A Recipe for Dishoom’s Gunpowder Potatoes

Dishoom Gunpowder Potatoes

I’m shocked that Dishoom hasn’t set up shop in New York. This London institution serves some of the best Bombay-style Indian food in a romantic setting. The “Bombay Cafe” ambience is taken to the extreme so Dishoom feels almost like a themed restaurant, one you might find in Vegas hotel called “The Jewels of the British Empire.” But the food is off the charts good. So good I went back for seconds during my short stay in London.

There are spicy curries, the famous spice-rubbed lamb chops and delightful salads. There’s also an extensive breakfast menu if you fancy a delicious date porridge. At 4 pounds for a never-ending bowl it might be the best deal in London. That’s the thing about Dishoom, it’s actually affordable. With locations in King’s Cross, Shoreditch and Covent Garden they wouldn’t have a hard time charging double.

The drinks! My god the drinks! Get the house chai with every meal before 5 and after that go for an “Edwina’s Affair.” It’s one of those drinks that just about kills you. From the menu: The hush-hush love triangle of gin, rose and cardamom, in a secret garden of fresh mint, strewn with candied rose petals. Light, refreshing, captivating. 8.00. Obviously I’ll come up with a copycat recipe for that SOON. 

One of the simplest dishes on the menu was my favorite: the gunpowder potatoes. Small potatoes, grilled and rubbed in spices with fresh herbs. Simple enough but truly revolutionary all the same. There appears to be a recipe online for these spuds but it’s got a long list of spices I wasn’t ready to invest in, plus I don’t have a grill. I improvised a bit with a cast-iron skillet and whole coriander seeds. You’ll notice my method for crushing spices is a bit unconventional. But it works. Just fill a small plastic bag with whole spices and aggressively smash a large object on top of it repeatedly. No spice grinder necessary.

Dishoom Gunpowder Potatoes

Gunpowder Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients 

1 lb. small Yukon gold potatoes or fingerlings (about 10 potatoes)
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped scallions (about 3 whole scallions)
3 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dill seeds (you can leave these out if you can’t find them)
½ of a lime

Directions 

  1. Boil 6 cups of water in a medium size pot, add the potatoes and a pinch of salt and boil for about 30 minutes until fully cooked (even a little soft). Drain and set aside to dry.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast-iron skillet.
  3. Add the cooked potatoes and cook for 5 minutes on each side, mashing with a spoon once or twice so they get a nice char.
  4. Add the coriander, cumin and dill seeds to a plastic bag and use a heavy object like a jar of jam to smash them. You can also pulse in a spice grinder but you don’t want a fine powder, just to break up the pods.
  5. Add another tablespoon of butter and toast the spices in the center of the pan for two minutes. Add the chopped cilantro and scallions, a pinch of salt and stir. Squeeze the lime on top and serve the potatoes on their own or with greek yogurt and mint chutney.

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