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
1/4 cup Milagai podi
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp warm melted ghee
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
Mini idli mould
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.
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.
Remove stand from the steamer/ cooker, unmould the idlis with the help of a table knife. Keep aside.
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.
While the idli skewers are grilling, prepare the marinade. Pour Milagai podi powder, salt, lemon and ghee in a small bowl and mix together. Brush the marinade over the grilled skewers and serve it with coconut or tomato chutney.
Pour just enough water in the steaming vessel where it’s not touching the idli mould. It should be just below the bottom tray of the mould.
If you do not have the podi masala already prepared, you can always make these with sambar masala powder if you have one in your pantry. To prepare milagai podi powder, follow the recipe of Milagai Podi on the website under the breakfast category.
To prepare idli batter at home soak 1 part urad dal and 3 parts of idli rice along with one part of poha and half a tsp of fenugreek seeds for 4-6 hours. Drain water from soaked rice and dal and reserve. In a grinder mixer, add the drained rice and dal mix, adding little reserved water from soaked rice and grind it to a smooth paste. If you find the batter thick add little more water. Cover the batter with a lid and leave it to ferment for 6-8 hours or overnight. Once fermented add little salt and it’s ready to make the idli.
To make this dish vegan, replace ghee with sesame oil.