Sauces and Dips · Snacks · Vegan · Year round

Spicy Chutney Powder (Molgai podi)

Every since I started seeing my husband, I’ve kind of been hooked on this spicy chutney powder his mother makes. I first ate it as an accompaniment to snacks like idly (Steamed rice cakes) and dosa ( vegan ferment crepes). It’s very different from any of the molgai pod’s I had had before. It was crunchy and not as spicy or pungent as the ones I had eaten from the stores. I loved it.

In the South India state of Andra Pradesh, rice dishes have several accompaniments like pachadis and podis. Even idly and dosa which are rice based dishes have it. That way you do not have to make a fresh accompaniment every time you want to eat on of them. Just take a small amount, pour in oil and you have your side!

This is one of the podis I make and keep for three reasons:
1. I need idly and dosa atleast once a week and sometimes I do not want to make a side.
2.My husband likes only this particular molgai podi ( called tutu podi in Telugu.).
3. It’s easy to make.

I’ve tried to use it as a garnish for soups and other lentils, but haven’t really loved it as much as I do when I eat it as a side for dosa. It can be ground fine, but Ashwin loves his molgai podi rather coarse and pretty crunchy.

Made these ceramic bowls. Had to use them to prep my food!
Ingredients ( salt not shown)
Un-roasted and roasted large yellow lentils.
Un-roasted and roasted ivory white lentils.
Grind it to a consistency of your choice. 

Makes: 2 jam jars                                                                         Duration: 20 minutes

1 1/4 cup split ivory white lentils ( udad dal)
3/4 cup large yellow lentils ( channa dal)
~1 teaspoon salt
5 red chilies (stems removed)
5 pepper cons
1 teaspoon oil


  1. Heat a large saute pan at medium heat . Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil and roast the red chilies until they become dark red. Set aside.
  2. In the same oil, add the peppercorns and roast them for a couple of minutes. cool them with the red chilies.
  3. Roast the yellow lentils in the oil until they turn a dark yellow and give out a wonderful roasted aroma. Set aside to cool.
  4. Heat the remaining oil and roast the white lentils in the oil until they turn a dark yellow and give out a wonderful roasted aroma.
  5. Add the peppercorns and chilies to your grinder and pulse till they have been ground to pretty fine dust.
  6. Carefully open the lid and add the roasted lentils and salt.
  7. Grind to a powder that is either coarse or as fine as you would like. ( People usually have the idly chutney powder ground to the consistency of seas salt or table salt.)
  8. Store in a airtight container for unto a year.

Serve it with oil as a side for the South Indian snack of idly or dosa.

Note: Often Molgai Podi is a lot spicer. You can add double the number of chilies if that’s what you prefer.


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