Gunpowder Potatoes

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: December 17, 2023

Last Updated: January 3rd, 20240 Comments on Gunpowder Potatoes

These crispy, spiced potatoes are banging! Gunpowder potatoes are an explosion of flavour. Crisp roasted potatoes are coated in a fragrant spice mix and tossed with fresh chillies, spring onion and cilantro. They might just be my most favourite potatoes ever!

A platter of Indian Gunpowder potatoes tossed in a spice mix and fresh spring onion, chillies and cilantro

Where to start with gunpowder potatoes? WOW! These little firecrackers pack a punch of flavour like no other. A festival of flavour, colour and texture. The perfect blend that lifts the humble potato to new heights.

I originally ate these at Dishoom restaurant - a tour de force of fine dining Indian food. The dish at the restaurant resembles the traditional Indian dish of Aloo Chaat (Chaat Potatoes), which are roasted or fried potatoes tossed with spices, tamarind and yoghurt.

My recipe adapts their recipe and creates a heady mix of spice and fresh chilli heat. They're spectacular as a side dish and pair well with grilled Indian meats/kebabs, salads and curries too. Once I start eating them, I find it pretty difficult to hold myself back. Be warned, Gunpowder Potatoes are serious addictive!

What's Ahead?

A platter of Indian Gunpowder potatoes tossed in a spice mix and fresh spring onion, chillies and cilantro

What are Gunpowder Potatoes?

These fiery potatoes get their name from the South Indian spice mix 'Molaga Podi', 'Milagai Podi' or 'Gunpowder Masala', a combination of chilli, chaat masala and other spices. It's used as a spice mix in dishes and also as a condiment to sprinkle over food like dosa, idli, uttapam and more.

Why they work!

They're just so tasty - I'm a fan of potatoes at the best of times without any seasonings, but this recipe is a serious injection of flavour. It brings the humble tattie from the background to the star of the show.

The ingredients for Indian Gunpowder Potatoes: Baby potatoes, oil, chillies, spring onion, cilantro, whole spices, curry leaves, ground spices and tamarind pulp

Stuff You'll Need

This recipe can be split into three flavour components; the potatoes, the ground spices and then the fresh elements. The recipe is open to your own interpretation too, so you can substitute wherever you think there's an opportunity for new flavour combinations. I've made some suggestions below too.

  • Potatoes - I use whole salad or baby potatoes. I try to keep them roughly universal in size as possible, but am not always successful (see pic below).
  • Spices - they come in whole and ground - they'll all eventually be ground to make spice mix that we'll toss through the potatoes. The spices include mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, chaat masala (more on that later) and paprika. There are are also fresh curry leaves and dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) added to the spice mix. What you'll end up with is packed with earthy, spiced flavour but no chilli heat.
  • Tamarind pulp - This brings a little sourness and helps the spices stick to the potatoes too. If you can't get hold of this, use the juice of a lime or lemon.
  • Fresh seasonings - To liven and freshen things up I add fragrant spring onions, fiery chillies and cilantro.
A baking sheet with baby potatoes

Step by Step

These gunpowder potatoes couldn't be easier. I stray from the Dishoom version here and call upon my trusted 'punched potatoes' recipe from South America. A sure fire way to create the creamiest, crispiest bundles of potato delight you're ever likely to taste! This cooking method is easy and fail safe. Here's how...

  1. Step 1 - Toss the potatoes in a little oil and roast whole in a 200ºC/400ºF oven for 30 minutes until soft. I use a paper towel to press down on each potato and flatten out slightly. I then drizzle over a little more oil and put back into the oven for 20 minutes. Lastly, I'll flip them and then change the oven to a broil/grill and grill the potatoes for a final 10 minutes to crisp them up a bit.
  2. Step 2 - Meanwhile, while that's happening, I lightly toast the whole spices and curry leaves until the mustard seeds start to pop around the pan. I tip them into a pestle and mortar and pound until broken up and semi-smooth. Then, I'll combine this with the rest of the spices and some salt and set aside.
  3. Step 3 - Now, I slice and chop the spring onions, chillies and cilantro and set aside.
  4. Step 4 - When the potatoes are crisp, I put them in a large bowl and pour over the tamarind and a little more oil then sprinkle in all the spice mix followed by the fresh stuff.

That's it! Serve them hot for the best results! They're great alongside grilled meats, fish and of course a good curry!

crushing whole spices and fresh curry leaves with a pestle and mortar.

Pro Tips

Potatoes, your way - You can cook the potatoes any way you like to get them the way you prefer. My recipe uses a roasting and smashing technique that delivers great texture. But there are so many ways to roast potatoes, so just do what makes you happy. Pre-blanch them, deep fry them - you'll still get the great flavour from the 'gunpowder podi' spice mix. Hell, why not even use this as a spice mix for potato fries?

A small bowl with a spoon containing Indian gunpowder spice mix.

Serving

Gunpowder potatoes are best served right away and hot. Being mixed with fresh ingredients means they don't reheat well, but they're still pretty tasty cooled down. My recommendation is straight from the oven though as that's when everything is at its prime.

