Let me preface this by saying I love home made condiments of any sort.
And I had originally envisioned this as a single post with three South Indian condiment recipes I rely on the most, but as a relatively new food blogger I think I bit off more than I could chew. I’ve split it into a three part series to make reading, writing and searching easier.
You will almost always find an assortment of dips, spreads and chutneys in my refrigerator. It is a quintessential part of my weekend meal prep and huge part of how we eat. I am a dipper (Vivek is probably rolling his eyes); I love to always have something to dip my food in or top with or just spread on a piece of toast or even mix with hot rice and ghee. I am guilty of ordering chutneys and dips at restaurants even before we (ahem) order drinks lol.
Generally speaking, I am on board with anything that allows me to gloss over elaborate prep work. Condiments are perfect for that. It grants you the creative liberty to pretty much do whatever the heck you want with it. I use it in every which way imaginable – I blend it into other sauces and stews or use it as a marinade or simply spread it on a piece of hot ghee toast.
Like my cooking, a huge part of my spreads and sauces are influenced by seasons and need for variety. But there are some I keep going back to and replenishing constantly. These are my core, cannot (almost) live without South Indian condiments. The first in this series is Podi. We literally cannot function as a household without this stuff. I am serious. On those rare occasions when we have run out of this, all hell has broken loose. To put it mildly, my three old was unimpressed. After several harried calls to my mom for the recipe, I tweaked it based on how we would like it at home.
For those of you less familiar with South Indian cooking this is a spicy take on the middle eastern Dukka. It is a blend of roasted lentils, sesame seeds, dried red chillies and a tad bit of jaggery. We usually mix it with a bit of sesame oil (not the toasted variety) and eat it with idli or dosa. I also use it when I make potatoes or any other dry roasted vegetable. It also tastes amazing sprinkled on a ghee toasted piece of sourdough bread.
This recipe makes quite a bit and has a long shelf life which you could extends by refrigerating or freezing.
Idli Podi or Dosai Milgai Podi// Makes about 3-4 cups
- 2 cups whole urad dal
- 1 cup channa dal
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon hing (asafoetida) powder
- 20 – 30 (roughly 1 to 1.5 cup) dried Kashmiri chilies (these are mild, but you could use other spicy varieties)
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup jaggery (depending on how hot your chilies are)
- 2 table spoon sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil) or any other neutral oil
- 2 tablespoon salt
Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. It only takes a minute for it to burn so you might want to keep an eye on this one.
Let the sesame seeds cool on a plate
In the same skillet bring the oil to a medium heat and roast the channa dal for 3-4 minutes, then add urad dal to the skillet and continue to roast both for another 7 minutes till they both have a light pinkish hue.
Now add the dried red chillies, asafoetida, salt and roast for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Now coarsely grind the roasted lentils along with the salt.
Store it in an airtight jar and sprinkle liberally on everything 🙂