One of the best accompaniments to Idli is Idli Podi, meaning Idli Powder. It is nothing but a mix of many lentils. It is mixed with ghee or oil and served with Idli or Dosa. It is prepared in every south indian household and it is served alone or along with chutneys especially, coconut chutney.
Though ingredients for this recipe is quite similar in different regions of south, their ratio differs from home to home. My Mom's Idli podi recipe is very famous; whoever comes to our home takes back a box of this podi.
I've altered my mom's recipe and mine is less hot as I've included very less chillies and my toddler son is very fond of this podi. He likes only Poondu Chutney or Tomato Chutney. If either of these is not made, he used to have Idli or Dosa as such few months back. Now he has started eating podi along with Idli or Dosa. So I've made it less hot but I find there is no compromise in taste of the podi. My Hus says this is similar to Paruppu Podi because of its color. :)
Now into the recipe:
Urad Dhal (Split/Whole) 1 cup
Sesame seeds (White) 3/4 cup
Dried Red Chilles 10
Channa Dhal (Kadalaiparuppu) handful
Pottukadalai (Roasted gram) handful
Curry leaves 3 springs
Garlic cloves (with skin) 5
In a Pan, dry roast each lentils separately. Dry roast till some of the lentils change their color slightly to light brown. Set aside to cool. Now, dry roast Curry leaves, Garlic cloves and Chillies together. Set aside to cool.
Grind everything together in a mixer once cooled. Make sure the mixer and the pan are dry. Make sure the ingredients are not burnt while frying.
Grind till the mixture transforms to a fine powder. (It will not be as fine as mill ground powder.)But over grinding makes lumps in the mixture. Store in an airtight container.
My Mom uses only 1/2 cup of sesame seeds and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Chillies. If you are looking for hot Idli Podi, (thought not very hot as store bought Idli Podi) try this ratio, you will definitely love it. But you have to prepare it again as this would vanish soon if served with Idli and Dosa often.
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