Gunpowder is an old Portuguese house converted to house ‘People tree’ a creative boutique and out in the gardens, a funky styled seating under trees with creative spider webs with cloth designed flowers spun between them. Sit on old straight backed chairs right out of Grandma’s dining room or on cushioned cane chairs the open air ambiance appeals in a wayward sort of way.
Let’s talk food. Perhaps one of its kind in Goa. A simply smacking, mouth watering spiced experience. Preparations from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerela and a few from the Nawab city of Hyderabad- the chilies rule the cooking pot with the additional tempering thrown in. With a minimalist bar this season. order the starters to begin with. Soondal and spicy potato are the recommendations. The former is sort of ‘bhel styled’ with black gram, chopped onion, green chilies, grated coconut and lime juice. This is a Tamil styled preparation not too spicy and quite addictive. The potatoes are the chef’s own recipe but with the South Indian tempering. Small cubes of potatoes with the home special ‘tadka’ of cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper and curry leaves. It’s my guess and they have not even listed the ingredients on the menu will keep you guessing. Vegetarians could also find the mushroom black pepper stir fry an interesting option with the drinks. The non vegetarian option a definite ‘yes’ is the Andhra prawn masala shallow fried prawns in Andhra spices, the caramelized onions adding that touch of sweetness to the dish. Meat lovers would like to try the beef fry- a Kerala Christian styled black pepper and coconut spiced dish. One should remember that the meat is normally fried to a slight crisp and may appeal to some only.
Fish is something that this restaurant has worked its spiced magic on. Ask Manager Upendra Deolekar and he lists out the preparations- modsop in the Tamarind fish curry, mackerel fried with Kerala spices as is the pomfret, but besides seafood the mutton, pork is also recommended. First the fish the toddy shop meen curry. Yes this sweet and sour coconut paste curry is an excellent combo with the Malabar paratha. The crisp flaky bread when mixed with that curry.. Yes the thought is mouth watering too. For pork. the idukki pork curry from the high ranges of Kerala. The dark brown spiced gravy in which soft succulent pieces of pork..try that with an appam, or maybe even a dosai (which is more like the uttapam which we know of) mouth watering bliss. Uppendra recommends the Kerala Mutton curry. The on-the-bone mutton is soft, the gravy not too spicy, another preparation to be enjoyed with the parathas.
The food preparations live up to its name only here the after effects are mind blowing. Those who love spice will be visiting more. The desserts-semiya payasam and khumani-ka-meetha could be improved upon. The latter being stewed apricots with cream (the richness one expects from the Nawabs recipe) color and presentation needs working upon. But one must compliment the management is their steadfast belief in focusing on a ‘specialty’ cuisine and remaining steadfast to its consistency just a few months into operation. Don’t go there for lunch its hot and the food is ‘hot’ too. But dinner is something that one would definitely recommend. The South Indian peninsular kitchen has brought in a rich variety which we would definitely love to feast on. Have a blast!!Image Credits: Gunpowder Restaurant, by Gunpowder Goa