The Gunpowder Recipe

Molahai podi/Molagai podi/Idli Karam Podi /Gunpowder spice - Lentil spice mix


Visit any "authentic and unanglicised" South Indian household and 80% chance that you will get Dosai / Idli with molahai podi, or what we commonly know as Chutney powder or Gun Powder. I like the term Gun Powder more. In response to one of my recent status updates on FB (facebook for the uninitiated) a few weeks back, "Idli with gunpowder for breakfast - yummy and heavenly", got lot of queries and responses, ranging from outright envy to queries on what this is about. And above all that, a lady requested me to put up a recipe for Idli and the Gunpowder. Referred by some as molagai podi or gun powder, this potent spice, lentil mix is drool worthy as a paste with oil / ghee or sprinkled over curds. I also like it with my ghee rice - with green chilli (bengali style).

Below are two recipes - one for dosa / uthapas and other for idlis. However, one option can suffice both "applications"!!


Molahai Podi

Urad dhal - 1 cup
Channa dhal - 1/2 cup
White sesame seeds - A handful [Optional]
Jaggery or brown sugar - 1 tbsp [Optional]
Red chillies - 10-12 [May be varied depending upon the chilli factor preferred]
Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp

Idli Karam Podi

½ cup Urad dal
½ cup Chana dal
6 dried red chillies
6 black pepper
1 teaspoon of each - cumin, coriander seeds, mustard seeds
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
Small piece of tamarind (optional)


In a shallow pan, add a couple of drops of oil and roast the urad dhal, channa dhal separately. Set aside. Dry roast the other ingredients. Set aside.
Add few more drops of oil, add asafoetida, then red chillies and roast. Set aside.
When all ingredients are cooled, dry grind the mix to a coarse mixture. Store airtight.

Serve mixed with ghee (tastes better and healthier option than using any oil).


The jaggery/brown sugar and sesame seeds are optional. White sesame seeds can be replaced with black ones.


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