One of the most popular spicy South Indian condiment is Molgapodi(Milgaipodi), also popularly called as Gun powder/Idli podi due to its high spice level. This is often served with Idli/Dosa/Rice etc. This is used as substitute for chutney powder and is prepared with lentils and red chilies. Gun powder is mixed with oil/ghee and then served as accompaniment with rice or breakfast dishes

There are too many variations to this recipe , here I am sharing my family recipe

As a kid, my mommy used to often pack podi idli for my tiffin, which I used to relish a lot. Podi idlis can also be served in breakfast or as snacks. Now if you do not wish to serve podi idlis, simply mix podi with oil/ghee and serve separately with idli/dosa or steaming rice, they taste equally delightful. If stored properly, this has good shelf life so you can easily double/triple the quantity as desired. I generally prepare it in smaller batches for a month and this is quite handy.

When you are in a hurry in the morning, you can prepare idlis and serve with podi. On sundays, at my home, along with chutney, podi is also must along with dosa/idli for that additional taste. You can prepare podi dosa similarly to the podi idli. Enjoy 🙂

*For bright color: use Kashmiri red chilies or byadagi chilies. You can also add roasted desiccated coconut, but once coconut is added, the shelf life of the chutney powder reduces

**If any lentils are burnt, discard and roast new set again. If you do not have sesame seeds then you can skip it. You can use coconut oil too while preparing this dish

***Use fresh curry leaves instead of wilted leaves. If you like it spicy, increase the amount of red chilies. If its too spicy then increase the amount of lentils

****Prepare them as directed, do not take shortcut and roast everything together in a pan as each ingredient takes its own time to roast

Do watch the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the dish

Preparation time: 5 mins Cooking time: 10 mins Total time: 15 mins

Servings: 1 medium jar


  • 4-5 dry red chilies/7-8 Kashmiri red chilies, de- stalked and halved
  • 1 teaspoon Gingelly/Sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup split Urad dal (black lentils skinned)
  • 1/4 cup Chana dal (Bengal gram split)
  • 2 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hing/Asafoetida
  • Salt to taste

For Podi Idli

  • 1 tbsp ghee/oil
  • 6-8 small idlis
  • Gun powder as per taste

Steps to make

  • Heat a non stick or deep bottom pan
  • Add urad dal and roast until golden brown. Do not burn or blacken any lentils
  • Take the dal and keep it aside in a plate
  • Now add chana dal and roast until golden brown. Keep this aside
  • In the same pan, add sesame seeds and roast until golden brown and keep this aside
  • Heat oil in the same pan
  • De seed all the red chilies, if you add it along with seeds, it would be extremely spicy
  • Roast red chilies until you get pungent aroma, do not take it out
  • Add curry leaves to the same pan and roast until crisp
  • Switch off the heat. Immediately add hing and salt. Mix well
  • Now cool the roasted mixture
  • Transfer the mixture to the grinder
  • Do not grind at a stretch, keep scraping the sides and mix the mixture well. Do check the salt and adjust if required
  • Grind to fine powder and transfer the mixture to air tight container, this can be stored at room temperature
  • For making podi idli: Heat ghee or oil in a pan, add the idlis and lightly fry it. Add the prepared gun powder on both sides of the idli. Coat the idli well with podi. Serve podi idli hot with Ginger tea or filter coffee
Molgapodi/Gun powder/Podi Idli
Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

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