See also: gun powder


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Etymology 1Edit

gun +‎ powder


gunpowder (countable and uncountable, plural gunpowders)

  1. An explosive mixture of saltpetre (potassium nitrate), charcoal and sulphur; formerly used in gunnery but now mostly used in fireworks.
  2. Short for gunpowder tea.
Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Possibly due to its smell resembling gunpowder during the British Raj.[1]


gunpowder (uncountable)

  1. (India, informal) Idli podi/milagai podi; ground-up dry spices mixed with oil and ghee and served alongside idli or dosa.
    • 1989, Bombay: The City Magazine, page 26:
      Some restaurants try and give their dosas the "ethnic" touch by slipping along a small dish of mulaga podi-gunpowder mixed with oil as well, but that isn't always enough.
    • 2015 June 12, Priyadarshini Nandy, “South India's Spice Hero: How to Make the Famous Gunpowder”, in NDTV[1]:
      It was a hardcore Andhra lunch from a restaurant famous for its lunch meals. And that is where I had my first run-in with 'gunpowder'. And to be honest, I hated it.
    • 2020 May 27, Pooja Pillai, “The Back Burner: Homemade molagapodi is easier than you think”, in The Indian Express[2]:
      In fact, I’ve long suspected that the popularity of gunpowder or molagapodi outside South India has little to do with the burst of flavours it serves.


  1. ^ Atul Kochhar (2008) Benares: Michelin Starred Cooking, page 29: “It got its name because it apparently smells similar to the gunpowder used in rifles during the Raj.”