Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spice Powder (Molaga Podi)

Molaga podi or Spice powder is an absolute essential which is always kept in stock in almost all south Indian homes.This is one of those simple powders that require few ingredients but is extremely tasty and can be stored for upwards of six months easily.This is generally used as an equivalent of chutney by adding a few drops of sesame oil to the required quantity of powder and by dipping a bite of dosa (indian savory pancake) or idli (rice and lentil steamed dumpling) or pretty much any other dish that you wish to spice up a little.

The first time I attempted making this powder I was clueless on how to proceed as I had neither observed my mother or any one else while they made this. My father had purchased a cookbook called Cook and See by Meenakshi Ammal which was the English version of the book "Samaithu Paar" by the same author for me, to help me in my amateur attempts in the kitchen. Now this book was a treasure trove of authentic south Indian recipes.Unfortunately though the author used measures like "azhaakku" which to a novice like me did not make any sense.I asked one of my aunts and she told me to substitute one cup for an azhaakku.
Emboldened by her advice I ventured into making this molaga podi for the first time. In retrospect I realize my interpretation of the quantity of red chillies required was not even in the ball park of the actual requirement since the resultant powder looked a deep and angry red and just by looking at it,I knew I had messed up big time...sigh....well anyway never one to give up easily I called up my aunt to find out if there was anything I could do to salvage this powder.

Seeing as this happened before the digital camera revolution,I could only describe the condition of my powder to my aunt.I am sure if my aunt had seen the powder she would have told me to give up on it entirely and either start all over again or run to the nearest store. But since she did not see this she gave me a couple of tips which included adding a little salt and a little powdered jaggery to reduce the fiery spiciness of this powder.None of those tricks helped and it was worse since the powder tasted both spicy and salty...anyway this disaster remained on my shelf in a glass jar for some length of time before I gave up and dumped the entire thing.

Just goes to show you, I guess, that getting proportions wrong can sometimes create disastrous results. This recipe is my mother in law's and my only variation is to use slightly more sesame seeds since I love the taste of sesame and it gives this powder a wonderful fragrance.

 photo 4b70f3b4-5987-4782-a8c7-1ef73b791ff2_zps0e1f19a2.jpg

Click here for a printable view of this recipe
Ingredients and Method to make the Spice Powder ( Molaga Podi )
1/2 cup Yellow split chick pea lentil (chana Dhal)
1/2 cup Split black gram lentil (udad dhal )
1 cup Brown sesame seeds
Approximately about 35 Dry red chillies (or according to taste)
salt to taste (about 3/4 tsp for this quantity of ingredients)

Soak the sesame seeds in just enough water to cover it for at least 15 minutes. (Some people skip this step but do this since the sesame when dry roasted after this puff a little which in turn improves the texture of the powder)

Dry roast the two lentils separately until each of them is reddish brown. Take care not to burn or char these lentils

This is how it looks when dry roasted



Drain the sesame seeds using a fine sieve (like a soup strainer) and dry roast the sesame seeds on low to medium heat until the seeds turn a little browner and the seeds kind of seem puffed.(Do not keep this on heat high since the seeds will pop out, also keep a lid or splatter screen handy just in case ..:)

Dry roast the red chillies until they turn color and become slightly whiter ( this happens very fast so take care)

This is how the dry roasted chillies and sesame seeds look..


First grind the lentils separately until the are kind of quartered and are small bits and keep aside.
This is how the lentils will look coarsely ground




Then in the blender jar, place the roasted dry chillies,then sesame seeds and grind a bit until the red chillies are powdered coarsely.Now add the coarsely ground lentils and grind everything together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add salt to this and mix well.

Store in an airtight container after it is thoroughly cooled. This does not require refrigeration and stores well for a long time.

Serve this with a few drops of sesame oil to make it a chutney or spice up plain yogurt with this powder and use it as a spicy dip.

This is my entry to the Long Live the Shelf event being hosted by Roma

Related Recipes
Lentil Powder

35 comments :

romaspace said...

Usha, the description of this recipe is really excellent. Thanks for posting pics of the individual ingredients so we know how the color should be on roasting.

I need to shop for brown sesame seeds and split urad dal. My mouth is watering for that powder.
Thanks so much for participating!

Ivy said...

Hi Usha and thanks for visiting. I just took a quick glimpse and you have a beautiful blog with lots of helpful things I want to find out about Indian cuisine, so I'll be back soon to read your recipes.

Divya said...

