Jun 1, 2010

Gun Powder!

Now now now, don’t call the cops yet. I’m not doing anything illegal here.

All we are talking about here is Idli molaga podi, which all my friends fondly call Gun powder. Yes – it’s got the power and ammunition to fire up your plain old idli dinner!

This has traditionally been a great and perfect accompaniment for Idlis and even dosas. I don’t think I would have seen any South Indian household not have a box of this idli podi in their pantries. It’s a must have in the kitchen. And then there are some people like my husband who like to just eat this podi mixed with yogurt. Screams tambram…

And this was freshly made at home by none other than my wonderful mom! She’s visiting here and so for the next few weeks, you guys might see more posts on authentic recipes from her, unless I decide to cook for a change! LOL!

Getting on to the recipe, here are the ingredients and amounts you will need for the idli molaga podi

Dry Red Chillies – about 100 gms.
Toor Daal – 1 cup
Channa Daal – ½ cup
Urad Daal – ¼ cup
White Sesame seeds – ¼ cup
Hing powder (Asafoetida) – about ¼ tsp
Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
Vegetable or canola oil – 1 -2 tsp

Pluck all the stems from the red chillies and set aside.

You can mix all the daals together.

Heat up a clean and dry pan and add the sesame seeds in there. Fry until they turn a little golden and you see the oil coming out. The sesame seeds have to be dry roasted. Once they are roasted, remove from pan and set aside.

Don't these just look gorgoeus just by themselves?

Next, add about ½ tsp of oil to the pan and add all the daals mixed together. Add the asafoetida powder and salt to taste. Fry stirring continuously until the daals begin to get a nice golden brown color. Remove from pan and set aside.

This one's dizzy from all the roasting, I guess!

Now, add another ½ tsp of oil to the pan and throw in the red chillies. Fry for a few mins until the chillies start turning black. Remove from pan and set aside.

After everything has cooled down a little bit, its time to grind to a powder consistency. The only important thing to keep in mind is to not grind the sesame seeds along with everything else.

Mix the red chillies and the daals together well and start grinding them to a coarse powder consistency. If you have a big mixie jar, you can add them all together. The small jar works best but do grind in a couple of batches. Once all the red chillies and daals have been ground and done, then grind the sesame seeds separately. Grind the sesame seeds once again to a coarse powder consistency. Once everything is done, mix both the ground powders together. The reason you should not grind the sesame seeds along with the rest of the ingredients is that sometimes, the sesame seeds could make the powder a little bitter and also grinding the sesame seeds will release essential oils into the rest of the daals and that will give a strong smell later on to the powder. Hence, grind them separately and then mix together at the end. Store in a bottle and you can keep this for many weeks - but I can bet it will all be eaten up in a few days!

Thanks to my mom, we have an awesome tasting molaga podi at home. We had a party at home over the weekend, and my mom planned and made a whole batch of this so we can serve with idlis. But on the day of the party, we were all busy making small mini idlis, vada, sambar, two types of chutneys, we totally forgot to keep the podi out for the idlis. Dang. Now I have to do another idli party so my friends can freak out on just the molaga podi! I’m sure they won’t complain! And I’ll have another reason to party! (my bootcamp instructor sure will not be happy)

Here is my favorite recipe of idli fry with molaga podi. If you have any left over idlis, chop them into small pieces. Chop 1 onion into small bits. Heat a wide sauté pan and add a tsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add some green chillies and the onions and fry for a min. Then add the chopped left over idlis (they slice up nicely when they are refrigerated). Add a pinch of salt to taste and then add about 1-2 tsp of this idli molaga podi and mix well. Add another tsp of oil to the idlis. Cook for a couple of mins and then garnish with cilantro. Serve hot. Tastes amazing and you’ll be hooked – I guarantee!

Enjoy. Peace out!


  1. Oh wow today only I too prepared it.. Its really handy helper if idli batter is there.. This proportion of dhal powder is slightly different from What I do. I will try it out this next time. We never add toor dhal itself.. Thanks for sharing ur version dear.

  2. Ah..you meant this gun powder huh..phew..!!!Hehe.I love this one too and always stock up a bottle when I need some spice..I use only Urad dal though..this one sounds good!!

  3. Aaaaah, give me a bowl of rice, some ghee and some of your gun powder...and I'm fired away, from inside out! Boom! Boom! :)

  4. the pics look awesome in this post. my idea of gunpowder was different, btw. i thought its that andhra powder we have with rice and ghee.

  5. A very yummy and spicy looking gun powder. I love it :)

  6. gun powder the name itself really interesting mom used to prepare this kind of powder for idli but we r not using all dals..just urad dal ..very nicely explained ..good pics

  7. I can survive for many days with this fabulous podi, looks awesome..

  8. I prepare it in the same way .Love this with idly and sesame seed oil.

  9. Hi,
    It's really nice to have authentic masala recipes that you can prepare from scratch. I always prefer making my own to buying them.
    You have a fantastic blog-I have been following it for a while now. I have just started my blog too. Feel free to check it out at your own convenience: http://www.spicesavant.blogspot.com. Any feedback is welcome :)


  10. The first time when i heard Gun Powder I was shocked but after going thru the recipe the name does justices :)
    Love your clicks..very clean and clear!

  11. It sure looks very fiery but very inviting..:)

  12. I loved it ...it awesome as you said ...posted in my blog ..


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