Healthy Molagapodi / South Indian Spiced Lentil Powder

Healthy Molagapodi / South Indian Spiced Lentil Powder – A healthier version of the famous Idli Podi or Gunpowder with superfoods like melon, pumpkin and flax seeds

Healthy Molagapodi / South Indian Spiced Lentil Powder

Healthy Molagapodi / Healthy South Indian Spiced Lentil Powder

Molagapodi or Gunpowder is that flavor bomb which is a must have in all South Indian homes. Since making a coconut chutney every morning is time consuming, also many folks limit their consumption of coconut and hence the molagapodi comes in extremely handy. Loved by both kids and adults, this spicy lentil powder when combined with few healthy ingredients – namely Superfoods like Pumpkin Seeds, Melon Seeds and Flax Seeds, turn your breakfast into an even more healthier option.

When it comes to Molagapodi, Idlis certainly are the perfect breakfast to pair with. Podi Idlis with ghee or nalla ennai – the sesame oil is what most of our childhood breakfast or lunch box treat to school was. All our friends looked forward to home made idlis and even today, they do!

Healthy Molagapodi 6.jpg

Podi though needs the oil / ghee combination absolutely, I end up adding dry podi to many breakfast options like upma, semiya upma (vermicelli), idli dhokla and uttapam too. Couple of years ago, I visited Madurai and experienced savouring the Madurai Murugan Idli Shop’s famous Podi Ghee Uttapam. Boy Oh Boy! I cannot describe the explosion of flavours but when I think of podis, I am transported to that lovely experience. Do read about it on the Travel Section – Madurai Diaries.

Podi Idli is the number one choice amongst South Indians travelling – Abroad or within the 200 km radius too. My parents included. A dabba of podi ennai and idli along with lemon rice or puliyogare rice (tamarind) and curd rice, these souls never believed in eating a burger or wada pav when travelling, unlike us.

Healthy Molagapodi 7.jpg

The podi has a long shelf life. I store it in a tight box with lid in a cool place but you can always store it in the refrigerator too, especially if you are making a very big batch. My batches are usually small and they last a month, max. Since we are Tam Brahms, addition of garlic is avoided. Every family has a unique recipe for the podi, the quantity of the lentils vary, there are few additions and deletions but it is something, South Indians cannot live without. That and Thayir Sadam, ofcourse!

I make a batch of fresh molagapodi every month and when it was time for me to make them this month, I thought why not turn this healthy too like most of my recipes. I added a whole lot of ingredients and frankly I wasn’t very sure how it would turn out after the roasting and grinding. The first lick off spoon and I was reaffirmed with the belief – healthy food certainly tastes good, which is something I always endorse via my posts.

I made idlis the very next morning which my husband adores and thought of serving the idlis smeared with the podis. Of course, the oil I have used is very less. My mother would have gone the full length and drizzled a tblsp or more atleast and damn it tastes delicious. Narayan likes the combination of Idli podi and thayir mixed with sugar whereas I eat them with the podis. I don’t prefer idlis with chutney, I need something spicy and the podi satisfies that completely. Chutneys are reserved for upmas and dosas in my case.

Healthy Molagapodi 2.jpg

Just a few days ago, I played a fun guessing game on my Facebook page asking everyone to guess the ingredients of this podi and only a fellow blogger Priya Mahesh could come up with the right answer.

I urge you to try this podi and I bet, you will never ever go back to making the quintessential podi mix again. It is that addictive and mind you, my husband did not even realise until I told him it has all the seeds. A tip here – While making for kids, go easy on the chillies.

PS – Do try the idli recipe from the blog that I have been meaning to update with better pictures but I assure you it’s a fool proof recipe, tried and tested by many with fantastic results in the very first attempt.

Recipe for the Healthy Molagapodi / Spiced dry Lentil Powder with healthy ingredients

Time taken – 30 mins

Serving depends on the cup you use for measuring ingredients.


  1. 1 1/2 cups of Urad Dal
  2. 1 cup of chana Dal
  3. 1 cup of Black Sesame seeds
  4. 1 cup of Flax seeds
  5. 1 cup of Melon seeds
  6. 1 cup of Pumpkin seeds
  7. 10 nos. Red chillies
  8. Few drops of sesame oil for roasting
  9. Hing or asafetida a very generous pinch
  10. Salt as per taste


  1. Heat a pan or kadhai and dry roast each ingredient with just a drop of oil separately.
  2. Empty all the contents in a large plate and allow it to completely cool
  3. Grind them in a mixer grinder with hing and salt.
  4. Allow it to cool, transfer into an airtight container and use as required.


