Milaga Podi (the South Indian version of Duqqa)

By • July 22, 2011 8 Comments

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Author Notes: No self respecting south Indian home will be without this spicy blend of toasted lentils & sesame. Its called 'milaga podi' in Tamil which directly translates as chile powder. Affectionately referred to as 'Gunpowder', Graduate school student stories are filled with tales of well meaning yet slightly 'american english' challenged geeky nerds from Southern India proudly declaring their 'lovingly-packed-by-mommy' stash of GUNPOWDER to the Immigration authorities, only to be dragged inside for a complete verification!
its a staple accompaniment to breakfast classics such as Idli & dosa as well as a quick option to whip up some yummy sesame flavored rice at a moments notice.


Makes 1 cup

  • 2 tablespoons split dry garbanzo (Chana dal)
  • 3 tablespoons split dehusked urad dal
  • 5 tablespoons Sesame seeds
  • 4-8 dried Arbol chiles (as per taste, broken in two)
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida powder (optional)
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Sesame oil
  1. In a hot skillet, Toast Garbanzo and the urad dal separately in minimal amount of oil (it should barely coat the surface to facilitate browning) till they appear reddish brown in color. For the mustard & sesame, toast (separately) until they begin to pop. (cover the skillet with a lid to avoid scalding hot micro missiles).
  2. While toasting the chilies, add the sea salt along to minimize irritation,
  3. Cool and powder all the ingredients except the mustard & sesame to a powder the consistency between grits & cornmeal. Add the toasted arbol chilies along with the lentils to yield an even texture. Combine the mustard & sesame & pulse a couple of times to barely crush them.
  4. Combine all the ingredients, mix well to disperse evenly, taste & adjust for salt.
  5. Serve as a side to traditional Indian dishes such as Dosa or idli.
  6. To prepare flavored rice, add 1-2 heaped tablespoons of the powder to one cup of warm cooked basmati rice. drizzle with melted ghee & fold to incorporate the spice blend evenly.

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