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See also: gun powder


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Etymology 1[edit]

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 terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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.”