Dum Aloo – Slow Cooked Spiced Potatoes

Sinfully Spicy Dum Aloo - Slow Cooked Spicy Potatoes001

I loved it when it was the potato harvest time at grandma’s house. Those few days when our maali ( gardener) pulled out the tubers from the soil, we were allowed to assist him. I remember that he used to water the garden a day before the D-day so that the plucking becomes easier. Next morning, exchanging chirpy conversations and knee-deep in the moist ground, we dug up aloo (potatoes) for hours. In the afternoon, just before lunch, mom gave us a bath in the house veranda, rubbing mud off our stained fingers, slathering petroleum jelly on them.

It was then time to rub off the flaky, paper thin skin off the dug up potatoes. She would soak them in seasoned water for a while and then use a tooth-brush to clean. Just a simple tempering of cumin or fenugreek seeds in mustard oil did the trick.

For weekend brunch it was dum aloo & triangle parathas along with mint- coriander chutney. 

I grew up eating dum aloo done with new baby potatoes. However, P does not like the taste of new potatoes. How weird? right? So, mostly I make it with the usual diced up white potatoes.Even though any kind will work here, for authentic taste, use new tots.

In hindi ‘ dum‘ refers to slow cooking. Here potatoes are slow cooked with spices and yogurt to make for a scrumptious curry. You will find a lot of dum aloo recipes in India, differing from region to region.In my family, every aunt’s recipe is different from mom’s. But still, all very delicious and comforting , after potato is another name for comfort in the culinary world!

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
  • 4-5 medium size white or red potatoes, washed ( or about 1 lb baby potatoes)
  • 3 cups of warm water + 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil ( or any oil)
  • 1 small tejpatta (indian bay leaf)
  • 1/2 ‘ dalchini stick (indian cinnamon)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 tsp hing powder (asafoetida)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli ( or cayanne, adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder ( this lends the beautiful color)
  • 3 tbsp plain, slightly sour yogurt, beaten
  • 2-3 medium roma tomatoes, finely chopped ( about 3/4 cup)
  • 1″ fresh ginger shoot,minced
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cup-3/4 cup water (depending on desired gravy consistency)
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped Cilantro for garnish

Coarsely grind together

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 1.5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds

Method 

Cut up the potatoes in half and in a large bowl, soak them in salted warm(not hot) water for 8-10 minutes. After soaking up, drain the water, peel off the skin (you can skip this for baby potatoes) and quarter them if you like.Using a kitchen towel or paper towel, dry up the potatoes. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat up the oil on medium heat. If using mustard oil, heat it up till its smoky to do away the raw smell. Lower the heat once oil is hot. Wait for 1-2 minutes. Add the tejpatta and cinnamon stick to the oil. Let crackle for 20-30 seconds.

Add the sliced onions and potatoes to the oil. Also add the hing. On medium – low heat, stir around the potatoes and onions and cook for 5-7 minutes.You will see that the onions begin to soften. Next add the coarsely ground spices to the pot along with chilli powders and turmeric. Stir and continue cooking on low for another 3-5 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, ginger & yogurt to the pot, stir everything and continue cooking on low heat. The potatoes will release their juices and you will see the gravy becoming watery, but do not worry.

After about 20-25 minutes ( this will depend on size and variety of potatoes, adjust accordingly), you will see that the potatoes have almost cooked, the gravy has a nice reddish color and thin oil bubbles have separated on the sides of the pot. At this point, add the water, sprinkle the garam maasala, cover the pot and let cook on low heat for another 8-10 minutes till the potatoes are totally cooked.

Let sit covered for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm.

Notes-

  1. Please avoid using starchy variety like russet potatoes here.
  2. The cooking time depends on the quality and the size of cut of potatoes, you need to adjust.
  3. You can substitute the whole spices with ready to use store bought ground spices.
  4. Indian dalchini (cinnamon) is quite sharp in taste, if using the usual ones, you can go ahead and use the whole stick for a pronounced taste. 

