About This Recipe
A good condiment can elevate the taste and nutrient profile of a meal, and South Indian milagapodi is a great example. This mix of roasted, ground spices is typically paired with sesame oil or ghee and served alongside dosa or idli. Though milagapodi comes in innumerable variations, it typically describes a fiery, nutrient-dense mix of ground lentils, sesame seeds, tamarind and chiles.
Note: Use mild to more fiery red chiles, depending on your spice preference. Byadgi, Guntur, or Kashmiri chiles work; or substitute locally available dried red chiles.
- 2 tsp cold-pressed sesame oil or gingelly oil
- 2 tsp tamarind pulp
- 1 cup (100 g) red chiles, stems removed
- 2 Tbsp (10 g) coriander seeds
- 4 Tbsp (50 g) urad dal (skinned, split black gram)
- 4 Tbsp (50 g) chana dal (split Bengal gram)
- ¼ cup (50 g) white sesame seeds
- ½ Tbsp Indian crystal salt
- 1 tsp asafetida powder
- ½ tsp jaggery (optional)
Step 1In a cast iron kadhai, wok, or other round-bottomed pan, gently heat oil. Add the tamarind and cook on medium heat until the pulp softens and darkens, about 2 minutes. With a spoon, remove the pulp and set it aside.
Step 2Add the red chiles to the leftover oil and cook to a crisp, deep brown on low heat. Remove the chiles to a clean plate. Next add the coriander seeds and sauté until fragrant and mildly brown in color. Remove the coriander seeds from the pan and allow to cool.
Step 3Keeping the temperature of the oil low, add the urad dal, chana dal, and sesame seeds, and cook until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from the kadhai and cool.
Step 4Add salt to the kadhai and sauté for about 30 seconds so the pan’s heat absorbs any moisture. Add salt to the other ingredients.
Step 5In a blender or food processor, blitz all the sautéed ingredients and the asafetida and jaggery, if using, to a coarse powder. Store in a clean glass jar for 3-4 months, ideally in the freezer to retain flavor. To serve, add a heaping teaspoon to your plate and mix with ghee or raw cold pressed sesame oil to pair with idli or dosa.