Dum Aloo – Baby Potatoes in a Spicy Gravy
‘Dum Aloo‘ is a very popular Indian side-dish made with Baby Potatoes (Aloo) cooked in a spicy onion-tomato gravy. ‘Dum’ refers to the process of cooking the veggies or meat or rice by using an air-tight lid or by closing the holes/gaps with some dough to avoid letting out any steam. What this does is, it lets the veggies/meat/rice cook in its own steam and breathe in all the beautiful flavors of the sauce.
My first introduction to this delicious dish was when my mom made it back then for a New Year celebration. I still remember how flavorful and tasty it was that it made me completely drool over it! You can never go wrong having Potatoes handy in the kitchen. I always do so because I use them for a number of dishes – Cabbage curry, Aloo Gobi, Tomato Bath to name a few.
Traditionally, for ‘Dum Aloo’ the baby potatoes are deep fried and then added to the gravy/sauce but I avoided that to make it as guilt-free as possible. The gravy is made with a onion and tomato base. I added some yogurt to give the sauce a tangy taste. This curry/side-dish is perfect with rotis, parathas, naan or even pulao or plain white rice!
Prep time + Cook time: 50 to 60 mins
- Aloo or Baby Potatoes – 8 or 9
- Onions – 1 large
- Tomatoes – 2 medium sized
- Yogurt – 3 heaped tsps
- Green Chillies – 4
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Cloves – 4
- Cinnamon stick – 1 long stick
- Cardamom – 1 or 2
- Turmeric powder – 3/4th tsp
- Red Chiili powder – 1n1/4th tsp
- Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1n1/2 tsp
- Coriander leaves/Cilantro – for garnish
1. In a deep dish with water, add about a tsp of salt and boil the un-peeled potatoes for about 10 to 12 mins. Drain all the water and peel the potatoes now. (The skin should come off easily now.)
2. In another dish or skillet, heat about 2 tsps of oil. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick and split-open cardamom pods. Saute for a couple of minutes. Now, add chopped onions and green chillies. Saute well for atleast 6 to 8 mins until the onions are translucent or palely brown. Now, add the spices – turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and salt. Saute for a couple of minutes.
3. At this time, chop/dice the tomatoes and add to the onion mixture. Let cook until the onions are soft and tender. Turn off the stove and let the mixture cool for at-least 5 mins.
4. In the meanwhile, take a pan and add about a tsp of oil and a pinch of turmeric powder. Add the potatoes and fry for a few minutes to get a nice golden color on the potatoes. You could also skip this step and instead follow the traditional method of deep frying the potatoes.
5. In a blender, take the onion-tomato mixture (be sure to leave out the cinnamon stick if it’s too hard for the blender) and blend into a smooth mixture. Add about 1/2 cup water and 3 heaped tsps of yogurt. Further blend for a minute or so. Empty the gravy back into the skillet.
6. Add, the fried baby potatoes to the gravy skillet. Cover with a air-tight lid or place a lid and seal off the gaps with some dough. Let the potatoes further cook in the gravy to take in all the flavors of the gravy. Kepp the stove on low-medium heat and let it simmer for 8 to 10 mins.
7. Remove the lid, check for salt and adjust if needed. Turn off the stove and empty the curry into a serving dish.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve this mouth-watering dish along side rotis (like I did), parathas or pulav.