What is idli podi or Millagai podi?

Idli podi, Millagai podi or simply podi (and more endearingly “gunpowder”) refers to a powder made of roasted dal, rice, chilies, asafetida and salt. This dry chutney is consumed dry or mixed with coconut oil or sesame oil.
It’s a dry substitute to chutneys that keeps for a long time without going rancid. It’s perfect for travels.
The podi can also be had with steamed rice mixed with a bit of ghee. It’s a lifesaver for days when you don’t have any vegetables at home, or for days when you feel too lazy to cook.

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Health benefits of idli podi

Idli podi is a nutritious, vegan and gluten-free food that augments not only the taste, but also the nutritional profile of dishes like idli, dosas, rice and dhoklas. It contains the combined goodness of chili powder, rice, urad dal, Bengal gram, asafetida, mustard seeds, sesame seeds and coconut or sesame oil.

Urad dal and Bengal gram are rich in proteins. Mustard seeds contain high amounts of magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, calcium and healthy fats. Sesame seeds contain high amount of calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, iron, dietary fiber and healthy fats. Chili powder is full of fat-burning antioxidants along with calcium, sodium, potassium, dietary, vitamin B6, calcium, vitamin C and magnesium.

However, since the podi is consumed in small amounts, it may not translate to tangible health benefits. Here are some of the potential health benefits of Millagai podi or idli podi.

  • Good for heart health
  • Has healthy fats
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Kickstarts metabolism
  • Boosts immune system

Idli podi nutrition

A single serving (5 grams or one tablespoon) of idli podi contains the following nutrients:


Measure (Daily Value)
Calories 16
Total fat 0.2 gm
Saturated fat 0%
Trans fat 0%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 148 mg (6%)
Potassium 34 mg (1%)
Total carbohydrates 2.8 gm (1%)
Dietary fibre 0.6 gm (2%)
Sugars 0.4 gm
Protein 1 gm
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 1%

Storage and Handling Instructions: Once the pack is opened transfer the powder into a dry jar, keep the jar closed after use and refrigerate it. Always use a dry spoon. Masalas and powders remain fresh in air tight containers.



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