I am a hardcore Punjabi but somehow we make a lot of South Indian breakfast and snacks at my home. I recently posted the recipe of Milagai Podi, which is also known as Gunpowder masala, and I thought I should share one of the ways we eat it at home! Here's a recipe that's super simple, yet has bold and complex flavours.

Basically, Podi or Gunpowder masala, as the name suggests is a fiery dry powder which is a blend of spices and lentils. It’s a popular southern Indian food condiment typically served as side dish with idli as a dipping condiment along with ghee or sesame oil. It's got a rich nutty and earthy flavour with a kick of spice, and the ghee adds a buttery coating on your palate.

I love serving this as a cocktail snack or starter, as I find this recipe to be one of the quickest way to impress your guests – it's so simple but no one will guess it just by tasting it!

To learn how to make the Gunpowder masala from scratch, click here!


YIELDS: 15 cocktail skewers

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOKING TIME: 20 minutes


For Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup Milagai podi

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp warm melted ghee

For Kebabs:

  • 1 cup ready idli batter

  • 2 onions, cut in 2cm pieces

  • 3 medium bell pepper (red, yellow and green) cut into 2cm pieces

  • Oil for grilling the skewers

Equipment needed:

  • Mini idli mould

  • Cocktail skewers


  1. To steam the idlis, take a large cooking pot/ steamer, or a large pressure cooker. Pour about 1 and a half cup of water, cover to let it boil.

  2. Meanwhile, brush mini idli mould with oil. Pour the batter in the mould, stack the plates in its stand and place it in the cooker. Cover and let it steam for 10 minutes on low flame.

  3. Remove stand from the steamer/ cooker, unmould the idlis with the help of a table knife. Keep aside.

  4. Thread the cocktail skewers with idlis, onions and colored bell peppers alternatively. Heat the griddle pan and brush it with little oil. Now grill the skewers on low heat, turn the sides to evenly roast. Grill until bell peppers and onions are roasted and slightly charred.