Gun powder spice

Making gunpowder spice blend. Indian cooking wit Chillies

Gun powder spice mix

Gunpowder is a blend of finely ground rice, lentil and chickpea flour and spices.  Use it to sprinkle over foods to give them the “magic bullet” of spicing. They are a  favourite in South India, where the recipes are closely guarded secrets. . They are an everyday seasoning in many households, where they get sprinkled over many other foods, including Dosas ( pancake made from a fermented batter of rice, chickpea flour and Idlis (spicy rice cakes).  Another important use for gunpowder is to sprinkle it over rice that has ghee ( clarified butter) added to it

Gunpowder is a spicing that you will want to have as part of your Indian cooking arsenal. Where at all possible make it at home – for it to be at its best

To make the  gunpowder spice mix, you will need the following

Ingredients for the gunpowder spice mix

  • Black lentils ( Urad dal) – 170 grams
  • Split Chickpeas ( Chana dal) – two tablespoons
  • Idli rice – 85 grams
  • Black peppercorns – two teaspoons
  • Whole cinnamon – one stick
  • Dried Kashmiri Chillies – seven whole
  • Dried curry leaves – 15 whole
  • Green cardamom pods – three
  • Sesame seeds – one teaspoon

Salt – to personal preference

Making the Gunpowder spice mix

When making this spice blend, you will need o dry roast the ingredients to add flavour to the proteins, so that spices release their essential oils. Be careful whilst doing this. Keep the heat of the pan at medium heat and continue t shake whilst roasting to ensure heat is distributed evenly for even roasting.

  1. Place a large frying pan on a cooking plate on the stove, set to medium
  2. Add the lentils, rice and split chickpeas. Dry roast for two to three minutes. Remove from the pan and allow cooling.
  3. In the same pan, add the Kashmiri Chillies. Gently dry roast for 3o seconds.
  4. Remove from the pan and add to the roasted proteins and dried curry leaves. Mix together and allow the flavour to intermingle for about thirty minutes.
  5. Add the remaining ingredient  to the proteins, Kashmiri Chillies and Curry leave
  6. Place everything into a grinder or a pestle and mortar.
  7. Grind to a powder. It should be slightly coarse, rather than fine
  8. The place requires amount in a bowl or shaker for immediate use.
  9. Place balance in an airtight container
  10. Use as required.


Additional ingredients like garlic granules or dried coconut flakes can be added before grinding. Doing this will make another variation

Gunpowder is very good when added to cooked and stir-fried vegetables (e.g. brinjal)  in the same way as Chilli flakes might be used.  Also great on scrambled or boiled  eggs and, with cheese

Read more :    How Chillies are used in India