Black Gunpowder

This dried black chutney, sometimes called pudi, is an incredibly versatile condiment. At Tiffin Asha in Portland, Oregon, chef Elizabeth Golay serves a trio of black, white and red “gunpowders” that range from mild to face-numbingly hot. Sprinkle this lovely toasty one over fried eggs, mix with sesame oil and use as a dip for bread or as a topping for roasted vegetables.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 1 cup

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  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds

  • 2 tablespoons whole urad dal (see Note)

  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds

  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium skillet, toast the sesame seeds over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

  2. In the skillet, toast the dal over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until lightly browned, 
2 minutes. Add the peppercorns and the mustard, cumin and nigella seeds and toast until the seeds start to pop, 
2 minutes. Add the poppy seeds and toast for 30 seconds. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor, add the salt and pulse until finely ground. Add the sesame seeds and pulse until incorporated. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Make Ahead

The gunpowder can be refrigerated for up to 3 months.


Urad dal is a tiny, skin-on black lentil. Find it at and

Contributed By Photo © Marcus Nilsson Published January 2017

1097527 recipes/black-gunpowder 2016-12-07T17:04:47+00:00 Elizabeth Golay january-2017 recipes,black-gunpowder 1097527

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