Chef Aruna Vijay Shares South Indian Masala Recipes You Can Try
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Masalas are what give traditional Indian food their very essence. Without the right mixture of herbs and spices, the curries, sabzis, idlis, parathas, etc, would not have their usual finger-licking taste. However, in modern times, people have started to rely on branded store-bought masalas for mere convenience.

Unfortunately, the adulteration of spices always makes up the headlines and affects everyone’s health. In times like these, it is essential that you take out a few hours on a weekend, make the masalas at home, and store them for the rest of the month. To give you the best recipes that would taste just like the branded ones, Sluurrp interviewed chef Aruna Vijay.

Aruna Vijay has been a home cook for over fifteen years and was a finalist on Masterchef 2023. The chef says, “I read the articles about popular brands getting banned, and I am grateful to my mother for having the fool-proof masala recipes that my family and I have been using for ages. Honestly, it is a myth that making masalas at home would take up a lot of time and that they would not taste like the store-bought ones. The truth, however, is you can make better masalas that are preservative-free and take care of your health without compromising your health.”

Here are some of the most popular homemade South Indian masala recipes that you must try.

Sambar Masala Recipe

Sambar masala is one of the most frequently used mixes in households in Southern India and in many other parts of the country.


  1. Coriander seeds - 125 grams 
  2. Dry red chilli - 125 grams 
  3. Toor dal - 100 grams 
  4. Channa dal - 50 grams 
  5. Pepper - 25 grams 
  6. Methi - 12 grams 
  7. Raw Haldi - 25 grams


  1. Take a bowl, add in all the ingredients, and mix them well.
  2. Then sun dry them for a day, or you could also pan-roast them individually till they are aromatic.  
  3. Grind them into a fine powder, and your sambar masala will be ready
  4. Store it in an airtight container and use it without any stress.

Idli Podi Recipe

Idli is also the go-to healthy breakfast option across the globe. You can make the usual idlis savoury with podi masala and eat them as is or pair them with sambar.


  1. Channa dal - 1 cup
  2. Urad dal - 1 cup
  3. Pepper - 1/4 cup 
  4. Jeera - 1/4 cup 
  5. Dry red chillies - 3 cups 
  6. Curry leaves 
  7. Hing - 1 tablespoon 
  8. Salt - 1.5 tablespoons 
  9. Sesame seeds - 1/3 cup 
  10. Oil for roasting


  1. Take a pan, add in oil, and dry roast all the ingredients separately, one by one. 
  2. Then, let them cool down, grind them to a smooth powder, and sieve it to get a fine powder.
  3. Store it in an airtight container before the next use.

Rasam Masala Recipe

To add some depth to the classic South Indian rasam, you can make homemade rasam masala and add it to the dish.


  1. Coriander seeds - 1 cup  
  2. Cumin seeds - 2 tablespoons
  3. Black peppercorns - 1/4 cup 
  4. Dry red chillies - 15 - 20 
  5. Toor Dal - 1/3 cup 
  6. Chana dal - 2 tablespoons
  7. Turmeric stick broken - 1  
  8. Curry leaves - 2 sprigs


  1. Take a pan to add in all the ingredients, and dry roast them well till aromatic.
  2. Once cooled down, grind the mixture to a smooth powder.
  3. Store it in an airtight container.

Horse Gram Podi Recipe

Apart from adding a nutty profile to your food, homemade horse gram podi also has many health benefits that enhance your overall well-being.


  1. Horse gram - 1 cup 
  2. Channa dal - 1/4 cup 
  3. Urad dal - 1/4 cup
  4. Black pepper - 1 tablespoon 
  5. Dry red chillies - 10 to 12
  6. Sesame seeds - 2 tablespoons
  7. Salt - 2 teaspoons
  8. Hing - 1 teaspoon 
  9. Tamarind - small lemon size 
  10. Curry leaves - 1/4 cup
  11. Oil - 1 teaspoon


  1. Take a pan and roast horse gram, chana dal, and urad dal together with a teaspoon of oil till golden brown. 
  2. Then, roast the remaining ingredients till aromatic.
  3. Grind the mixture to a coarse powder.
  4. Store in an air-tight container.

Curry Leaves Podi Recipe

With this curry leaves podi recipe shared by chef Aruna Vijay, you would not need any spice mix from the market to enhance the taste of your homemade delicacies.


  1. Oil - 1 teaspoon 
  2. Channa dal - 1 tablespoon 
  3. Urad dal - 1 tablespoon 
  4. Dhaniya - 1 tablespoon 
  5. Jeera - 1 teaspoon
  6. Black pepper - 1 teaspoon 
  7. Dry red chilli - 5 
  8. Curry leaves - 1 cup loosely packed 
  9. Tamarind - small lemon size 
  10. Salt


  1. To make the podi, add in oil and roast on slow flame till aromatic, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook till the curry leaves are a little crispy. 
  2. Grind this into a fine powder and store it in an airtight container.

Drumstick Leaves Podi Recipe

With this easy recipe, you can add a pinch of drumstick leaves podi to your creations, ranging from morning smoothies to a soup or salad and amplify their taste and nutritional value.


  1. Oil - 1 teaspoon
  2. Channa dal - 1 tablespoon
  3. Urad dal - 1 tablespoon 
  4. Dhaniya - 1 tablespoon
  5. Jeera - 1 teaspoon
  6. Black pepper - 1 teaspoon
  7. Dry red chilli - 5
  8. Moringa leaves - 1.5 cups loosely packed 
  9. Tamarind - small lemon size 
  10. Hing - 1/2 teaspoon
  11. Salt


  1. Wash and dry the leaves completely.
  2. In a pan, add oil, channa dal, and urad dal, and saute till golden on a slow flame. 
  3. Then, add the remaining ingredients and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Finally, add the drumstick leaves and cook on a slow flame till they turn crispy. Just be a little patient; it will happen. 
  5. Grind it into a coarse powder, adding hing and salt.
  6. Store in an air-tight container.