Friday, 6 October 2017

Gunpowder Potatoes

Is this dish new to you too, folks?  How had I never heard of this before?  I finished a novel a couple of weeks ago, and the author thanked her editor, saying she would make her these potatoes.  So I hit ye old Google, and found a few variations.  I have mixed and matched to suit our tastes, and you can do the same.  Phew, the list of spices and flavours is huge, but it's actually very quick and simple to make.  

crush those little red devils:=)

I may have mentioned the story of my dad's curry before.  He forgot about it on the stove, and the curry was burnt; I mean seriously blackened to within an inch of its life.  Did this mean we poor children got out of eating it for dinner?  Uh uh, no indeedy.  We had to chow down on this lovely charcoaled dinner.  My lucky younger sister being a vego. got out of it tho:=)  So keep an eye on this one folks.  The spices can burn easily.

Serves 4 as a side dish:


600g. (or about 1.3lb) of small or baby potatoes, unpeeled

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/8 - 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

40g. butter

a slurp of olive oil

1 small red chilli (optional)

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin powder

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1/4 tsp sea or smoked salt flakes

1 medium tomato, chopped into small chunks

1/2-1 tsp raw sugar or palm sugar

a small handful (2 tbs) of coriander stalks, finely chopped

juice of half a lime

a big pinch of salt flakes

5 spring onions (scallions) finely chopped

a palmful of coriander leaves, roughly torn or chopped


Boil the potatoes till tender - mine took about 15 mins.

Drain well and set aside to cool and dry off

Dry roast the whole seeds and chilli flakes in a small, cast iron skillet, tossing all the while till you can smell the toasty aroma - be careful not to burn - this will only take a few minutes

When cooled down, throw this mix into a mortar and pestle or a flavour shaker and give it a good bash/shake - you don't want a fine powder; just everything nicely broken up

Melt the butter in a large skillet and add a slurp of olive oil

When sizzling, throw in the potatoes and cook for 5 mins. on a medium-low heat

Crush (gently) with a fork or masher and turn them over

Give them another few minutes till they start getting a golden crust

Push the potatoes to the side of the pan; add the roasted seeds to the middle - you may need a dash more oil or butter

Keep an eye on it while you stir, as it burns easily

Now add the chopped chilli, the dried spices and salt 

Add the tomato, sugar and coriander stalks; and do the stirring thang for a couple of mins.

 In goes the lime juice and a pinch of salt

Scatter over the spring onions and coriander leaves 

Serve with yoghurt 


I used Red Royale baby potatoes but use your fave.  I chopped a few biggies in half so they cooked at the same time

What is a slurp of oil, you may well ask?  2-3 tsp should do the trick

all the tasty ingredients gathered

dry roast the seeds and chilli flakes in a small, cast iron skillet

shake the seeds (this is my Jamie Oliver flavour shaker) 

crush the potatoes-gently

stir in the roasted whole spices 

squeeze in the lime juice 

chop up the spring onions and coriander leaves

and ... eat!

This is a fiery and spicy dish, so the yoghurt goes down a treat with it.  Serve with chicken, or a hunk of spicy baked salmon.

my Red Royale baby potato doodle


  1. Just wondering why that yummy-looking potato recipe has such an odd name! I love dishes that are spiced with dry spice and herbs but no liquid sauce.

    best... mae at

    1. hi Mae. i think the name is from all the herbs and spices. it goes off with a bang when you eat it:)

  2. Wow! there's a lot of flavor going on in this dish. I might have to wimp out and back off on the fiery spices or keep a large bowl of yoghurt or sour cream at the ready. The husband will love it.

    1. It was pretty darn hot Dee. the yoghurt really helped! :)

  3. Hi Sherry, this recipe is packed with flavours and I can see why they are called gunpowder potatoes! I thought I was the only person in the world with a Jamie Oliver flavour shaker! I do confess though that it is one of those things that sit in the cupboard, never used, I must prefer my pestle and mortar!


    1. hi Debbie
      i don't often use the shaker but it was perfect for this recipe. i do love its cute little white marble that does the shaking.. cheers S x

  4. These were very tasty. Spicy and chilli hot too - really amazing. Rather good. We used leftovers in a salad and they really pumped up the flavour.

  5. Sherry, this looks like my kinda dish! Potato and spice! Plus, I love the name!

  6. Oh these look delicious! I've never tried gunpowder potatoes before but they certainly sound very spicy. I can imagine that the yogurt is much-needed on the side! :-)

    1. Hi Louise
      They are spicy 🌶 and get your tastebuds zinging:)

  7. Ooh I really want to make these! I find with a lot of spicy dishes there are a lot of spices but they really work so well together! :D

    1. hi lorraine
      i do love a spicy dish! and goes so nicely with yoghurt..

  8. This dish sounds absolutely perfect!

  9. I'm so glad you shared the recipe Sherry, as I had not heard of it before. It certainly takes potatoes from ordinary to something special.

    1. hi karen
      thanks for dropping by my post:) Yep for sure, potatoes become amazing with all the spices. cheers S


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