, Dosas)

Idli molaga podi translates as chilly powder for idli. Fondly, referred to as “gunpowder” 😀 by friends as it is spicy – fataakedar! Various names this one has, molaga podi, kara podi, karam podi, or just dosai/idli podi … Each home has its own variation and version of the podi. This podi/powder is a mandatory item in my stock. Heres, my version. 


Bengal gram split (Chana dal): ¼ cup
Black gram skinned and split (Dhuli Udad dal): ½ cup
Red Chillies: 6-7
Sesame seeds (Til): 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Asafoetida powder (Hing):  ½ teaspoon

*I use more udad dal to chana dal. You may also use only udad dal or equal portions of udad and chana dal. Depending on how you like the chutney powder, you can vary the proportions. For those following a low potassium diet, you may substitue a singificant amount of dal with rice – this is from “J” aunt’s version. You can read the version for diets requiring low-potassium here on my blog.


  1. Dry roast the first four ingredients individually in a skillet/sauté pan (kadhai/wok). Constantly monitor and stir them to ensure that they toast evenly and don’t burn. When roasting these ingredients, ensure the kitchen is well-ventilated … espeically for the red chillies – If roasting the red chillies poses a problem, you may use a combination of a teaspoon of red chilly flakes and a teaspoon of red chilly powder. In that case, you can place the chilly powder/flakes combination in a plate and add the hot roasted dals over it.
  2. All ingredients should be roasted to a golden brown color. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. 1-roasted-ingredients.jpg

  4. Once cooled, grind them to a coarse powder in a coffee/spice grinder or the chutney jar of a desi mixer grinder.
  5. 2-dals-powdered.jpg 4-powdered-til.jpg 3-powdered-chillies.jpg 
    Powdered Dals, Til (Sesame Seeds), and Dry Red Chillies

  6. Now, add the salt and asafoetida powder and mix thoroughly. 
  7. Store in a clean dry jar.
  8. 5-molaga-podi-ready.jpg

  9. To prepare the chutney, take about 1-2 teaspoons of the powder and add oil to make a paste. Enjoy with idlis or dosas. You can use sesame (Til) oil or ghee for an extra rich taste for the chutney.
  10. molaga-podi-1.jpg  molaga-podi-2.jpg

  11. You can freeze the powder to keep it fresh for about 3-4 months or so.

Note: Suggest roasting and grinding them separately as time required for the ingredients vary. If roasted together, the finer ingredients might char. If they are ground together, the powder would be inconsistent with the dal not ground well and the sesame seeds as a mushy mix.


16 Responses to “Idli/Dosai Molaga Podi (Dry Chutney Powder for Idlis, Dosas)”

  1. superbb

    From skribles: Thanks Raama priya

  2. hey

    thanks. after i moved to the US from HYD, i missed the Podi very much with my dosas. will make this tomorrow 😀

    From skribles: Thanks A

  3. A small tip to you. In that molaga podi you can add a 1 tsp of slightly roasted mustard seeds. They just add good flavor.

    From skribles: Thanks Subraja … Hvnt heard of mustard seeds being added – sounds interesting

  4. heyy nice sugestions given with the recipe.

    From skribles: Thanks Malti.

  5. you can add little goundnuts (roasted) also. It will give good taste

    From skribles: Thanks Gayatri.

  6. YUMMMMYY… nice one… brigngs back fond memories of early morning breakfast..
    salivating already,.. am trying this today..

  7. can u give us sum more podi recipes for instant curry to help cooking faster?… v live in Ausralia n need the cooking to be done in a Jiffy… n my husband insists on geting al the podi recipes.

  8. Some tips to this very very simple recipe…

    substitute urad daal with groundnuts
    try various combinations like add some jaggery, dry coconut, curry leaves, jeera to alter the flavor of the main powder

  9. Hey,

    Pretty good ideas..trying right now. Thanx

  10. thanks a lot

  11. It is really quite easy to make…..without it idlis are just not the same….

  12. i want to make 4 my daughter n son in low who stays in US my daughter likes very mu
    ch this CHUTNEY if i make this chutney she likes very much

  13. Always I like idly chilli powdervery much but I did not try this at home but now I am go to try it in my home

  14. I was longing to eat dosa made at home ,with chutney but could not get it anywhere.One shop which usually stored it kept on saying -out of stock-then I chanced upon your recipe. I am so happy and thankful to you, I AM GOING TO MAKE IT JUST NOW AND STORE IT. Thanks once again and God Bless!!! I have come to Abu Dhabi for three months from Mumbai, India.

  15. A good idea for storing it for a long time…If it is to be used in 15 days or so…just add a few drops of til oil while roasting all the ingredients.THANKU

  16. My brother suggested I would possibly like this website. He was once totally
    right. This publish truly made my day. You cann’t consider simply
    how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

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