Paruppu Podi

I am all about the keeping the kitchen well-stocked with the pantry staples. My pantry shelves are adorned with a variety of ready-to-eat podis*, which are lifesavers during those lazy or sick days. If I am being absolutely honest, I could eat podi saadham in every meal! More than being merely convenient they are a delightful addition to a simple or elaborate meal.

Paruppu podi particularly is an in-house favourite. This South Indian classic is a combination of the delicately roasted lentils and fragrant spices. When savoured with a heaped spoon of paruppu podi mixed with hot rice and topped with a generous spoonful of ghee is comfort food at its best. Alternatively, if you prefer a vegan option, mix rice, paruppu podi and sesame oil.

I got this recipe from my father and he makes some really amazing podis. His paruppu podi recipe is a keeper!

* Podi, which literally means powder is a spice and lentil blend. It is consumed with rice and/or other delicacies such as idly, dosai, oothappam.

Makes: 2 cups


  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Roasted gram / pottu kadalai – 4 to 5 tblspn
  • Black pepper – 1 tspn
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tspn
  • Dry red chilli – 10
  • Curry leaves – 6 to 10 leaves, cleaned and dried
  • Salt – As required
  • Sesame oil / gingely oil – 1 tspn


  1. Heat oil in pan
  2. In low flame, roast the toor dal for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add roasted gram dal and roast both until you achieve a golden-brown colour. Keep stirring around while at it.
  4. Transfer the roasted lentils onto a clean, dry plate.
  5. Use the same pan to dry roast the remaining ingredients.
  6. In low flame, roast the cumin, curry leaves chillies and pepper.
  7. Roast until fragrant.
  8. Transfer them into another dry plate.
  9. Allow all the roasted ingredients to cool.
  10. Once cooled, grind all the ingredients in batches or at once with required salt.
  11. Grind until you achieve the desired texture. Some like it with a bit of crunch but I prefer a smooth podi.
  12. Savour the podi with hot rice and ghee or sesame oil.


  1. Adding garlic is another yummy variation. I usually add 5 to 7 cloves of fresh garlic, pan roasted, to the podi. I have even used store-bought garlic granules without roasting them while grinding the podi.
  2. Adjust spice levels to suit your taste.
  3. The podi stays fresh and fragrant in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.
  4. You could swap oil in the recipe for ghee.
  5. If you’d like to achieve a deep red colour, roast a few dry Kashmiri or byadagi chillies.


  1. Pingback: Thenga Podi - Kitchening About

  2. Suresh Ramanathan

    I can feel the aroma of paruppu podi here in Chennai.

  3. This is as good as it can get I suppose. The best paruppu podi ever!

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