Chutney Power aka Iddli or Dosai Podi

  • Servings: 1500 grams
  • Difficulty: Simple
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Dosai or Idli Chutney Powder My maternal grandmother would make the best iddli milagaipodi. It was unmistakeable. The rich dark color and the perfect texture. Not too coarse and not too fine. Add sesame oil and it was the best accompaniment to jasmine soft steamed iddli or her pattu dosai. My aunt Vijaya had her own recipe. A bit spicier and without jaggery. The powder at my great uncle and aunt’s home had a different flavor altogether. It was lighter in color and was ground a bit finer. And so on. You get the drift.

And each time I reach for the bottle I remember my grandmother. She was a cook’s cook. I like to think she would have approved of my effort. But I also know that after I went to work, she would have “repaired” it by adding her own ingredients and improving the flavor.

Chutney Power aka Iddli or Dosai Podi

The key to good chutney powder apart from the texture is to roast each ingredient separately and carefully to make sure the lentils do not taste raw. The tamarind and jaggery give it a distinctive taste.


  • Urad Dal – 1/2 cup
  • Chana Dal – 1/2 cup
  • Sesame Seeds – 1/2 cup
  • Dry Red Chili – 4 – 6
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  • Jaggery shavings – 1 tbs
  • Tamarind fruit (cleaned) – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing) – 1/4 tsp


  1. Roast the chana dal with 1/2 tsp of oil in a heavy pan or skillet. Add the urad dal after chana is ½ done
  2. Add 2 – 6t dried chillies (to taste) at the end for a minute or two without blackening them.
  3. Add ¼ tsp hing (asafoetida powder) or fry a small cube in oil. set aside and add in at the grinding stage
  4. Remove from heat when golden brown and pour on a plate and leave to cool.
  5. Add alt (adjust later after tasting)
  6. Add 1 tbs grated jaggery
  7. When cool – Dry Grind coarsely (like a gravelly sand) and add the sesame seeds to grind just the last stage of grinding. Do not grind too fine. I use a small dry grinder. But any processor or blender should also work