Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder)


Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder)

Spicy Accompaniments For Your Breakfast

Paruppu Podi or Gunpowder

Recipes fo Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder)

Making idlis is no rocket science but it needs the right accompaniments to make a holistic breakfast. Do not boycott the coconut chutney for the carbs. Our ancestors made the right combo and we should stick to that. Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder) is a match made in heaven. My first few memories of childhood are hazy but my taste buds still salivate when I think of the Gunpowder (because it is spicy) and rice that I ate as a kid. The only other neighbours in our street were a Brahmin family, Uncle was an RMP, aunty and their four daughters.

Nostalgic Food Memories

All of us siblings were usually found at their place at lunchtime. Aunty used to make us sit in a semi-circle. She would take a big plate with a huge mound of rice.  A generous drizzle of ghee over it and mix the yummiest Gunpowder (Kandi podi) in it and make round balls. From youngest to oldest we were all given one mudda ( a round morsel of rice). It used to be spicy and the ghee would neutralize the spice to make it appetizing and tasty.

After the podi rice it would be some pacchiddi (pickle); Fresh avvakaya (mango pickle) if it was summer or tomato in winter. Next would be some koora (vegetable)-bendakai (okra) fry or dondakai veppuddu (coccinia or gherkins), after which, a pulusu, pappu chaaru and finally curd rice with nimmakai pacchiddi (lemon pickle). This is the order in which each is mixed with rice and eaten. Everything tasted divine. It must have been the love she cooked it with. Those were the days. Sigh!!

Podi or Gunpowder

Podi idli

Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder)

Paruppu Podi (lentil powder):

The humble podi is nutritious, healthy and full of goodness. Dals are full of minerals and proteins. Curry leaves or karvepakku in Telugu and karripatta in Hindi is an aromatic leaf common in tropical lands. Almost every home in Andhra grows this plant as it is used extensively in cooking. I love the whiff of karveppakku( curry leaf) and I pluck a leaf and crush it in my fingers so that the aroma lingers. Curry leaves are a good source of Calcium, Energy, Proteins, iron, magnesium and Vitamin C.

I have noticed people, picking out the curry leaves while eating and putting them aside on their plates but I just love the leaves and chew them up as they are tasty and full of iron. I grow it in my backyard and make the podi out of fresh leaves


1 cup Tuvar dal (pigeon peas split and skinned)

½ Roasted chana dal(Bengal gram)

1 pod garlic

1 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

25 Red chillies

1/4th tsp Hing(Asafoetida)

Few Curry leaves

Rock Salt as required

1/4th tsp Oil

Karvepakku podi preparation


Firstly, heat the oil and roast the curry leaves.

Once they splutter, add the whole red chillies.

Next, the tuvar dal followed by jeera or cumin seeds.

When they turn golden brown add the roasted chana dal.

Lastly, add garlic, hing or asafoetida and add rock salt.

Finally, blend all the ingredients in the mixer into a coarse powder.

Store in an air-tight container and use it for a few weeks.

This podi is very delicious with hot steamed idli, and rice, spread liberally inside a plain dosa or a sweet potato stuffed dosa or a rolled paratha (flatbread).

podi idli with ghee

Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder)

Karveppakku podi or Curry leaves powder

Variation – You can prepare this podi without chana dal also and also make chana dal podi
Kavepakku Podi


Curry Leaves-2 cups (washed and dried)

Roasted Coriander seeds ½ cup

Dried and roasted red chillies 1 cup

Roasted cumin seeds 2 tbsp.

One ball of tamarind

1 tbsp oil

Rock salt to taste


Firstly, dry roast all the ingredients.

Next, sauté all in a little oil.

Now, blend in the mixer to a coarse consistency..Karvepakku Podi is now ready.

Consequently, transfer the podi into a dry airtight glass bottle.

Finally, serve it with steaming idlis or rice.

It needs no refrigeration and is good to store for a couple of months.

This podi goes extremely well with idli, dosa, egg dosa, sweet potato stuffed dosa

Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder) are accompaniments to many other dishes and it is always good to have homemade powders ready.

podi idli

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.’

Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder)
Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder)
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Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder)
Recipes for Kandi Podi | Karvepakku Podi (Gunpowder)
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Harjeet Kaur

Harjeet Kaur

My writing was limited to school essays and projects for my kids and out of the blue, my writing career began with writing articles for the magazine section of The Hindu. I had a weekend column in the newspaper which was well appreciated. Juggling my time between various jobs down the years and my writing, I have written content for fliers, brochures for colleges, speeches, social media content and also website content I love writing and I am open to writing on a plethora of topics. My blog has interesting insights into my life and travels, gardening, beauty, grooming, recipes, mental health and sustainability. I am a freelance content writer and the answer to all your content generation needs. I thrive on writing and content writing gets my adrenaline pumping. Stringing words and vocabulary is my passion as well as my bread and butter. Whether it is lifestyle content, ghostwriting, blogging, features, or articles, covers the whole gamut of writing that I can pen down. My writing has been much appreciated as it attracts, engrosses as well as captivates. I love to write on any interesting topic under the sun. Meeting new people and understanding what makes them tick is always enlightening. Communication is my strong point and I get across my thoughts right from the heart. An avid and dedicated blogger, my blog is valued by family and friends alike. My blog is ranked 14 in the Top 100 Lifestyle Blogs in India. I love to cook for family and friends and my secret ingredient- “love” is abundantly used in my cooking. It covers myriad interesting topics. I am a passionate home chef and am all for a healthy balanced diet with simple, easy-to-cook recipes. What I do is transform traditional recipes into gourmet by the turn of my ladle. Do read my blogs to know me better.

