March 21, 2014

Dum Aloo (Golden fried potatoes simmered in spiced yogurt)

You are a a projection of your parents - I believe this is so true in every sense...How you behave, your food preferences, your lifestyle, how you dress, your spirituality everything that constitutes "you" is almost always directly proportional to your parents and upbringing. This might be a crazy notion but I was recently left pondering about my cooking style and how dishes that come out of my kitchen are so much like my mom's! Even though we hail from southern India, my mom always tries her hand at a variety of north Indian and international recipes. 

My dad served the Indian Air Force and was posted at various states across India and hence my mom had friends from various regional backgrounds, which did influence her cooking style.

I still remember her making Dum Aloo that was finger licking good and my sister and I used to love it. When my sister heard that I had made this dish last week she immediately went and bought some baby potatoes and cooked some for her family. The recipe here is similar to my mom's but I have adapted some tips from Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe in which he grinds dry red chillies to impart a beautiful color and flavor to this dish. Garlic is not typically used in Dum Aloo but my mom used to add it and I have also followed suit here because I love the flavor. This dish also works out equally well without it so feel free to opt out of this step. 

Another special ingredient that I have used here is Black Cardamom which has a completely different flavor profile compared to its green counterpart. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes. Its smoky flavor and aroma are derived from traditional methods of drying over open flames and I just love it in  north Indian dishes. If you haven't used this before I highly recommend it. 

This dish derives its name from the technique used to cook it. Dum refers to the traditional way of slow cooking in sealed dishes to retain the quality of spices and the aroma from them. Aloo is nothing but potatoes in Hindi (India's national language)

The potatoes are deep fried to a nice golden color and then simmered in a deliciously spiced yogurt gravy. This is a truly addictive dish - mark my words!!! ;)
Ok- without further ado I present to you gorgeous Dum Aloo

1.5 pounds (680 grams) - Baby potatoes
5 - Kashmiri dry red chilly
3 Clove - Garlic
2 Cups - Yogurt
3 Teaspoon - Fennel Powder/ Saunf
1 Teaspoon - Dry Ginger Powder
1/4 Teaspoon - Black cardamon powder
1/2 Teaspoon - Cumin powder
1 Teaspoon - Paprika or Kashmiri chilly powder (optional)
1/8 Tsp - Asafetida
1 Tablespoon - Ghee
1/2 Teaspoon - Garam Masala
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying the potatoes
To Garnish
Cilantro/ Coriander Leaves
Slivered almonds

Serves 4-6
  • Wash the baby potatoes and cook them in the pressure cooker just for a few minutes. Make sure not to overcook them otherwise they will not retain their shape during further cooking
  • Peal the potatoes sprinkle some salt and keep them aside
  • Take a wok/kadai and heat the oil for deep frying the potatoes.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the potatoes and fry them until they are golden brown.
  • Add the dry red chilly and garlic in a blender and grind them into a smooth paste
  • In a bowl add yogurt, chilly paste from above, fennel powder, dry ginger powder, black cardamom powder, cumin powder, and paprika(optional) and whisk.
  • Heat ghee in a wok/kadai that has a lid.
  • Lower the heat and add asafetida, followed by the spiced yogurt mixture and fried potatoes
  • Season with salt and cover the wok/kadai with the lid. Traditional method involved sealing the dish with dough.You can do it if you have the time but it is optional.
  • Open the lid and sprinkle garam masala.
  • Serve with Roti, Naan or Rice
Notes and Tips
  • Paprika or Kashmiri chilly powder is just for the red color. It is optional
  • Traditionally garlic is not used in this dish but I love the flavor it imparts to this dish so I have used it. You can opt it out
  • Buy uniform sized baby potatoes to ensure that they cook evenly
  • I love the taste of black cardamon. Black Cardamon has got a completely different flavor profile compared to its green counterpart. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes due to its smoky flavor. It derives it's flavor and aroma from the traditional methods of drying over open flames. It should be available in Asian/ Indian stores.


