The two most impressive aspects of London’s Dishoom restaurant are the gunpowder potatoes and Rishi Anand, the former head chef who now is in charge of research and development. His full beard, penetrating eyes and warrior stature give way to a thoughtful, gentle countenance, as if years of training cooks had softened his edges.

After a revelatory lunch that featured an over-the-top black dal (which cooks for 24 hours and includes tomato, butter, garam masala, ginger and garlic), I went down to the kitchen, where Anand demonstrated his recipe for those gunpowder potatoes.

Here, the term “gunpowder” refers to a spice mix that has many variations. The version he uses is from Parsi cuisine and contains coarsely ground toasted cumin, coriander and fennel seeds with a finishing dusting of a “kabab masala,” which is made with fenugreek, chili powder, chaat masala and garam masala.

Anand started by parcooking new potatoes with their skins on. Next, they’re either grilled or broiled (he grilled them over a live gas flame), then split them open. The potatoes were mixed with the gunpowder spice mixture, along with butter, spring onions, cilantro and green chilies. He finished them with lime juice, flaky salt and a teaspoon or two of the kabab masala, and served them with a cooling yogurt raita.

Gunpowder potatoes are the ideal Milk Street recipe: a bit of crunch, a touch of herbiness, a dash of tang and a pop of heat, all married to a foundation of creamy potatoes.

For our adaptation, we pared down the ingredient list while maximizing flavor, and focused on getting deeply browned, crusty potatoes without a grill. We cooked our crushed spices in butter to bloom their flavor and flattened the parcooked potatoes before roasting them in a 500°F oven. And, in a nod to Dishoom’s kabab masala, we included fenugreek—an optional touch that adds a distinctive maple-like flavor.