January 04, 2021

Ellu Podi | Sesame seeds spice mix

Share with friends and family

 Winter is the time when sesame seeds are used in plenty in various parts of Northern India as it helps give warmth to the body . 

Not just Indian cuisine , sesame seeds and sesame seed oil are widely used and popular in other cuisines all over the world. Tahini which is a middle eastern delicacy is primarily made using toasted sesame seeds. Traditionally, the Japanese special Tempuras used to be fried in Sesame oil but now other oils are used for frying.

Makar Sankranti celebrations are incomplete without Til Chikki ,Til Ladoo / Til Gul  in the North and Ellu Bella in Karnataka and Andhra .

In Tamil Nadu , Sesame seed oil known as Nallennai is used as a part of daily cooking and most popular way to use Gingelly oil is to mix the Idli-Dosa molagapudi with a drizzle of Nallennai and dunk the idlis or dosas in this mixture and savor it to one's heart's content .

An aromatic and flavorful spice mix using til /sesame . Traditional ellu podi recipe which is vegan and gluten free .,nuvvula karram, ellu podi, yellu pudi, til masala, sesame seeds powder , sesame spice mix , how to make ellu saadham, how to make ellogre

This week when Mayuri ji suggested we share Sesame based recipes for the 279th FMBH challenge, I decided instantly that I must share this very flavorful Ellu Podi with you all in addition to the different variants of spice powders shared on my blog .
I love the crunch and nuttiness of til or sesame seeds in my food and try to use it as a garnish too in many recipes.  Mayuri ji's Honey chilli potato with a liberal garnish of sesame seeds looks totally lipsmacking and she has made the recipe so simple and easy . 

This aromatic Ellu podi can be used to flavor stir fries , spread it on rotis or bread and enjoy the nutty crunch and best is when mixed with gingelly oil and enjoy with crispy dosas or spongy idlis .
Always make this spice blend is small batches and try to consume it within a week, at times the sesame seeds tend to give out the oil if stored for a long time and the podi may turn rancid .

Pin it up for future 

An aromatic and flavorful spice mix using til /sesame . Traditional ellu podi recipe which is vegan and gluten free .,nuvvula karram, ellu podi, yellu pudi, til masala, sesame seeds powder , sesame spice mix , how to make ellu saadham, how to make ellogre

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Roasting time - 8 mins
Complexity - simple
Makes about 200 to 250 gms

1/2 cup udad dhall /black gram (deskinned)
1/2 cup channa dhall / bengal gram 
1/4 cup  white sesame seeds/til /ellu
6 to 7 dry red chillies
1 tsp pepper corns
Pinch of asafoetida (skip for GF)
1tsp Gingelly oil /cooking oil 
Salt to taste
Few curry leaves 

  • In a dry pan , first dry roast the sesame seeds until it starts popping and gives out a fragrant aroma . Remove it from the kadai and keep aside on a plate for cooling.  Be very vigilant as sesame seeds tend to burn fast .
  • Now heat about 1 tsp oil and fry the udad + channa dhall until crisp and golden brown , followed by red chillies , curry leaves and pepper corn.  Add some asafoetida/hing. Let the roasted ingredients cool down .
  • First blend the roasted  lentils and chilli with salt in a mixie jar until it is turned into a semi fine powder. The powder has to be a little coarse and not very fine.
  • Add the roasted sesame and give a quick pulse.Do not run the mixie for a long time as the sesame seeds will give out oil and the entire spice powder will become pasty 
  • Spread the spice powder on a plate and let it cool before bottling it up.
  • Always use a dry spoon to serve .
  • You can make delicious Ellu Saadham/Ellu Ogre / Sesame rice with this delicious podi . Recipe to prepare sesame Rice can be found here .


  1. Such a flavorful spice mix using sesame seeds and doesn't seem to fiery. The South Indian cuisine has so many different podi and guess families have their traditional varieties too. Will have to give this one a try.

  2. So its just like Podi right? love it with sesame seeds in it.

  3. The podi looks brilliant, Priya! Love the colour! The sesame seeds must have added such a beautiful taste to them. I'd love to try this out some time.

  4. I love the roasted sesame seed flavour. Will surely try this podi.

  5. Awesome and just right for the season. This til podi is just what the season demands. Love it .

  6. Loved this less spicy and flavorful podi with sesame seeds. You have really a great collection of podi recipes. I have to try all one by one.

  7. Ellu podi is so flavorful and delicious. These traditional recipes are such a keeper. Ellu Sadam is one of my most favourite dish. Podi looks absolutely brilliant!!

  8. Ellu podi looks very inviting with lovely presentation. Love pepper corn taste and gingelly oil aroma.

  9. We make flaxseeds and sesame dry chutney (as we call it) using sesame seeds.. I liked your sesame seeds podi with lentils and curry leaves and sesame oil must have enhanced the taste of it so much.. a wonderful accompaniment with dal rice or chillas and parathas or as you said will love it with toasted bread too .

  10. Ellu podi looks too tempting Priya. I exactly make the same way without pepper. Love my podi with gingely oil than ghee. Perfect and delicious combination.


If you feel your search for the recipe ends here and this blog has helped you with that,please do drop in a word / suggestion ,which will motivate me further to help you guys !!