  1. One of my favorite aloo curries. Looks fab Shema! :)

  2. I hadn't seen black cardamom before - so enjoyed reading your story behind this dish! I -unfortunately- don't take after my mom in her replication of dishes - I wish I did, because then I will be having dum aloo like this everyday. This looks finger licking good

  3. I also make dum aloo with garlic...but never used black cardamom.. will try your version. This looks creamy and delicious.

  4. Looks really appetizing and delicious dear :) Very happy to follow you dear ..Will be happy if u follow me back !!

  5. Loved reading your looks super delicious

  6. I guess I've only eaten dum aaloo at restaurants. never tried at home. I too wanna try this, looks really easy and lovely pics Shema!

  7. Oh boy! if someone made such delish dum aloo for me, i d live on it forever. Love those deep fried golden beauties :)

  8. I adore aloo dum...and your photographs are out of the world. I am yet to see a more appetizing representation of aloo dum. I make it this way with a wee bit variation, but my pictures never look this sexy. Just yumm!!

  9. dum aloo looks really very very delicious.

  10. Just looking at ur pics... i'm salivating!!! Looks so delicious...

  11. Looks really yum! Its been really awhile since I made them..:-) Great pics Shema

  12. Beautiful clicks, dum aloo looks superb and delicious..

  13. Hi Shema,
    This looks so satisfying and yummy! Your photos and presentation are stunning!!

  14. You have presented the curry so beautifully! It looks delicious...

  15. This looks so delicious! Who needs chicken, or meat, when you can have potatoes this good. : )

  16. Hi Shema,

    I love the way you picture these black cardamom. You have made these cardamom so beautiful in your curry and your photographs.


  17. I have never made these at home ..have had it from restaurants..ur version sounds good and made me mouthwatering having seen that dum aloo...need to try it soon

  18. Totally agree with you that our choices and character are to a great extent a manifestation of our upbringing.
    The dum aloo looks so beautiful and tempting. Your clicks are awesome as always :)

  19. Terrific! This dish sounds amazing.



  20. Black cardamom? I think I'm in love and in love with this dish too. The photos are inspiring!

  21. Shema: This is a work of love...You did such a great job! It looks very appetizing. There is only one problem: You could not invite me in because I would eat this all by myself. :)

  22. What a delicious looking dish, and love that it has a family story to go with it too. I've only used green cardamom but never black -- I have to find some now.:)

  23. This dish looks very flavorful & love all those spices in there. I had tried them long back from Sanjeev kapoors book. Love ur clicks & I am not tempted to try your recipe

  24. You had us at fried potatoes! Such a flavorful sounding dish and beautiful too.

  25. Oooo, this looks delicious! I love potatoes, and fried and then spiced - yum yum yum!!!

  26. this is on my must eat list, now when are you inviting me over….looks perfect ! I really want it.

  27. this looks perfect for weekend lunch, and i am now salivating over your gorgeous photos!

  28. I am so hungry seeing this picture...lucky u, u got to eat these as a child..I have never tasted this dish till now..should try it sometime, this has been tempting me for quite a while from blogging world !!

  29. Wow, looks so appetizing, makes me hungry, and I just had my dinner-)))


  30. wow, looks so good!! first time in your space love your photography , cant wait to check out your recipes:) have a nice day

  31. Made this today. It was superb would recommend to all.

  32. Oh yes the upbringing defines our taste choice, no doubt. My husband realized that a while back too, most probably I was cooking too many western dishes that he missed his goan food. ^.^
    Yes i need to get back to Indian food and your dum aloo just invited me to do so. Thank you for sharing

  33. It's amazing how a recipe so different from region to region or from a family to the next one. I have seen so many aloo dum recipes. All of which are terrific yet with a difference. Love your version. My version has tamarind in it. Drool worthy photo, Shema!

  34. My cooking isn't my parents/mom's at all really. My mom never makes sweets, cake - and I cook a lot more "American" food and she make Indian. I think that's because of the culture gap - maybe.

    The aloo dum looks and sounds incredible!

  35. Hi Shema, this looks absolutely tempting...we make dum aloo without frying the aloo...but i love this version too...Nice clicks. following you :)

  36. Wow! Stunning photos especially the one with raw potatoes. I am totally in love with the recipe and it does sound pretty straightforward.. All bookmarked and done :D :D


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