Podi means powder and there are tons of them. Most Indian houses have one or more of these podis on hand to whip up dinner or breakfast really quick. This condiment is a perfect pair for the south Indian idli. This podi is mixed with oil and is used as a dip for the idli. We can even smear the podi+oil mix over the idli.
Now do not limit its use to just idli as it goes perfect with dosai as well. Recently when I made idli upma I added a couple of spoons of this podi for added flavor. So the possibilities are endless. I initially had the issue where the podi did not have any color and adding extra chillies for color increased the heat a lot. Thanks to my mom who suggested that I remove half the seeds from each chilli and that gave the needed color to the podi and also kept the heat level tolerable. Off to the recipe.
Ready for storage.
1 tsp oil
12 red chillies (I used the fat variety and removed half the seeds from each one. You could leave the seeds and use lesser number of chillies)
A bit of asafoetida
1/2 cup urad dal (Ulutham Paruppu)
1/4 cup channa dal (Kadala Paruppu)
1.5 tbsp sesame seeds (Ellu)
Fry the chillies and asafoetida in 1 tsp oil. Remove and keep aside.
Next add urad dal and channa dal and roast.
Dals are roasted to a nice golden color.
Next roast the sesame seeds.
Allow everything to cool.
Take all the cooled ingredients in a coffee grinder or blender and add salt.