Thosai Podi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    280 g

Appears in

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

By Bree Hutchins

Published 2013

  • About

This dry-roasted ground spice mix is sprinkled on top of thosai and sometimes idli. This recipe was given to Bamini by her amma. It is one of the best things I have ever tasted and Bamini’s thosai would not be complete without it. Although it’s not traditional, I also like to sprinkle it on top of curries.


  • 320 g (11¼ oz/2⅔ cups) freshly scraped coconut*
  • 50 g ( oz/¼ cup) red rice*
  • 55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) whole black gram* (ulundu)
  • 15 dried long red chillies*, stalks removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 3 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • teaspoons salt


Heat a wok or large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and dry-roast the coconut for 7-8 minutes, stirring continuously, until the coconut is a dark golden brown. Set aside to cool. Dry-roast the red rice and black gram separately for 4 minutes each, and set aside to cool.

Using a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder), pound the red rice into a powder, then transfer to a large bowl. Pound the black gram into a coarse flour, then place in the bowl with the rice powder. Pound the dried chillies, fennel seeds, peppercorns and salt into a rough powder, similar in texture to chilli flakes, then place in the bowl. Add the roasted coconut and stir to combine. Store in an airtight container for 2-4 weeks.