Nellai Milagai Podi is an appetizing, flavourful and quintessential condiment in all the South Indian households and eateries as it goes well with idly, dosa and upma varieties. My version of this Milagai Podi is inherited from my Grandma’s recipe that is with the adaptation of Nellai Tamizhar-style Idly Podi.
How to make Nellai Milagai Podi | Idly Podi?
This recipe has good amount of sesame / til and it needs to be had with sesame oil mixed in it. So, it’s heart-friendly when used regularly. Needless to mention the nutritious value added by urad and channa dals, curry leaves to this humble recipe!
Inclusion of black urad dal as core ingredient gives this recipe a distinctive colour and flavour than usual versions. This recipe can be prepared in bulk and stored in air-tight box. It helps to savour this delicious podi as and when required either in the form of a paste or smeared on idly or dosa. It is an ideal option for tiffin box or as a travel food.
Black urad dhal – 1 cup, splitted
Channa dal – ½ cup
Sesame Seeds / Til – ¼ cup
Dry Red Chilies – 25 to 30
Asafoetida / Hing – 2 to 3 tsp
Curry Leaves – 2 to 6 twigs, torn into pieces
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1/2 tsp (optional)
Sesame / Til Oil – 1 to 2 tsp
Roast black urad dhal, channa dhal, sesame seeds, dry red chilies and curry leaves one by one with little amount of oil till crisp and golden in colour.
Bring it to room temperature and grind it into a coarse powder along with asafoetida, sugar and salt. You can grind it finely also as per your taste.
Transfer it to a large bowl and mix well.
Store it in an air-tight container to keep the flavours intact.
It can be served as an accompaniment for idly, dosa and upma varieties.
This recipe stays fresh for 2-3 months.
If you don’t like to use sesame oil, use any cooking oil or melted ghee.
Either you can have this podi + til oil as accompaniment or smear the podi paste on Idly, dosa vareities.
A delicious south Indian condiment ‘Puzhimilagai’, is nothing but a green chilly pickle that has a chutney-like texture and sweet spicy sour taste in it. As the name suggests, ‘Puzhi’ in Tamil means tamarind and ‘Milagai’ means chilly.
How to make Puzhimilagai | Green Chilly pickle?
The main ingredients of this recipe are fresh green chillies and tamarind. There are many versions of making this recipe, but I have always followed my Grandma’s method that calls for very few ingredients but tastes absolutely delectable.
This green chilly pickle goes well with idly, dosa and upma varieties, stuffed parathas, teplas and also with any rice varieties like curd rice, coconut rice, lemon rice etc.
Green Chillies – 250 g
Imli / Tamarind – medium lemon-sized
Haldi / Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Jaggery – gooseberry-sized
Salt to taste
Hing – 1/2 tsp
Mustard / Rai – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – few twigs
Sesame /Til Oil – 3 to 4 tbsp
Soak imli in 1/2 cup of water for 15 minutes, squeeze and extract the imli water.
Wash and pat dry the green chillies. Grind it into a thick paste. If required, little bit of imli water can be used to grind the chillies.
Take a thick bottomed kadai. Heat sesame / til oil, add rai, hing, curry leaves.
When the mustard seeds splutters, add green chillies paste, imli water, haldi, salt, jaggery.
Keep stirring in between and let it simmer till the oil separates. Adjust salt.
Let it cool and store it in a clean airtight container, preferably a glass bottle.
This recipe stays fresh for 1 or 2 months at room temperature and more if it is stored in fridge.
‘Thengai Paruppu Thogaiyal’, is one of the popular traditional South Indian recipes that can be made quickly. Thengai in Tamil means coconut, Paruppu means Dal, Thogaiyal is chutney. A versatile chutney that can be served with plain hot rice as well as with Idly, Dosa and other tiffin varieties.
How to make Thengai Paruppu Thogaiyal | Coconut Dal Chutney?
Simple thogaiyal with any rasam or sambhar is one of our comfort foods. Whenever we carve for such menu, Thengai Paruppu Thogaiyal is my go-to recipe. Reasons are…it’s healthy, delicious and very easy to prepare with few ingredients. The core ingredient Coconut is rich in good fats and has properties like anti-bacterial, anti-fungal that boosts our immune system when consumed regularly. Protein and potassium-rich Arhar dal on the other hand, enhances the taste and health quotient of this thogaiyal.
