As part of the ‘Kashmir to Kanyakumari’ event on KfB, where we are all sharing state specific Indian dishes this week, I thought of sharing an essential to complete every South Indian meal, the gunpowder chutney. I remember in my early days in Delhi, me and my cousin Anindita used to frequent Saravana Bhavan only for this chutney along with their quick lunch. And we kept asking for seconds of gunpowder, until they stopped serving it altogether. Back then we always thought we’ll never be able to make the same thing at home, and with a heavy heart I bore that notion for a long long time. Until I over-read a social conversation between my close friends Kaajal and Mona, in between which Mona’s ever helpful husband Badri shares the recipe for Gunpowder. It sounded so simple I did not believe it at first. Skeptically tried it out and have been on a roll ever since. So yes, this recipe is an aftermath of eavesdropping and am proud of Mona and Badri for initiating me on South Indian cooking! Here is the easy way of doing it.


  • Urad daal: 3/4 cup
  • Curry leaves: 1/2 cup
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Dried red chilly: 1 no, deseeded
  • Hing/Asafoetida: 1 pinch
  • Tamarind pulp: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste
Almost half way through


  • Heat oil in a pan, add hing and mustard seeds till they splutter
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir on medium heat till the daal becomes light brown in colour
  • Stir in the tamarind paste, check for seasoning
  • Remove from heat, grind in a motor grinder
  • Serve topped with ghee with idli/dosa/steamed rice
The finished product – mighty gunpowder

It may not look as red as the ones we find in stores; that’s probably because of the chilly one uses and also its quantity. This batch that I made last night is going to my mom and dad who love this chutney so much. It’s been a long long time since I have gifted them anything, so I sure hope they like it.

Packed and ready to go

kashmir kkri