Kothamalli vara podi (Spicy coriander powder) - Multi purpose powder for south indian dishes

Bored of usual sambar and rasam podi? How about stocking up kothamalli vara podi in your kitchen pantry. This is one of the underrated podi varieties. 

This is definitely a must have podi in kitchen. My mother in law always keeps this handy and  I got caught up with this habit now. Having podi's like this has made my mornings so much easy.  

This podi is so versatile it can be used in many recipes as a quick fix without compromising the taste,

  • For Arachuvitta sambhar - Make regular sambar with spice (half and half) from sambar powder and vara podi and add coconut to it :) so simple. You don't need festival to make it any more.
  • For brinjal rice / vaangi bath - Simply saute and fry brinjal to that add this podi. TADA, super easy brinjal rice.
  • This is used as Pitlai podi - boin pitlai veggie with tamarind and salt, to that add vara podi ground with coconut.
  • Add it to tamarind pulp with tomatoes and toor dal to make it mysore rasam
  • Add this any kari to increase the flavor. Does wonders for potato fry. 
  • My Personal favorite is to use in pulikaachal (tamarind rice), super yummy and delicious temple style puliyotharai ready in minutes.


  • Coriander Seeds - 1/4 cup loosely packed
  • Chana dal - little less than 1/4 cup
  • urad dal - 2 tbsp (optional - used mainly for pitlai recipe)
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • pepper corns - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 7 to 8
  • Coconut oil - 1 tsp


P.S - this pic is updated from video recipe :)

P.S - this pic is updated from video recipe :)

This only takes minutes to make this podi. It is basically sauteing and grinding. I make a batch with our usual sunday menu (Potato fry and arachuvitta sambhar) and save it for couple of weeks. 

Heat a coconut oil on medium heat and saute channa dal first, as lentil tends to take more time to roast so oil makes the process quicker. Then dry roast one by one. Leave it on the counter for couple of minutes, once it's cool down to room temperature grind it and store it a air tight container.


  • Make sure to saute one by one for beautiful flavor and evenly roasted spices
  • Saute until lentil is golden, coriander seeds releases aroma and changes color and red chilli puffs up.

Enjoy and Happy Prepping!