Dum aloo is a delicious yogurt-based spicy curry recipe that is made commonly in North India. It has baby potatoes and is super tasty.
In my home, it was made frequently and we loved its finger licking taste.
Of course, sautéing the baby potatoes with lots of oil for that golden look was a bit of a dampener that I now avoid with the use of air fryer.
Rest of the recipe remains the same with my tweaks to make it healthier yet really delicious. Try this main with your rotis or rice.
This recipe was made on special occasions.
There was a special Dum aloo spice mix that dad used to bring from Allahabad which was really delicious.
But in its absence mum made do with garam masala.
What does Dum Aloo mean?
Dum is a technique of cooking in steam by sealing the edges of the cooking vessel with dough.
Basically slow cooking brings out all the flavours in the curry and helps the vegetable soak in the deliciousness.
Dum aloo have always been made with baby potatoes that are parboiled, peeled and then sauteed with mustard oil for a delicious taste.
Unlike the more popular Kashmiri dum aloo or the robust Punjabi dum aloo that uses cream and cashews, my Uttar Pradesh version is spicy with a yogurt curry and lots of whole garam masala for its signature finger licking taste.
If you have never tried it, give it a try and see for yourself.
What makes for delicious dum aloo?
1. Baby potatoes: I have always found baby potatoes to be more flavourful. They are perfect for this recipe.
In case you can’t find them, you can use regular potatoes and cut them into bite sizes for use.
2. Yogurt: Using Greek yogurt (or thick Indian curd) that is whisked gives a nice creamy touch to the curry without the heaviness of cream, butter or even cashews.
3. Mustard oil: I love the smoky flavour of mustard oil in this curry.
You can use vegetable oil or ghee as well.
4. Whole spices: These spices are used in the tempering to lend a sublime taste to the curry.
The use of powdered saunf or fennel seeds lends the curry its signature taste.
5. Aromatics: Onion, ginger and garlic give a fullness to the curry along with a delicious taste.
Parboil baby potatoes till they are half done in salted water.
If using pressure cooker, give only one whistle. Cool, peel them and set aside.
Frying the potatoes
On pan: Take 2 tbsp. mustard oil or vegetable oil and heat.
Tip in the peeled baby potatoes and fry on low heat till golden brown on all sides. Keep aside.
In Air fryer: Preheat Air fryer at 200 C or 390 F for 5 minutes.
Lay the peeled baby potatoes in one layer in the air fryer basket.
Brush lightly with oil and air fry at 200 C for 10 -12 minutes till golden brown. Set aside.
To prepare the curry
Heat 1 tbsp. mustard oil or ghee in a pan.
Add the whole garam masalas mentioned and let them brown for 1 minute.
Now add the sliced onion and cook for about 2-3 minutes till golden.
Add in the ginger garlic paste and tomato green chilli paste. Cook on low heat till mushy. Add in the fried/air fried potatoes.
Take the curd and beat it well. Add it gently to the mix in the pan after lowering the heat.
Add in the turmeric powder, chilli powder or cayenne, garam masala powder, saunf powder and coriander powder and mix well. Add salt to taste.
Simmer it for 8-10 minutes keeping a lid on. If the yogurt curdles, do not worry.
Just mix everything well. Add more water if you want a thinner gravy. If not you will get a thicker gravy.
Here's the recipe card:
Dum Aloo Recipe
- 20 Baby Potatoes or 500 gm.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp. ginger garlic paste or minced
- 2-3 green chillies pureed
- 1 tomato pureed
- 1 tsp. cayenne or red chilli powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala powder
- ½ tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. fennel powdered
- 1-2 cups Water
- 1 tbsp. mustard oil or ghee for tempering
- 1 tsp. mustard oil for brushing if Air frying
- 2 tbsp. mustard oil if sauteeing potatoes
- salt to taste
- cilantro for garnish
- Parboil the baby potatoes either in a pan or a pressure cooker. Make sure it is slightly underdone. Now let them cool and peel them. This is the most time-consuming process and takes about 15-20 minutes. Pierce them with fork and keep aside.
For frying potatoes
- Heat 2 tbsp. mustard oil or ghee in a pan. Lightly saute the potatoes till they are golden brown and keep aside. Some people deep fry the potatoes but I avoid doing that.
For air frying potatoes
- Preheat air fryer at 200 C for 5 minutes. Lay the peeled baby potatoes in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 200 C or 390 F for 10-12 minutes till golden brown. Keep aside.
To make curry
- Heat 1 tbsp. ghee/ mustard oil in the pan. Add in all the whole garam masala (cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns and cloves). Fry for a minute. Now add in the chopped onion. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the tomato-green chilli puree and fry till everything looks well cooked.
- Add in the fried/air fried potatoes now.
- Take the yogurt and beat it well. Add it gently to the mix in the pan after lowering the heat. Add in the turmeric powder, cayenne, garam masala powder, saunf (fennel) powder and coriander powder and mix well. Add salt to taste.
- Simmer it for 8-10 minutes keeping a lid on. If the yogurt curdles, do not worry. Just mix everything well. Add more water if you want a thinner gravy. If not you will get a thicker gravy.
- Baby potatoes are the best for this recipe. You can use regular potatoes and cut them into small cubes to use in the recipe.
- Using 1 tsp. Kashmiri red chilli powder gives the dish a beautiful red colour without the heat.
- Deep frying the potatoes makes the dish tastier albeit adding the calories. Air frying is a perfect option for nice browned potatoes without the oil.
- You can skip green chillies if you prefer less heat.
- The nutrition values are approximate.
- To make the curry richer, you can add some cream in the end for garnish. Dried fenugreek or kasuri methi can also be used for garnish.
- In place of mustard oil, you can use ghee for richness or regular vegetable oil.
- Serve this curry with rotis or rice.
Serve dum aloo hot after garnishing with cilantro leaves with rotis or boiled rice.
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