Gun Powder, New Delhi – restaurant review
Often reffered as “the place where Delhi goes for food”, Gun Powder is beautifully located in an urban village, away from all the buzz of the city, so that you can enjoy an authentic Indian cuisine as well as a beautiful view.
Some time ago a friend of mine asked me what do I think about Indiand food. I gave him the answer in a glimpse, without even hesitating: “I don’t like it. It is too hot, too spicy, and it is just not my kind of food at all!”. Little did I knew then, and it had never crossed my mind that I would ever go to India, and further more I would end up being so inlove with indian food!
However, as nothing in this life is definitive, and the “never say never” saying is proving to get real in the most unexpected moments, here I am now: recently returned from India, with a luggage full of condiments, with my notepad full of recipes and notes on all the wonderful food I ate, and with some over-excited taste buds asking me franticly to give them a curry or a korma almost once a week, or at least some masala chai on weekends.
I will present you with a quick and easy vegetable curry recipe very soon (is a very simple and aromatic recipe which I love), but until then you are invited to sit confortably, get a cup of coffee or some tea, and enjoy my first restaurant review.
Gun Powder restaurant is situated in sothern part of Delhi, in the Hauz Khas Village – a nice little urban village, far away from the big busy old city. From the moment I stepped in Hauz Khas Village I had this lovely heart-warming feeling, and as I was walking through the streets, passing by small antique shops, art galleries and hand-made atteliers I knew that I had dicovered one of the most beautiful places in Delhi. This little village, with old buildings and narrow little streets filled with all kind of artists promoting their work, reminded me of Sighisoara (a lovely medieval city situated in Transilvania, Romania). What a beautiful place!
Seema Chandra (food editor at NDTV) described Gun Powder as the place where “Delhi goes for food”, and some other reviewers called this restaurant as “New Delhi’s hottest new eatery” – more than enough I said, to make me be determined to cross the entire city in order to get there. And I will never regret it: the breath-taking view from the lake-faced terrace, some warm december sunrays falling over the tables, kind and helpfull waiters and a great service have won me on the spot!
I started with a big glass of cold buttermilk, spiced with fresh lime and mint and just a little bit of salt and pepper. It was jut what I needed for me to get refreshed and be prepared for what was about to come.
As I had been in India for more than tree weeks now, I felt quite confident when I was reading the menu, so I ordered some tamarind rice and a vegetable korma. For the flat-bread I took some inspiration from a table next to me, asking the waiter to bring me “one of those beautiful flat-breads that those people are eating”, and as for the dessert I left it completely at his recommendation.
The rice… Oh, the rice was hot! Very hot! But nevertheless it was the best rice that I ever had! With whole dried chiles, black lentils, black beans, curry leaves, tamarind and turmeric and who knows what other spices that my still novice palate has not yet discovered! The truth is, every time I think of this I still feel that strong powerfull flavour. And trust me, I will not rest untill I will be able to recreate it!
And if the rice was hot (oh, sorry: very hot!), the vegetable korma was something different: crunchy diced carrots and potatoes, with green peas in a creamy, almost silky milk and cashew nut paste… I am still fascinated about how some carefully selected spices are able to transform a few banal ingredients (carrots, potatoes and green beans) in a dish filled with taste and personality!
As for the flat-bread, the “malabar paratha”… all I can say is that it was love at first sight: light, flaky, freshly-baked – what else could I have ever ask for? My first impression was that of an unfolded croissant pastry, and I think I was not too far away with my thinking, as later I found out that the dough is made with ghee. How did it turned out to be this light and almost silky is still a mistery for me, but I can only put it into the account of an extremely talented chef. I had tasted various types of paratha during my staying in India, but by all means this is by far the best I ever had.
The dessert was again a pleasant surprise – but then again, I didn’t expected to be any different, as everything I had before was excellent. Mattanga Pradhaman – this is a pumpkin and jaggery stewed in coconut milk with roasted raisins and cashew nuts. It was served warm, though I liked it better when it got colder (I was still under the spell of the tamarind rice though).
A delightful experience – this is how I would describe in just a few words my visit at the Gun Powder. Starting with an out-of-this-world location, continuing with a great view and culminating with an explosion of flavours carefully combined and prepared with a lot of care and maximum attention for detail – all these would make Gun Powder a place worth visting while in Delhi.
If you have made up your mind, see the coordinates below, and remember: book in advance as this place is really popular! 🙂