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Dum aloo in a skillet garnished with cilantro next to a wooden spoon

Dum Aloo Recipe (Stovetop and Instant Pot)

Shweta Arora
Dum aloo is an exotic and popular North Indian curry made by simmering baby potatoes in a creamy onion tomato gravy flavored with the homemade spice mix. Here is how to make this Punjabi dum aloo recipe on a stovetop and Instant Pot.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lbs Baby potatoes 680gms, 20-25 mini baby potatoes
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida hing
  • 1 medium yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 4 medium roma tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced or 1.5 inch ginger piece
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced or 4-5 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi dry fenugreek leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tbsp cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp Oil for cooking and shallow frying
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp Salt adjust to taste

Whole spices (to grind):

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 7-8 peppercorns
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 mace
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 dry red chillies

Instructions
 

For the homemade dum aloo spice mix

  • In a pan dry roast the whole spices and allow them to cool completely. Grind the spices into powder. Keep aside. This spice mix can be made ahead of time and keeps fresh when stored airtight.

Boiling and Roasting the potatoes (optional)

  • Boiling and roasting potatoes is optional and recommended since it adds more flavor but instead, you can also directly peel the potatoes and add them to the gravy.
  • Pressure Cooker: Wash the potatoes and transfer them to a pressure cooker along with water (sufficient to cover them) and tsp of salt. Allow 1 whistle on medium flame and then switch off the heat.
  • Once the steam has escaped completely, open the lid and peel the skin off.
  • Stovetop: For cooking in a pot, add potatoes to boiling water and cook for 5 mins. Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 5 mins and then peel.
  • Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the potatoes until they get nice brown spots on 2 or more sides. Stir in between but not too frequently as that will help. They brown better.
  • Drain and remove on paper towel. Prick the potatoes with a fork in a couple of spots. Keep aside. This ensures when we add them to the curry, the masala will seep in the potatoes.
  • You can also core them and stuff them with dry fruits like raisins or cashews to make them richer. I'm not a big fan of that so I skip it.

To make dum aloo on the stovetop

  • In the pan 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.
  • Stir in the spice powder, mix well, and cook on low until the onions are slightly brown.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt, cover, and cook until the tomatoes are soft and juicy. Now switch off the heat.
  • Allow the mixture to cool, remove the bay leaf and then blend either in a blender or with a hand blender into a smooth paste.
  • In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp of butter and add the ground masala paste, turmeric powder, and Kashmiri red chili powder. Cook the masala until oil oozes from the sides.
  • In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Add the onion-tomato curry about 2-3 tablespoon to the yogurt and mix to combine.
  • Lower the heat, and add the whisked yogurt slowly mixing continuously until all is added and well combined. Mixing continuously to prevent the yogurt from separating. Simmer for 2 mins.
  • Add the peeled or fried potatoes. You can adjust the gravy consistency by adding ½ to 1 cup of water. Cover tightly and cook the potatoes on dum on low heat for about 7-10 mins.
  • Open the lid, stir once. Crush the Kasuri methi between palms and add it to the gravy along with the cream. Simmer again for 2-3 mins (adjust consistency if needed)
  • Finally, garnish with cilantro leaves and Dum aloo is ready! Serve hot with some rice, parathas or naan.

To make dum aloo in the Instant Pot

  • Start the Instant Pot to saute mode and once hot 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.
  • Stir in the spice powder, mix well, and cook on low until the onions are slightly brown.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt, cover, and cook until the tomatoes are soft and juicy. Now switch off the Instant pot.
  • Allow the mixture to cool, remove the bay leaf and then blend either in a blender or with a hand blender into a smooth paste.
  • Transfer the ground masala back to the pot with 1 tbsp of butter, turmeric powder, and Kashmiri red chili powder.
  • Add the fried or peeled potatoes along with ½ to 1 cup of water. Mix well.
  • Close the lid with the vent to the sealing position. Cook n manual (pressure cook) high for 5 mins followed by natural release or wait for 5 mins and then release steam manually. Open the lid.
  • In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Add the onion-tomato curry about 2-3 tablespoon to the yogurt and mix to combine.
  • Add the whisked yogurt slowly, mixing continuously until all is added and well combined. Mixing continuously will prevent the yogurt from separating.
  • Crush the Kasuri methi between palms and add it to the gravy along with the cream.
  • Start the Instant pot on saute mode, bring the curry to a boil, and simmer again for 2-3 mins (adjust consistency if needed) before turning off the pot.
  • Finally, garnish with cilantro leaves and Dum aloo is ready! Serve hot with some rice, parathas or naan.

Notes

Tips for best dum aloo recipe:
  • Do not over boil the potatoes as they will crumble during the cooking process. The intent of boiling is to partially cook the potatoes and finish cooking in the gravy. Also makes peeling skin easier.
  • Depending on the size of potatoes, cooking time may vary. 
  • Prick the potatoes with a fork in a couple of spots. Keep aside. This ensures when we add them to the curry, the masala will seep in the potatoes.
  • Roasting potatoes is optional and can be skipped if you are pressed for time but highly recommend it as adds more flavor.
  • Use the freshly ground homemade spice mix, it adds a great depth of flavor and elevates the taste. 
  • Kashmiri red chili powder gives this gravy a good color without making it too spicy
  • Along with yogurt and cream, add 10 cashews while sauteing the onions and tomatoes to make the curry even richer.
  • To make vegan dum aloo, swap the butter for oil and use a plant-based dairy-free yogurt and cashew paste instead of cream. 
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