Recipe Notes –

  • Don’t over roast the seeds. They have to be slightly brown that’s all (as you can see from the pic)
  • Ensure low heat during roasting of all ingredients. They should be golden brown in colour and not turn dark.
  • I have used pondy chillies as they are spicy. You may use a variety that is suitable to your taste and preference.
  • I have used the kallu uppu or rock salt for grinding as I do for all my podis.
  • The texture of the podi is slightly coarse in nature, have kept it that way to ensure there is a bite when eating.
  • I have used black sesame seeds as I love the aroma and the dark colour it lends to the podi, you may use white ones too, won’t affect the taste.

Vidya Narayan

Views: 9570

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 74 Comments

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Haha.. Safe and Delicious I may add! Thanks so much.

  1. Nandita Gupta

    Love the colour and I absolutely love podi as a side dish. Ever since I have been introduced to podi, which I still buy from the market ( wailing), I put it on everything.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Haha, podis are actually super tempting as they elevate a simple dish with the spice kick. Thanks so much and I hope I have motivated you enough with the pics and post to try the podi at home now. ha ha ..

  2. Rita

    will surely give a try…..

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Please do and thanks.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Indeed and thanks

  3. PS

    Great and healthy Idea!! Beautiful texture and color.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much

  4. Ever since my husband and I have had medical issues, we have swapped over to healthier seeds. I make pumpkin seed one separate and the flax seed one separate. Next month, I am going to do it your way. I love this recipe.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Seeds are great snack, I have been snacking on roasted seeds and almonds since few years now and the results on health are awesome. I hope you love this recipe, do let me know how it turned out. Thank you dear.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      thank you so much

  5. Priya Suresh

    Have prepared already idly podi with flaxseeds but adding melon seeds and pumpkin seeds sounds absolutely interesting and very tempting.. Cant wait to give a try to this healthy lentil powder.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Please do, Priya! We loved it at home. Thank you dear.

  6. Sandhya

    This is tasty bhi aur healthy bhi! I could finish all your podi in one shot…too good! That shot with the podi smeared over idli is torturing me 😉

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Haha.. You are like me then, Sandhya! Podi fanatics we are both. I love all kinds of podis, the ones for breakast and the lentil podis for rice too. Wish I could serve you piping hot podi idlis right away!

      1. Sandhya

        I am on my way Vidya for those hot idlis….and the podi of course.:)

      2. Vidya Narayan

        Please be my guest!!

  7. I am salivating here over your super yummy spiced dry lentil powder. So well explained & e it so easy to prepare it at home following your instructions. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      My pleasure Jolly. Thank you.

  8. geetha priyanka

    I totally agree with you Vidya, our breakfast like idli, dosa is incomplete without molagapodi. I am impressed with your idea of using flaxseeds, melon seeds and pumpkin seeds to turn it into a healthy yet tasty dish.Kudos for your innovative idea.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much Geetha for your kind words.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Idli smeared with podi cannot ever get boring for us South Indians! Thank you dear.

  9. Ruchisvegkitchen

    Wow Vidya , what a healthy and tempting share. Molagapodi is the most favourite podi at home. Definitely will try your recipe next time. So unique and great ingredients , you use . Thanks a lot for sharing my dear.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      My pleasure entirely Ruchi and do let me know how you liked the podi, once you try it at home. Thank you so much.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much

  10. Geetanjali Tung

    Molgapodi with Idli is always a favorite of mine. But this one sounds healthy and delicious! Love the idea of adding pumpkin seeds, melon seeds and flax seeds to it. . . lovely share!!!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much Geetanjali, glad you liked the healthy twist.

  11. Malini

    Molgapodi is a life saving ready made powder at my home. My sister can finish the entire bottle within a week. We can never get enough of this. I haven’t tried to prepare this myself. I always depend on my mother, when it comes to making podi for idli, sambar and rasam. I loved the way, you made it more healthy with flax, pumpkin and melon seeds. I must share this with my mom. I loved your photography dear.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Haha .. Absolutely, once the podi is fresh, the day it is ground, I eat it with anything and everything. Glad you liked the healthy twist to the podi, thank you so much for all the kind words Malini!

  12. mayurisjikoni

    A few months ago made podi for the first time and loved the spicy powder as its so versatile not only to serve with South Indian food but any other cuisine. Love your healthy molagapodi…book marking it. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      My pleasure and nothing beats the flavour of home ground podis. The aroma is unbeatable.

  13. Poonam Bachhav

    I am drooling over that idli pic smeared with podi Vidya ! I also prefer making chutneys in small batches as I find them more flavorful and aromatic when fresh. Love this podi recipe with all the healthy ingredients and seeds . Thanks for the share

    1. Vidya Narayan

      My pleasure and I wish I can treat you some day to this and many more south indian dishes. Thanks so much

  14. Annapurnaz

    I had made this podi once and remember how versatile it was. It enhanced the flavor of everything in whichever thing I used be it rice, idli, uttapam or even plain chapati. With the addition of seeds you have given it a healthier touch

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks so much and I agree this simple podi elevates the taste greatly.

  15. code2cook

    my husband loves gun powder so much with idli and on dosa. if waiter forgets to apply or to give seperately. He will specially ask for it. Looks like I got a recipe. Looking awesome that idli.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks so much!

