Idli Podi Recipe - The Flavour-Packed Blend
Enjoyed in Traditional Tamil Cooking

Making your own idli podi is well worthwhile. This coconutty flavoured mix is used widely in Tamil cooking with many regional variations. It's very versatile and the flavour-packed blend makes for a tasty all-purpose seasoning. It's also often blended with various oils and used as a dip for traditional breads. (See the bottom of the page for links to more of my recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes about 12 tablespoons)

5 tbsp dried Bengal gram (chick peas)
4 tbsp dried urad dal (black gram)
3 tbsp coconut flakes
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp chili powder (hot or mild)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp salt (see note 2 below)
2 tsp peppercorns
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp asafetida powder
25-30 dried curry leaves

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Add the fenugreek, cumin and coriander seeds along with the peppercorns, Bengal gram and urud dal to a dry pan
  • Over a medium heat, dry toast the ingredients for a few minutes whilst stirring or shaking the pan. Once you can really smell the fab aromas and some start to change colour they're ready
  • Once toasted, take the pan off the heat and add the ingredients to a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes
  • Once cooled, add them to your grinder along with the salt, sesame seeds and coconut flakes and grind away
  • Once ground, add to a bowl and stir in the asafetida, chili and garlic powders
  • Finally, crumble in the curry leaves and give another stir

Store your idli podi recipe in an airtight jar in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months.

Note: Click here for detailed tips and photos on toasting and grinding dried beans and spices. (Link opens in new window)

Note 2: Use whatever salt you have available. I prefer a quality sea/rock salt but if you only have table salt to hand simply use that.

Ingredient Note: To get the most out of my idli podi recipe I use a few whole ingredients which I then grind as these will give the best flavour. However, if you don't have them all available whole just use pre-ground powders and reduce the quantities the recipe requires by about half. For example, for 4 teaspoons of cumin seeds you would use 2 teaspoons of pre-ground cumin. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with the other powders when making. (You will need whole gram which you grind if you want an authentic tasting blend).

Idli podi recipeHomemade Idli Podi Recipe

A Step-by-Step Instructional Video

Here's a video of how I made a version of the above powder. The ingredients or quantities may be very slightly different but the process is exactly the same. If you enjoyed it, you can click the subscribe button in the bottom right corner in the video, OR click the subscribe link below the video...

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Why You Should Make Your Own Food Seasonings

Of course it's convenient to pop to the store and pick up a jar of commercial powder; but making your own has many advantages...

  • More flavour than store-bought blends that will be transferred to your meals
  • Pre-made blends may contain extra ingredients as a filler: cheap chili powder, processed salt, corn flour and husks to name just a few
  • There will be a use by by date but it's unlikely there will be a date of manufacture. It may have been sitting on the store shelf for months slowly losing flavour, and that's without the amount of time it sat in a warehouse before reaching the stores!
  • No artificial colours, additives, preservatives or anti-caking agents. And, If you're able to source organic ingredients, your homemade idli podi recipe will be free of pesticides and GMO's!

After Making Your Idli Podi Recipe You May Like to Try...

Herbes de Provence - The
Classic French Herb Blend

Panch Phoron - The Super
Easy-to-Make Bengali
Spice Blend

A Collection of Homemade
Seasonings For Fab
Home Cooking

Return to Spice Mix

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