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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Dum Aloo belongs to North Indian or more specifically Kashmiri cuisine. The potatoes, usually smaller ones, are first deep fried, then cooked slowly at low flame in yogurt based gravy with Indian spices.

Believe it or not I learned how to make this dish from my mom, when I was 12 years old. My mom did not like to make it with very rich gravy/sauce, so she omitted cashews, poppy seeds and whipping cream, which was fine.
However, if you want to give it some extra richness like they serve it in restaurants, you can add these ingredients (therefore I have marked them optional).

This recipes yields ~10 serving.


• 18-20 baby potatoes, if you don't have baby potatoes you can a cut each Idaho potato in three parts and peel/carve it to somewhat round shape (that is what I did) so then you would need about 6-7 large Idaho potatoes.

• Oil for frying potatoes

For gravy/sauce

• 6 Roma ripe tomatoes cut in to halves

• 1 medium sized red onion cut in four

• 2 yellow onions cut in four

• 1/4 cup roasted cashew paste (optional)

• 1 teaspoon roasted poppy seeds (optional)

• 1 two inch piece of fresh ginger

• 8-10 cloves of garlic

• 2-3 green chillies (serrano peppers or Jalapenos)

• 2 tablespoon of lemon/lime juice

• 1 cup of tomato puree from a can

• 2 cups of plain yogurt (1 16 oz container of Dannon plain yogurt would do)

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or ghee)

• 2 teaspoon of cumin seeds

• 2 dried red chillies pods

• ½ teaspoon peppercorns

• 2 small cinnamon sticks

• 2 green cardamoms pods (optional)

• 2 black cardamom pods

• 4 cloves

• 2-3 bay leaves

• 1/3 teaspoon Asefetida powder (caution very pungent)

• 1/4 cup coriander powder*

• 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder*

• 1 teaspoon garam masala (or all spice)*

• 1 table spoon of paprika powder*

• 1 tsp of turmeric powder•

• 1 tsp of cumin powder•

• 1 tsp of ground black pepper•

• Salt to taste

• 3/4 cup of hot water

• ½ cup whipping cream (optional)

• ¼ cup finely chopped coriander for garnish


Step 1 prepare potatoes:

• Peel the potatoes, prick all over with a fork and drop them the water with little salt as you are making the holes on entire surface of each potato.

• You can let them soak in water while you are preparing the spices and garlic ginger paste (step 2, see below).

• Drain all the water from potatoes.

• Dry the potatoes on a cloth.

• Heat the oil for frying the potatoes in fryer or deep frying pan.

• Deep fry the potatoes until golden brown.

• Drain the oil by placing the potatoes on newspaper stack with top layer of paper towel so the ink does not get on potatoes at the same time the oil is nicely soaked by newspaper. Set aside.

Step 2 prepare the garlic ginger paste and prepare onions and tomatoes for gravy/sauce

• In a food processor puree fresh tomatoes and mix the crushed tomatoes with canned tomato puree. Set aside.

• In the same food processor you can grind red and yellow onions to fine paste. Set aside.

• In a small grinder or food processor make paste of roasted cashews and poppy seeds to find consistency. Set aside.

• In the same grinder make ginger garlic and green chili paste with lemon/lime juice and set aside.

Step 3 prepare sauce/gravy:

• Mix all the powdered spices marked with * in plain yogurt.

• Heat the measured ghee or oil in a deep stainless steel pan.

• When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, pepper corn cloves, cardamom pods and red chili pods.

• When the cumin seeds crackle add asefetida and immediately followed by onion paste.

• Turn the heat down to medium and saute onion paste in for 3-4 min or until golden brown.

• Add roasted cashew/poppy seeds paste, saute for 1 min. (you can roast raw cashew and poppy seeds on a skillet before grinding them)

• Add ginger garlic and chili paste, cook for 1 min.

• Add the yogurt mixed with all dry spices.

• Mix well and Cook for 3-4 min.

• Add tomatoes puree.

• Cook for 10 min.

• Stir in salt.

• Add the potatoes and hot water and stir over a low heat for 5 minutes or to desired consistency of gravy.

• Lastly add whipping cream and mix well, take it off the stove.

• Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve hot with Naan, Chapati or over white Basmati Rice.

Recipe modified by Surekha from a recipe by her dearest mom Mrs. Kasturben.
Dum aloo description source:

Photographs by Surekha.

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