What a co-incidence! I made molagai podi just yesterday :) Yours is very nice. And I am crazy about molagai podi that I eat them by the jars!
For me, chutneys come no close to it.

Vaishali said...

Usha, I love nothing more than to eat a crispy, hot dosa with molaga podi. Your recipe sounds delicious.

Kumudha said...

Molago podi looks so tasty. I'm inspired to make some spicy powders after seeing this post!

Paru ... said...

Looks Yummmmmm Usha..Very very nice..I love this podi..

I have tagged you for a MeMe:),.Check out my blog for details..:)

mitr_bayarea said...

Usha-

Now, I can boldy use this recipe to try my hand at making some molaga podi, if my stock from India gets over.

Suma Rajesh said...

looks yum and great...i lov it

sowmya said...

never tried molaga podi at home..as I am not too fond of it..but sometimes I wish I had it for the dosas..will make it your way soon !!

aTxVegn said...

Hi, Usha, thanks for visiting my blog! I absolutely adore Indian food. I wish I would have visited here before my last meal of Indian food I was not happy with. I live near several excellent Indian grocers and I will enjoy making these spice powders and curries.

Lore said...

This is one flavourful powder and handy too! I was about to tell you about Roma's event but then I saw that you've already sent it over. Lovely entry!

Nidhi said...

Usha! Your masala recipe sounds great. My husband always tells me abt the masala they put on the inside of the Podi Dosa at Andhra mess. Is this the same?

Pearlsofeast said...

Usha, this powder sounds great and MIL makes it and I haven;t had any clue.Thanks for sharing.

VG said...

Hi Usha

This looks yum. I have never tried this before, so I have to give this a go sometime soon. Thanks for sharing, dear

VEGETABLE PLATTER said...

i love molaga podi .. we call it chutney pudi in kannada .. would love to eat it with dosas

Cinnamon said...

Amma makes somthing similar to this, but she also adds coconut....
This is one powder which adds lovely flavor to some recipes!!!

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

Usha,

I love sesame highlighted molaga podi. I eat it with rice and idli and dosai. There is an award waiting for you at Few Minute Wonders.

SriLekha said...

wow! molagapodi is looking so good!
do visit my blog often while u find time!

Priti said...

Podi looks gud Usha...I always love podi but never made any by myself...recipes looks simple..will try sometime..

Rajani said...

usha... at my place its called Gunpowder! and I love it - my mom adds jaggery and a bit of imli as well while powdering - its really nice!!

Hima said...

Nice podi. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Madhavi said...

Very nice podi recipe dear, look awesome!!!

Laavanya said...

My paati's milagai podi is a favorite at our place and hers is also an angry red and more coarse than what we usually find. I love yours and must give this a try when my supply is over.

Usha said...

Thanks for visiting Roma,this powder is very versatile and tasty so do try it..I am sure you will enjoy it too :)

Usha said...

Thanks for visiting Ivy,looking forward to seeing you here in the future too :)

Usha said...

Surprising that we both made molaga podi on the same day Divya..I like having molaga podi at hand all the time too,very useful in a pinch.

Thanks Vaishali...same here :)

Thanks Kumudha :)

Usha said...

Thanks Paru, I will check out your blog soon....


Hey Mitr,thanks for visiting....


Thanks Suma ...

Usha said...

Sure Sowmya, do try this it is fairly simple to make...



Thanks Atxvegn for visiting my blog and for your kind words....

Usha said...

Thanks Lore,I always keep this powder in stock and cannot do without it for any length of time:)


Thanks Nidhi..not sure if this is the podi they use at Andhra mess since I have never tasted that..although we do use this powder as an accompaniment to dosa primarily ...

Usha said...

Thanks for dropping by PearlsofEast hope to see you here again soon :)


Thanks VG :)


Thanks Vegetable Platter :)

Usha said...

Hey Cinnamon,we make another powder similarly with lentils and red chillies with coconut too,looking forward to seeing your version posted soon...


Thanks so much for the award,Srimathi..

Thanks Srilekha...will surely visit your blog often...

Usha said...

Thanks Priti..it is really simple to make..



Rajani...Gunpowder...LOL that is so funny...:)

Usha said...

Thanks Hima :)


Thanks Madhavi :)


Thanks Lavanya..do let me know when you try it :)

RupaMohan said...

Thanks for visiting.I was looking for Molaga pudi recipe and was glad to find it here.My kids love this pudi for Idlis and Dosas with oil.Thankyou for sharing.

sunshinemom said...

Usha, I really appreciate you making this! I simply wait for my Mom to pass me some during my bi-annual visits:)

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