Chetna Makan’s podi potatoes

Podi is a southern Indian spice powder made with a blend of different lentils and spices. The recipe varies from region to region and from family to family. When I visited my friend Jayashree, she made this gorgeous potato dish. Making your own podi is worth the effort. This podi potatoes recipe is great served with naan, chapatti or some bread – it’s also amazing in a wrap or toastie, with chutney and salad on the side.

chetna makan podi potatoes
Image: Nassima Rothacker. Food styling: Sian Henley. Props styling: Morag Farquhar



1 tsp ghee
1 tbsp chana dal (split chickpeas, available from Sainsbury’s)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 dried red chillies


4 medium-sized boiled potatoes, cut into 2.5cm cubes
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils, available from
2 dried red chillies
pinch of asafoetida
10 fresh curry leaves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground turmeric
100ml water

1. Boil the potatoes, if you have not already done so.

2. To make the podi, heat the ghee in a small pan and add the chana dal. Cook on a very low heat for 2 minutes, until the dal begins to change colour. Add the coriander seeds and dried red chillies then cook for another minute only. Take the pan off the heat and crush the mixture to the consistency of a gritty paste, using a pestle and mortar.

3. For the potatoes, heat the ghee in another pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they are sizzling, add the chana dal and urad dal and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes, until they start to change colour. Add the dried red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves then cook for another few seconds.

4. Now add the salt, turmeric, water and the potatoes. Cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Uncover the pan, stir in the podi and fry on a high heat for 2 minutes to finish.

5. Store any podi potatoes leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat before serving.

Now buy Chetna’s brilliant book

chetna mayan healthy IndianOur recipes are from Chetna’s Healthy Indian Vegetarian by Chetna Makan, which is published by Mitchell Beazley, price £20. To order a copy go to