Dum Aloo is an exotic and popular North Indian gravy dish. This recipe requires simmering the baby potatoes in its gravy for hours on low flame. This dish can be served with Rice/Naan/roti/Indian bread of choice.
"Dum" is a process of cooking the contents of a pot (usually handi or similar) on low flame for hours. Traditionally this pot is sealed with dough which helps trapping the steam inside and using it to cook the food. This process imparts an amazing flavor to the dish. Dum cooking is widely used in making Biryani.
There are many variations of this recipe but today am sharing my version of this recipe. I partially cook the potatoes first by boiling them (makes peeling the skin easier) and then shallow frying them (gives a nice texture and flavor). These are then simmered for hours in the rich aromatic gravy allowing these potatoes to absorb all the flavors. I haven't used the dough sealing process (as mentioned above para) but used a lid instead. Also I prefer to use yogurt for this dish while some recipes call for cream or cashew paste. A word of caution when the whole spice powder hits your hot pan your home is going to be filled with this mouthwatering aroma which your family for sure wont be able to resist.
The number of steps mentioned for this recipe may deter you from making it but honestly it doesn't take that much time. Infact you can make some initial preparations in advance like roasting and grinding the whole spices, boiling and shallow frying the potatoes and/or even making the onion tomato masala a day before and storing these in refrigerator.Then on the next day just mix everything and you have an exotic recipe ready to please your family/guests.
Now to the recipe...
Baby potatoes (1.5lbs or 680gms)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 medium sized onion roughly chopped
4 medium sized tomatoes roughly chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 cup of curd/yogurt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tbsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped for garnishing
Oil for cooking and shallow frying
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
Whole spices (to grind):
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
2-3 green cardamoms
In a vessel/pan dry roast the whole spices and allow them to cool completely before grinding them to powder. Keep aside.
Wash the potatoes and transfer them to a pressure cooker along water (sufficient to cover them) and tsp of salt. Allow 1-2 whistles on medium flame and then switch off the gas. Once the steam has escaped completely, open the lid and peel the skin off. Now heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the potatoes until they get a nice brown spots on 2 or more sides. Drain and remove on paper towel. Prick the potatoes with a fork at couple of spots. Keep aside.
In the vessel (I generally use the same one in which we roasted the spices) heat oil and add bay leaf, asafoetida and the onions and saute till onions are translucent. Now add the ginger garlic paste and mix well. Cook till the raw garlic smell disappears. The add the spice powder, mix well and cook on low until the onions are slightly brown. Now add the tomatoes and salt, give it a good mix and cover and cook until the tomatoes are soft an juicy. Now switch off the gas. Allow the mixture to cool and then grind it into a smooth paste.
In the same vessel, heat 1 tbsp of butter and add the ground masala paste to it. Add turmeric powder, and kashmiri red chilli powder. Let the masala cook until oil oozes from the sides. Now lower the heat and add the yogurt slowly and keep mixing until well combined. Simmer for 2 mins before adding the fried potatoes. You can adjust the gravy consistency by adding 1-2 cups of water. Turn the heat on low and simmer the potatoes with the gravy for about 2-4 hours. Crush the kasuri methi between palms and add it to the gravy. Finally garnish with coriander leaves.
- I have used baby potatoes for this recipe but you can even use regular potatoes. In which case make sure to slice them in bigger chunks to avoid them from crumbling during the slow cooking process.
- I prefer to peel the skin off the potatoes but if you don't mind eating potatoes with skin on, you could directly shallow fry the potatoes and simmer them in the gravy tad bit longer since we haven't par boiled them.
- Kashmiri red chilli powder gives this gravy a good color without making it too spicy, but regular red chilli powder can be used too incase you dont have the Kashmiri one. Just use it to taste.
That's it, our aromatic and exotic Dum Aloo is ready, Serve it hot with a side of Rice/Naan/Indian bread of choice. Enjoy!!