South India is home to unique flavors and textures in food. Using powders as cooking condiments is common around the world, but in South India, you actually get to eat powders with food. How cool is that! South Indian Gun powder is one such example. Also called Milagai Podi, South Indian gun powder is a popular South Indian spice blend. The name “Gunpowder” is often used colloquially due to the fiery, explosive flavor of the spice mix. It’s a blend of lentils, dried chillies, and various other spices, which, when ground together, resemble the texture and look of gunpowder. The heat or “explosion” of flavor one experiences when tasting it is another reason for the moniker.
South Indian gun powder or gun powder podi, is a coarse powder that is frequently mixed with ghee and eaten with meals. Milagai Thool, Sambar powder / Podi, Bisi Bele Bath Podi, Rasam Podi, and other types of Podi are also common in Tamil Nadu and South Indian cuisine. This podi is also commonly known as “idli podi” because it is eaten with idlis. When mixed with ghee, it’s the perfect idli condiment. This specific podi is called “gun powder” because of its almost cannonade level of heat, which comes from Guntur chilies. However, do not let the heat put you off; you can change the quantity of different ingredients to suit your own taste preferences. Follow this simple South Indian gun powder recipe and enjoy it with your favorite South Indian foods.
Ingredients for South Indian Gun Powder Recipe
The urad dal and chana dal are two types of pulses in this recipe. Roast them until they turn golden brown to bring out their nutty flavor. They also contribute to the crunchy texture of the gunpowder.
For this powder, grind sesame seeds along with the pulses. They provide a nutty taste and give a slight crunch to the gunpowder. The oil present in sesame seeds also adds to the aroma and flavor of the recipe.
Dry red chilies, turmeric, asafoetida, curry leaves, and salt are the main spices in this recipe. The dry red chilies give the gunpowder its signature heat and spiciness. Turmeric adds color and mild flavor to this powder. On the other hand, asafoetida adds a hint of bitterness to the dish and curry leaves add a distinct South Indian flavor to the recipe. Salt also enhances the taste of this powder.
Idli for serving
Idli is a traditional South Indian breakfast food made out of lentil and rice batter. Gunpowder compliments its taste and texture perfectly. It provides a soft and neutral base for the spicy gunpowder to truly bring out this powder’s flavor.
Step by Step Instructions For South Indian Gun Powder Recipe
First, heat a pan on medium heat and dry roast the urad dal until it turns golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Next, in the same pan, dry roast the sesame seeds until they turn golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Then, repeat the process with chana dal, until it also turns golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Subsequently, transfer the mixture to a blender or a mixer-grinder, and grind it into a coarse powder. Make sure not to over-grind the mixture, as the texture should be coarse.
Then, transfer the gunpowder to a glass jar and store it in a cool and dry place.
When serving, mix 3-4 tablespoons of ghee or sesame oil into the gun powder and mix well.
Finally, serve the gunpowder with idli or dosa.
Enjoy your homemade South Indian Gun Powder!
South Indian Gun Powder is a versatile condiment that you can use in a variety of ways to add a bold and spicy flavor to your dishes. First, you can served it with idli or dosa by sprinkling the gunpowder on top or mixing it with ghee or sesame oil. Secondly, you can use it as a seasoning for vegetables, curries, or rice dishes to add a spicy and flavorful kick. You can also mix it with yogurt to make a spicy and tangy dip or spread, or you can use it as a dry rub for meats or fish before grilling or roasting to infuse them with a delicious and aromatic flavor.
Storing South Indian Gun Powder properly is important to keep it fresh and flavorful for as long as possible. To ensure that your gun powder remains fresh, you can follow the steps below. First, transfer the gunpowder to a clean and dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid to prevent any moisture or air from entering. Secondly, make sure that the jar is completely dry before transferring the gunpowder into it, as even a small amount of moisture can cause the gunpowder to spoil. Thirdly, store the jar in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Fourthly, it’s crucial to keep the gunpowder away from any moisture or humidity, as this can cause it to clump or spoil. Finally, you can store the gun powder for up to 2-3 months, but it’s best to use it within the first month for maximum flavor and freshness.
Dosa Gunpowder has the same ingredients as regular Gunpowder – roasted lentils, sesame seeds, and spices – but with a coarser texture that is perfect for sprinkling on dosas.
To make Podi powder, dry roast lentils, sesame seeds, and spices, then grind them into a coarse powder before storing them in an airtight container.
Yes, Gunpowder is common in South Indian cuisine as a seasoning for various dishes like idlis, dosas, vegetables, and rice.
Gunpowder has a bold and spicy flavor with a nutty undertone from the roasted lentils and sesame seeds.
In moderation, Gunpowder can be a healthy addition to your diet. It is high in protein, fiber, and various minerals.
Gunpowder masala has the same ingredients as Gunpowder, but with the addition of coconut and/or peanuts for extra flavor and texture.
It is because of its texture, which resembles coarse gunpowder.
To use Gunpowder in dosa, sprinkle it on top of the dosa along with some ghee or oil before folding it. Alternatively, you can mix it with ghee or oil and use it as a dipping sauce.
Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.
I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
I created PaattisKitchen.com to memorialize the most delicious foods on earth. South Indian food is easy to make and hard to mess up. So pull up your sleeves, and come with me as we explore the vibrant spices, colors, aromas, and flavors of South Indian culinary tradition.