South India’s spice hero, this is the magic bullet for households where everything needs to be tasty.
Sprinkle a little Gunpowder on a dish and it instantly lifts it. It can be sprinkled over dosas to wonderful effect. It is awesome stirred into lentils or rice with a little oil or ghee. Try it as a dry dip for idlis and you’ll be happy you did.
Gunpowder Spice Mix
- ½ cup idli rice
- 6 ounces urad dal
- 2 tablespoons chana dal
- 7 whole dried Kashmiri chiles
- 15 dried curry leaves
- 2 teaspoons asafoetida
- 1 cinnamon stick
- seeds from 3 green cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- a pinch of sea salt
- Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the idli rice, urad dal, and chana dal and dry-roast for 2–3 minutes or until the mixture turns light brown in color. Transfer to a plate, spread out evenly and let sit to cool.
- Add the chiles to the same pan and dry-roast for 30 seconds.
- Remove the chiles from the pan and add to cool with the toasted rice and dal. Mix the dried curry leaves in, spread out the mixture evenly and let sit to cool for 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and grind in a spice or coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to a slightly coarse powder.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 6 months. Makes enough to fill a half-pint jar.