COOKING FROM - Gunpowder: Explosive Flavors From Modern India




Add me to the fan club! This is like a delicious masala omelette in french toast form.

I wasn’t planning to make this this week, but then it was teatime on a lazy Saturday and I was starving and I had eggs, bread, and pico de gallo sitting around, so… :yum:

My bread was denser than brioche so I toasted it lightly to dry it out a bit to help absorption. Used up my ginger garlic paste yesterday so I just added done garlic powder. And a small spicy green chilli and a bit of extra minced red onion and plenty of cilantro to the pico.

The bread soaked up the egginess beautifully. I was thinking while I was pan-frying it that this may benefit from something for crispness, but when I ate it I dismissed the notion.

This is a delicious flavor-bomb, and pretty easy. I took some ketchup but decided I didn’t actually need an accompaniment, it’s fully flavored on its own.

I’ll add that it’s easy to veganize by using a paste of chickpea flour instead of eggs — we eat that version quite often at home (version of a bread pakoda).


It really is easy, and will be more so next time, since I now realize how it is more the idea of a recipe than one you need to follow precisely.


Adding the recipe (I thought it was in the Google books preview when I originally shared it, but they’ve blanked out a bunch of pages since)



This is a nice thoran.

Really tasty and very simple if you have even a few of the ingredients on hand.

Tempering of mustard seeds and urad dal, plus curry leaves (which I forgot) and green chilli. Plus cabbage, ginger, and grated coconut (I used frozen today, but have used desiccated in the past). Salt, sugar, lemon juice.



This is a nice dish, but I’m not sure I’d call it ghee roast. Anyway, good flavors.

Chicken is marinated with the spices for a while (I left the cut-up thighs for an hour, they call for 4 or overnight for the quail).

Per the recipe, the quail is cooked on its own until done. The onions are sautéed separately, then the quail is added and fried till fragrant.

I sautéed the onions, then added the chicken and let it all cook together (including the karipatta, which adds more flavor in the dish than as a garnish). Cooked till the chicken was cooked and the ghee had separated from the sauce.

I added more red chilli powder (they call for only 1/2 tsp and green chillies) but this could still have used more heat. I also skipped the cinnamon because I don’t like it enough to add that much, and it’s already in the garam masala).

Ate with the cabbage above, chapatis, and rice.

( I prefer ghee roast with chapatis or parathas, not dosa, which there is a recipe for as the accompaniment.)


This is going to be an expensive thread, the book, new, is $65 on Amazon, then there’s the ingredients and finally the trip to London to taste the real thing :joy:

Will probably order a used version for $20.


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Perhaps or will have it at a better price……I sometimes do better with those.

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As I mentioned upthread I think there’s something going on with the US versions – they used to be normally priced and the kindle book used to go on sale for $1-2. Maybe the UK publishers didn’t renew for the US or something?

I wouldn’t spend $$$$ – there are enough recipes available online (some linked above, others you can find the exact recipe name on EYB and do a search, or ask one of us with the book to send you). I’ve also got a list of links going that I’ll share soon.

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thanks, I don’t mind shelling out $20 for a used version, it’s nice to have the book with pretty pictures. One of the things I learned from bbq is that one needs to taste the food to really understand it. I smoked a lot of brisket but it wasn’t until I got out to the hill country shrines that I really understood it.

Is there a place in NYC that is cooking any of the dishes? starting to regret not getting there when we were in London…

A lot of these are home style dishes or street food that have been “elevated” for a restaurant setting by separating sauces and garnishes, and so on. But this book has a bunch of very accessible dishes / recipes like Dishoom (which also has a cookbook).

In nyc, you’d probably have to put stuff together from different places. Masalawala in Bk is trying to do this kind of thing (drawing from Bombay & Calcutta food mainly). The other Unapologetic places that also claim to be doing this also fall a bit short, except maybe Semma, which I’ve heard only good things about.

London is just at a different level still, because there are so many different young chefs and old restaurant groups hitting the high notes.


Some online recipes:


Rose Lychee Martini

Bow Barracks Gimlet

Saffron Martini

Mint and apple lassi



Paturi Macch

Masala Fish Cakes

Savory French Toast

Ghee Roast Pepper Quail

Grilled Cheese With Chutney WAPO

Grilled Cheese With Chutney

Aubergine Crispy Kale Salad

Mustard Malai Broccoli

Kashmiri Radish & Beetroot Pickle

Pickled Scallops with Cumin Cauliflower

Kolhapuri lamb shanks

Makhani Sauce

Gunpowder Spice Mix

Masala Chai Creme Brulee

Nagaland House Baby Pork Ribs

Maa’s Kashmiri Lamb Chops, Gunpowder Spice Blend, Kashmiri Radish & Beetroot Pickle, Mint Chutney

Tandoori chicken, Beet & radish pickles, Lamb chops, Chickpea sundal, Grilled garlic & black pepper shrimp, Mustard broccoli, Kashmiri hot sauce, Green chutney, Ribs with tamarind glaze, Roasted eggplant & crispy kale, Cucumber raita

Mustard Malai Broccoli, Makhani Sauce

Golda Chingri, Maa’s Lamb Chops, Mustard Malai Broccoli, Saffron Martini

Mustard broccoli, Makhani sauce, Bhuna aubergine and crispy kale salad, Kosbadi rabbit masala

Masala chai and ginger porridge, Kale and corn cakes, Grilled aubergine with lamb keema and pinenut kachumber, Mint and apple lassi

Achari venison kebab, Kashmiri dum aloo, Pumpkin with nilgiri sauce

Salli Par Eedu, Chickpea Pancakes, Kale & Corn Cakes, Market-Style Scrambled Eggs, Beef Gujiya, Aloo Gujiya


Thanks so much for your work putting all these links together!!


Thanks, I see a trip to Kalayustan’s in my future! Give a shout if you want to join and we can curry hill after.

When I get back, for sure. (If you want any esoteric ingredients, I’m taking orders.)

Np. I feel bad bec when we started talking about this book back in chowhound days, it was easily found on Amazon and very often on kindle sale for $1-2, which is when several of us bought it. Now it’s totally disappeared from US sources and priced crazily for what it is.

I’d encourage folks to go through the EYB index and copy-paste the recipe title of anything they’re interested in into Google or other search, adding Gunpowder and Baweja (just Gunpowder yields broader results, because it’s a popular South Indian spice powder).

There are a lot more recipes available out there; I only went through the ones I had bookmarked to see if the recipes were online, and many actually were.

Here’s the EYB recipe index:"Gunpowder"&sort=book_id%20desc


do we have a dishoom thread? the hardcover and kindle edition are available on amazon and libby has 5 copies available, so probably readily available whenever we want to cook.

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nothing comes to mind but as always, looking forward to eating vicariously through photos of your meals.

maybe we should organize an HO trip to Mumbai and you could be our cultural/culinary guide?

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Yep, that’s why I mentioned Dishoom.

If we have enough interest we can certainly start a thread for it.

I think I’m gonna start with dishoom rather than gunpowder, the recipes seem more geared to someone with my limited culinary skills.