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Comments 28

  1. Kavita Singh says:

    I was salivating while reading the post, Idli and podi are match-made in heaven, I swear. I often wonder how these delicious food items bring back the best memories of us. The food cooked with love needs a beautiful post like this, I am definitely going to try this recipe soon 🙂

  2. I had been thinking of trying to make idli since last week. The recipes for Kandi Podi and Karvepakku Podi look good.

  3. Flavia Cutinho says:

    I like the different combo of idli, else for me its like the traditional idli sambar or chutney my version is butter fry kadak idli I relish them.

  4. Ruchi Verma says:

    I remember having gunpowder with idli in Bangalore, it tastes awesome. Thanks for the recipe, will try once and see how my family reacts.

  5. Neeta Kadam says:

    Being grown up with south Indian friend and so love this podi. I used to tell my friends bring extra for me in tiffin. Recipe is so simple. I am going to save it and will make it. Thank you Harjeet Mam, for sharing it.

  6. Honestly dear I did not heard about kandi podi before but seems they are great option to make idli and other south indian dishes tastier. it was good to read about your childhood memories. yes, childhood is best phase of life and we all miss those golden days.

  7. Varsh says:

    I love gunpowder sprinkled generously on idlis and dosas. It gives a lovely flavour. I’ve seen many recipes online but yours are both different. Will surely try them out.

  8. I really relish gunpowder with fried idlis but never really knew the recipe.Thanks for sharing , I am now going to make a big batch and keep it to be relished with left over idlis.

  9. Madhu Bindra says:

    It has been a long time since I made gunpowder at home and I will try out your recipe soon. Thank you for sharing it. I really enjoyed reading about your childhood memories.

  10. As a south Indian I love good south indian recipes and this one looks like a winner!

  11. Wow Harjeet, superb it looks and am sure it would taste delicious. I am going to try it tomorrow itself. Thank you for sharing this.

  12. I make podi powder at home and store. We love having podi idli. Your recipe is slightly different than what I make. I will try out your recipe. The picture of idli looks yum!

  13. Ritu Bindra says:

    I just love podi with my idlis. They are comfort food. I am definitely trying out your recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  14. sonu chouhan says:

    My husband loves this gun powder but being raised up in south i forgot what do we call it …as i didn’t liked it so didn’t knew name.He always asks me to get it for him.Thank for ua post .

  15. Brinda Vijay says:

    I love these recipes. One question when we add the Garlic doesn’t it make the podi go bad?

  16. Kaveri Chhetri says:

    Love your childhood story Harjeet… I was actually thinking i was one of those kids😀. For a Punjabi, you are quite good with the names of veggies n dishes… wow!
    I like podi with plain rice and ghee drizzled over.😋.. when I go to Andhra restaurants for meals… I pretty much survive on that as the other subjis I find too hot n spicy. I usually buy readymade podi but it is quite simple to make… thank you for the recipe, will try it.

  17. Abha Mondal says:

    Never thought of making gunpowder at home. This looks so delicious and the way you have written here about your childhood memories making me hungry.

  18. MeenalSonal says:

    The aroma of Gun powder over Idli is truly a blissful experience. Thanks for the detailed recipe and its alternatives too. And must say the ingredients collage is looking lovely.

  19. Swati Mathur says:

    Harjeetji I always buy ready-made podi . But your recipe looks so simple that I want to definitely try this at home. Thanks for sharing as everyone loves south Indian food in my house and this will come quite handy.

  20. These are staples at my place. We make big batches to send to relatives too. Thanks for the recipe

  21. Neha Sharma says:

    I remember the first time I tasted podi, it was in 2017 when we visited Kerala. Now, whenever we go to Shree Rathnam, we never forget to order podi idlis, these are even my son’s favorite. I will give this recipe a try, I hope I can do justice to it. Thanks for the recipe, Harjeet.

  22. I haven’t tried gun powder ,after reading your recipe. I am eager to try it out. It look easy and tasty.

  23. Noor Anand Chawla says:

    This gunpowder looks so inviting, I am licking my lips just looking at the pictures! Thank you for sharing the recipe, I would love to try this at home!

  24. Jyoti says:

    I have never about kandi podi before but seems they are great option to make idli and other south indian dishes tastier. Great to know about it

  25. I love Gunpowder but have never made it myself. I will try this recipe, probably with less chillies so that my daughter can also enjoy with dosas.

  26. Neelam says:

    Thank you so much!!! I was looking for this only

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