  16. jayashreetrao

    This version of podi looks so delish, liked the addition of flax seed and pumpkin. I am tempted to try this now.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Do try, Thanks so much!

  17. Jagruti Dhanecha

    I yet to introduce podi in my house as I have not much knowledge about this dish, but now I have looked your recipe I am so intrigued and excited to try it out. Such a beautiful colour podi and love the ingredients you have used.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks so much.

  18. Lathiya

    I’m literally drooling over that Idli podi smeared idli..Making idli podi in home is my long time wish..your recipe have given some healthy options with flax seeds and melon seeds…will try this

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Ha ha .. Do try Lathi, you would love it

  19. InspiresN

    Great share Vidya, I love that you use flax seeds , melon and pumpkin seeds .Will definitely try this out.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Do try this, you wont go back to the original version. Trust me, I have already done with 2 batches

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much Ketaki. Shall check out your site soon. Cheers!

  20. Vidhu

    Made a huge batch of this podi and my kids are having it with everything. It is healthy as it can be had without oil and has goodness of seeds. Pumpkin seeds help in your sleep as well. Thanku Vidya

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Delighted to know your family loves this podi and yes, this tastes good minus the oil too which is a huge plus right? Thanks a ton for your feedback.

  21. Saguren

    This looks delicious, going to give it a try this weekend.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      so good to hear that and awaiting feedback! Thanks a ton

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you and appreciate it.

  22. Nandini

    Where do you get the melon seeds? Any specific kind? Thanks. Nandini

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hi Nandini, You can source it at any supermarket or dry fruit mart. Alternatively, you can order from Amazon too.

  23. Bhanu

    I tried this recipe and the molagapodi is very delicious…and healthy too. ?

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Many thanks for your feedback and glad to know you liked it. Cheers Bhanu!

  24. Samana Mustafa

    Do you wash and soak your Dal’s and dry them before roasting?

    1. Vidya Narayan

      No. These are directly roasted, just as how you use it for tadka or tempering.

  25. Sripriya Balasubramanian

    After I came to know abt this healthy Podi, I just gave a try . My kids tasted for first time (as they don’t eat spicy items ) but this Podi changed them when I made this with less chilies . They eat Idli n Dosa with Podi only nothing else! Am not going back to my old version of the molgaipodi I used to make ! I bring Idlies my colleagues , they now specifically ask for this Podi and not chutneys anymore ! Thanks so much Vidya!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      I have to sincerely thank you for posting such an amazing feedback which clearly took me to seventh heaven! I am so glad you loved this podi and that your kids enjoyed it thoroughly as well. Appreciate all your kind words, honestly! God bless and Romba Nanri!

  26. Shalini

    I was so happy to come across this podi recipe/ version; we were running out and I did not want to wait 6 weeks until after my hubby would travel back from India (and honestly, he messed up the last trip and bought really bad podi. I didn’t want to give him another opportunity 😉 ). Even though I did not have the additional seeds in the listed ingredients, I went ahead with what I had. I added a handful of roasted peanuts instead. It tasted fine with it, but I will skip it next time. Adding rock salt was a great tip. I will definitely stock up black til and the seeds for my next batch. We are big consumers of gunpowder (my son will eat a whole katori of it by himself) and I am glad I can now make it at home. Thanks, Vidya!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Shalini, so kind of you to provide your lovely feedback and I am so happy. Would recommend skipping the peanuts next time as it won’t blend well with the other ingredients. You can make this podi with just available seeds in your pantry. That is the beauty of the recipe, it would still turn out so well. Super glad and thank you once again, hope you enjoy making this again. Cheers!

  27. Shivani Desai

    Hi Vidya,

    Do you wash the dals before roasting them? Will it impact the texture of podi if i wash them?

    Have been scrolling through your blog. It is so well written and with such immense details. Kuddos to you!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hey Shivani, Firstly thank you for your kind words and glad you find the posts useful with the details. Regarding your query, for Podis, we don’t wash the lentils at all neither are they soaked etc. It has to be directly used and should be dry. That is how its done traditionally. Hope this helps.

  28. Usha

    I enjoy reading your recipes, yet to try one. In Karnataka we also do the podi but we also add tamarind, it is called Chatny podi and tastes like chatny if you add yogurt.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you for the faith in my recipes. I would love to know more about the Karnataka podi you are talking about, the chutney does sound yum with the yogurt. Is it like pachadi?

  29. Anuja it necessary to add pumpkin seeds, flax seeds? Are these ingredients added traditionally in gun powder? Also, from where we can get good quality dried red chillies?

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Hello Anuja,

      No, it is not necessary to add the seeds. Traditionally they are not added either. I add them because they are a great way to consume them. As regards chillies, since I am based in India, my local grocer is my go-to guy. You can also check out online for suitable alternatives. Hope this helps.

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