Saturday, August 31, 2019

Mulagai Podi II (Spiced Dry Lentil Chutney/Dip W/Two Dals)

Mulagai Podi II, similar to Mulagai Podi I, is a dry chutney that is mixed with oil and is used as a dip for dosa, idli, adai, upma, etc. Mulagai Podi means literally chili powder; but is made with more than just chilies. Traditionally dosa, idli, etc are served in homes simply with this podi and oil for casual meals. Amma often packed a lunch of dosa or idlis rolled in mulagai podi mixed with a little oil - they tasted so wonderful that my friends often wanted a share of my lunch :).

Often called Dosai/Idli Mulagai Podi to differentiate it from plain ground chilies, it is easy to make and makes a nice table condiment to spice up any food you like. There are many variations of it and some include other ingredients such as roasted sesame, curry leaves, cilantro, tamarind, etc. This is another one of my favorite versions. Every sprinkle of this delicious podi boosts the protein/mineral content of your food since it contains two dals/legumes.

Mulagai Podi is delicious sprinkled on 'butter'ed toast, vegetables, pasta, or steamed hot rice; some people even sprinkle it liberally on their pizza!


1/2 cup Chana Dal
1 cup white Urad Dal (skinless)
5 to 9 Dry Red Chilies
1 small pea-sized lump Asafetida/2 pinches
2 segments Tamarind (dried) (optional)
1 small piece (about the size of 2 peas) Jaggery/Vellam (Gud)
1 tsp Sea Salt or to taste


Roast the dal, chilies, and the asafetida in a dry skillet stirring often until the dal is golden brown. Let cool.

Grind all the roasted ingredients using a spice/coffee grinder with the salt in batches - the texture of the finished podi should be like brown sugar - slightly gritty but without any chunks or whole dal.

Mix well and keep in an airtight jar in a cool cupboard.


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