Indian Gunpowder spice mix can be used in so many ways, here are a few more suggestions:

  • Seasoning Meat: It's great for seasoning meats like chicken, pork, or beef before grilling, roasting, or pan-searing. The mix adds depth of flavor and a spicy kick to the meat.
  • Marinades and Rubs: You can mix it with oil, vinegar, or yoghurt to create a marinade for meats or use it as a dry rub before cooking.
  • Enhancing Soups and Stews: Adding a couple of tsp of gunpowder spice mix can give a boost to soups and stews.
  • Flavouring Vegetables: Sprinkle it over different types roasted or grilled vegetables for an extra layer of flavour. Try over roasted cauliflower or Brussels sprouts!

Storage

  • Fridge - Store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days and eat cold.
  • Freezer - Not suitable for freezing - like I said, fresh is best!
Smashed potatoes on a baking sheet

Ready to get cooking?

My gunpowder spice is a wonderful and versatile addition to any cooking repertoire - an injection of flavour that's truly delicious.

This gunpowder potatoes recipe is one for the ages - I serve it regularly to great fanfare and applause - they always go down a storm and my guests are left fighting it out for the last potato! Be sure to try this simple recipe at home - I hope you enjoy!

A platter of Indian Gunpowder potatoes tossed in a spice mix and fresh spring onion, chillies and cilantro
A platter of Indian Gunpowder potatoes tossed in a spice mix and fresh spring onion, chillies and cilantro

Any Questions? (FAQ)

Have a question about Gunpowder Potatoes? Let me know in the comments.

What is Gunpowder spice?

Indian gunpowder spice, also known as "molaga podi or milagai podi," is a fiery South Indian spice blend. It typically includes roasted lentils, red chillies, and other spices, offering a kick to dishes.

What are the benefits of using gunpowder spice in cooking?

Gunpowder spice adds depth and heat to dishes. It's versatile, perfect for seasoning meats, enhancing vegetables, flavoring soups, and providing a zesty twist to various recipes.

This recipe uses affiliations and may receive a commission based on your activity (link clicks). Learn more.

 

A platter of Indian Gunpowder potatoes tossed in a spice mix and fresh spring onion, chillies and cilantro

Gunpowder Potatoes

Rate this recipe

5 from 4 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Save Recipe
Recipe by Lee
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 220

Ingredients

  • 1.1 lb baby potatoes around 500g
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the spice mix

Other ingredients

  • 4 spring onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 hot chillies thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp oil

Instructions

  • Preheat and oven to 200℃/400℉
  • Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and coat with 1 tbsp of the oil. Toss around to ensure they're fully coated. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Using a paper towel to protect your fingers, firmly press down on each potato to smash or flatten slightly pour the remaining 1 tbsp of oil evenly over the potatoes and roast for a further 20 minutes.
  • Flip the potatoes and change the oven to a hot broil/grill and grill for 10 minutes to crisp up. Turn off the heat.

Spice mix and garnishes (prepare while the potatoes are roasting)

  • Prepare the spice mix by dry roasting the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves until they dance around the pan. Tip into a pestle and mortar and pound into a semi smooth powder, but not too smooth. Combine with the chaat masala, kasoori methi, Kashmiri chilli powder and salt and set aside.
  • Chop the chillies, spring onion and cilantro and mix together then set aside.
  • Once the potatoes are crisped add them to a large bowl and pour in the 1 tbsp of oil and tamarind pulp. Gently toss to coat the potatoes then pour in all the spice mix. Lastly mix in the chillies, spring onion and cilantro and tip onto a large serving platter or bowl. Serve hot!!!

Notes

 
Gunpowder potatoes are at their best when served immediately and piping hot. Their blend with fresh ingredients doesn't fare well upon reheating, yet they maintain a decent taste when cooled. However, my top recommendation is straight from the oven as that's when they're at their peak.
Indian Gunpowder spice mix offers versatile uses. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Seasoning Meat: Ideal for seasoning meats like chicken, pork, or beef before grilling, roasting, or pan-searing. The mix adds depth of flavour and a spicy kick to the meat.
  • Marinades and Rubs: Blend it with oil, vinegar, or yoghurt for a meat marinade or use it as a dry rub before cooking.
  • Enhancing Soups and Stews: Enhance soups and stews with a couple of teaspoons of gunpowder spice mix for an added boost.
  • Flavouring Vegetables: Sprinkle it over various roasted or grilled vegetables for an additional layer of flavour. It's particularly delightful on roasted cauliflower or Brussels sprouts!

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal (11%) | Carbohydrates: 28g (9%) | Protein: 4g (8%) | Fat: 11g (17%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 599mg (26%) | Potassium: 676mg (19%) | Fiber: 4g (17%) | Sugar: 4g (4%) | Vitamin A: 523IU (10%) | Vitamin C: 109mg (132%) | Calcium: 49mg (5%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @CookEatWorld or tag #cookeatworld!