Milagai podi or idli podi or chutney powder is commonly made in most south Indian families to serve along side breakfast dishes like idlis (steamed rice cakes) or dosas ( lentil crepes). This chutney powder can be made ahead and stored for several months in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, just mix some oil, preferably untoasted sesame oil and you will have the most flavorful, simple side ready to be eaten with your spongy idlis and papery dosas. The color of the powder depends on the type of red chilies used, so if yours is lighter or darker than the one in the picture, it is totally fine. Every family has its own version of this powder, some add garlic, some add sugar and some even add tamarind. But the most commonly made version has just four simple ingredients and it can be made in less than 30minutes.
1/2 cup Bengal gram/channa dal
1/2 cup Black gram/urad dal (split or whole, without skin)
15 dried red chilies (add more if you can handle the spice)
3 tablespoons untoasted white sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon powdered asafetida
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oil
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
2. Add Bengal gram and black gram and toast till the lentils turn golden brown. Set them aside.
3. Place red chilies in the same pan along with salt and powdered asafetida and dry roast for few minutes. Set it aside.
4. Add sesame seeds to the pan and toast until the seeds start to crackle.
5. Let the ingredients completely cool before processing it to a fine powder.