Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Indian Gun Powder Spice Mix

Blog's Category: My Successes, International,

Indian Gun Powder

Gun Powder is mix of Indian spices I come across when I was watching one of my favorite Indian cook videos at Youtube Vah Reh Vah channel. Originally, this powder is used with Indian idlis or dosas and called Milagai Podi. I've made it for a first time to accompany my idli I cooked not so long ago. Idli itself came out so-so but gun powder we were eating it with, made for a whole dish. Since then, I love my Gun Powder and have a small jar handy at the both of my "camps" - at work and at home. The best part - it can be sprinkled on top of any, already served, meal - it will bring it to another level of deliciousness.

For those who likes Indian cuisine and adores aroma of curry leaves this spice will be the # 1, "must have", magic wand that will come to the rescue when meal standing in front of you just "don't cut it".

Also if there would be such a thing as aroma-spice-therapy, this mix would win a highest rank too!

Making this spice mix will take about 30 minutes of your time, but outcoming product will bring months of enjoyment (and aroma therapy!) to you.

The most important ingredient of this spice, curry leaves, is a spice herb (leaf) that I discovered for myself a few years ago. Along with kaffir lime leaf (which deserves its own post!), curry leaf is one of the most valuable ingredients of Indian and oriental world of spices.

Besides being tasty, it is ...

- healthy ('s me one spice that is not healthy for you :))

- has very long shelf life (up to a year..possibly more)

- great rescue tool which will bring mediocre, bland or even "something wrong" meal to a pleasurably consumable one.

- can be used as aroma therapy - carefully sniff it to activate your positive "chakras". I say carefully because, blended into fine powder you may incidentally sniff to much (oh, yes, close your mouth while sniffing just not to inhale the stuff into your tracheas).

Taste Description
Besides sickly strong, extremely pleasant aroma, it has spiky and kicky taste. Somehow, being a "spicy" spice, this mix have that mild taste/flavor that you can feel on the back of your mouth long after you swallowed a bite. That's hard to explain, just make a mix, and, if you are "curry leaf" guy/pal which likes a little kick to his meal - you'll thank me! You are welcome!
How to Serve
Sprinkle on a top your food. I like to sprinkle it on everything that does not meet my standards of deliciousness - bland 7-grain pilaf that I had today for a lunch, or weird tasting mushrooms I cooked in a hurry for yesterday's dinner.

Indian Gun Powder

* I buy all ingredients below in Indian store. With this ingredient ratio you will end up with a medium-light spicy mix - just right for a western foodie who are not used to, but loves, Indian cuisine.
  • 5 small dry whole red chili peppers *
  • 1/2 cup dry uncooked rice
  • 1 cup chana dal
  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 1/4 cup whole black peppercorns
  • 20-30 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 pinches asafoetida powder (hing), optional

- You will need to cook ingredients below stirring them constantly all the time to ensure they will cook evenly until golden brown.

- First, on a dry skillet, on a medium-low heat, cook dry chili pepper until they become darker, for about 5-10 minutes. Do not forget to stir it all the time.
- Add chana dal and rice and cook, stirring, until chana dal becomes darker and rice will be light-beige.
- Add urad dal and peppercorn and cook, stirring, until urad dal becomes beige in color.

- Add curry leaves and cook stirring until leaves are completely dry and become more pale.

- Add asafoetida powder, stir couple time and take off the heat. Keep stirring for another minute or two to prevent burning.

- When your dal mix is cooled down completely, using blender, blend this mix, into semi-fine powder.

- Transfer gun powder into dry glass jar, tightly covered, and keep on your spice shelf for many months to come :) Enjoy!



Rice with gun powder - I can eat it on its own.

7-grain Kashi hot cereal is too bland without my gun powder. Along with instant miso soup, it made my tasty lunch today (see picture below)
I looove to eat avocado in its "undisturbed" form. Here, I scooped pieces of avocado on a top of pita, smudged with a parmesan spread. As avocado always require some kind of "zing" partner, gun powder sprinkled on a top, is exactly what this open-face sandwich was lacking. I've got my delicious breakfast sandwich!


- You can add sesame seeds to the mix but in this case you will shorten shelf life of your gun powder.
- If you are curry leaves lover - don't be shy on curry leaves!

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