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

40 thoughts on “Dum Aloo – Slow Cooked Spiced Potatoes

  1. Lovely post! Dum Aloo is everyone’s favorite I believe and you’re right, the recipe is different in every household.. Love your version! 🙂

  2. Bookmarked! Just the kind of food my family like to eat.

  3. Deepa – Foodie + writer + fledgeling photographer = food blogger with a weakness for all things yum.
    Deepa on said:

    I love this dish!! Dum aloo is indeed one of those things that everyone has their own version of. Yours looks delish 🙂

  4. AnithaNayak – I love to - eat, cook, experiment, shoot, play, style, serve or anything else you can think of when you think of FOOD. This is my humble attempt to put these efforts into words and pictures & recipe's. Check out my food blog - http://kelipaan.wordpress.com/
    AnithaNayak on said:

    Lovely pictures as usual.. ! love dum aloo.. 🙂

  5. reggiorif – Locarno – I was born in the Italian part of Switzerland. When I was 15 I decided I wanted to continue my education elsewhere, from that moment on I lived in different places (a village called Villars near Lausanne, Bristol, Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan) for about 10 years before returning to my home village in Ticino. All the time, all that I saw and experienced made my interest in food and in history grow. Now that I not as nomad as I used to be, I find that my two subjects make me to travel in a different way.
    reggiorif on said:

    Really lovely! It took me some time to figure out all of the ingredients and their possible substitutes but now, I can go for it 😉

  6. It looks absolutely delicious. I dug up some potatoes few weeks ago and with that I dug up some memories too. It’s a coincidence that I posted a new potato recipe just few days ago on my blog. This weekend my MIL will make a dum aloo to go with Bengali luchi 🙂 I’ll try yours soon.

  7. malvikajaswal – Bangalore – Complusive reader of fiction, couch-potato per force, bathroom singer of the shrillest quality, dreamer, horrible painter, alrite cook, inconsistent baker, oscillatingly tempramental, veterinarian by profession, my father's daughter, eternally nostalgic and the lesser half of my marriage
    malvikajaswal on said:

    aloooooooooooo!! I want to go home!!!!!! I can’t even see what I am typing right now……..

  8. Lail | With A Spin – I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, a Tech management professional with one of the big four and now a blogger(www.withaspin.com). My outlook on life is elegant yet casual, Chic yet simple, Sophisticated yet fun. Originally from Bangladesh, a committed lover of family, creativity, and nature. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be hard to find the time to sit down or to just slow down for a minute to celebrate & enjoy daily life. I am starting this blog as a creative outlet and an expression of many things I enjoy in life: family, creativity, food. If you’re new at my space, www.withaspin.com, you can subscribe for free to With A Spin by RSS feed or via email subscription (see right menu bar on the Home Page) or follow me on Facebook(www.facebook.com/withaspin).
    Lail | With A Spin on said:

    Love aloo dum and agree it’s the best weekend food ever. Like you said there are many variations of the recipe. I use tamarind instead of yogurt in my version. Scrumptious photos.

      • Lail | With A Spin – I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, a Tech management professional with one of the big four and now a blogger(www.withaspin.com). My outlook on life is elegant yet casual, Chic yet simple, Sophisticated yet fun. Originally from Bangladesh, a committed lover of family, creativity, and nature. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be hard to find the time to sit down or to just slow down for a minute to celebrate & enjoy daily life. I am starting this blog as a creative outlet and an expression of many things I enjoy in life: family, creativity, food. If you’re new at my space, www.withaspin.com, you can subscribe for free to With A Spin by RSS feed or via email subscription (see right menu bar on the Home Page) or follow me on Facebook(www.facebook.com/withaspin).
        Lail | With A Spin on said:

        Coming up shortly on the blog. It’s one of my aunt’s recipe that is a family favorite and absolutely delicious.

  9. Shruti – Hi... I'm SJ! Not a professional chef or anything even related to that... It's just my passion to learn more n more in the kitchen!!! Love adapting recipes, mixing 'SJ Element' into it and taking it to a new level :) I'm a big-time food lover, but a break in professional career made me dig into culinary world much more than before! And I enjoyed this process of self-migration from being "Food Lover" to "Food Blogger" :)
    Shruti on said:

    Was trying to look for some specific recipe n got redirected to your lovely post!!!

    Visiting your space for the 1st time… n now will be a regular visitor 🙂 Happy to connect…

    Visit me @ http://www.cookingwithsj.com

  10. Hi Tanvi,

    Can we use slow cooker for this recipe? Can you update the recipe for a slow cooker?

      • Thank you. Do add some slow cooker recipes when you get a chance.

  11. Tanvi,

    By Ginger shoot you mean ordinary ginger root or anything different? I am going to soon try this.

  12. Tanvi,

    When you say let sit for one hour in the end – you mean in the lowest flame or just turn it off and let it sit on stove top? Thanks. Will be making this for dinner. Cant wait!

  13. I also have another question – except in places where you mentioned cover & cook – did you cook uncovered all along?

    I made this tonight. Me & my hubby both loved it. Thanks so much!

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  17. Hi Tanvi,

    Your bread looks so good. Reminding Dhaba days (Nostalgic!)

    Please post a recipe for that.

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  21. I am even more excited now to plant potatoes in the spring!!! ^-^
    Every time I will water them, I will think of this recipe :]

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