Thogaiyal and plain hot rice with a dollop of ghee / sesame oil, pairs well with Vendhaya Kuzhambu or Pepper Jeera Rasam or simply with fried papad. A divine combination!
Coconut -1 cup, grated
Thuvar / Arhar dal – 2 tbsp
Red Chillies – 2 or 3 (as per taste)
Curry Leaves – few twigs
Salt – to taste
Hing – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp (preferably coconut oil)
In a kadai, add 1 tsp of coconut oil and roast arhar dal, red chillies, hing and curry leaves. Roast till the dal turns golden in colour.
Transfer it to a plate. Let it cool. Grind it along with grated coconut, salt into a fine paste adding very little amount of water.
Serve it with hot plain rice with a dollop of ghee / sesame oil.
If serving with tiffin varieties, dilute the thogaiyal little bit. Give tadka with rai, urad dal and curry leaves.
Instead of arhar dal, we can use moong dal and yellow channa dal too.
Famously known as ‘Getti Chutney’ in South India, this delectable chutney is nothing but a basic coconut chutney grounded in stone mortar & pestle. It’s always a common sight to see in South Indian restaurants where people specifically prefer ‘Getti chutney’ with tiffin varieties.
How to make Getti Chutney | Restaurant Style Thick Chutney?
‘Getti’ in Tamil means anything that is thick in texture. As the name suggest, this chutney is prepared using very less amount of water to get a coarse, thick texture. It tastes super delicious when ingredients are coarsely grounded in mortar & pestle. Believe me, you’ll notice a great enhancement in taste, flavour and texture than the usual version made in mixer grinder.
Though time consuming, many South Indian households still follow this age-old method of grinding it in mortar & pestle. For quicker method, one can always use mixer grinder with just sprinkling of water while making.
Here, I have given both the versions… i.e., in a mortar & pestle and also in a mixer grinder. I have a small stone mortar & pestle that belonged to my Grandma and now it is one of the treasured possessions in my kitchen. In winters, I always use this to grind chutneys that has coconut in it. Due to cold weather, oil gets separated from coconut while grinding in mixer grinder.
Coconut / Nariyal – 1 cup, grated
Roasted Chana – 1 1/2 tbsp
Green Chillies – 2 or 3 (as per the taste), chopped
Tamarind / Imli – a small gooseberry sized, soaked in water for 10 mins
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tsp (preferably sesame / til oil)
Rai – 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal – 1/4 tsp
Hing – a pinch
Curry Leaves – few leaves, torn into pieces
Red chilly- 1, broken into 2 and deseeded
In Mortar & Pestle
Wash the stone mortar & pestle nicely. Place grated coconut, chopped green chillies, roasted chana, salt and soaked imli on the mortar.
Using the pestle, start crushing or pounding the ingredients from one end to other.
Scrap the ingredients that have gathered at the corners. Bring it together in the centre and again start crushing to form a coarse paste.
Sprinkle few drops of water as and when required to help in the even grinding.
Once done, scrap it with the help of a spoon and gather it in a bowl.
In Mixer Grinder
Place grated coconut, chillies, imli, salt, roasted chana in a chutney jar and pulse it slightly for 3 or 4 times.
You could notice that the ingredients have coarsely grounded by now. Scrap them from all the corners and from the lid with a spoon.
Sprinkle very little amount of water and pulse it again for 3 or 4 times.
Check for the consistency and the texture of the chutney. If it is coarsely but evenly grounded, transfer it to a bowl. If not done, then pulse it for few more times.
Heat 1 tsp of til oil in a kadai and add rai.
When it splutters, add urad dhal, hing, curry leaves, red chilly and sauté till urad dhal turns golden in colour.
Pour it over the chutney and mix well. Serve it with hot idly or dosa or upma or pongal.
This chutney stays fresh for many hours and is best suited for tiffin box and travel food options.
You can add ginger, garlic, fresh coriander to enhance the flavours to this basic chutney. But we like it simple and plain when it comes to relishing ‘Getti’ chutney.
Tadka is optional. You can skip it and add few curry leaves and hing while grinding itself.
This Chutney goes well with idly, venpongal, dosa, vada, upma, bajji varieties.