Punjabi dum aloo is made with fried baby potatoes slow-cooked in a classic onion-tomato gravy along with cashews, yogurt and spices. Delicious when paired with Indian naan or steamed rice!
Punjabi dum aloo is a hearty potato curry that you are sure to fall in love with. It has a fantastic onion-tomato gravy that is taken to the next level with the addition of cashews and yogurt ... a killer combo. The cashews make the gravy wonderfully smooth and creamy, and the yogurt adds a very pleasing tang to it. Have this dish with hot naan or steamed rice and you'll become a fan for life. Guaranteed!
If you love your spuds like I do, try a close cousin of this recipe, Kashmiri dum aloo. The Kashmiri version is made without any onions, tomatoes or even ginger and garlic, yet, the taste is distinctly dum aloo-ish! Maybe because the cooking technique is similar. Or because the other ingredients, like fennel and yogurt, are common to both. At the end of the day, both recipes are winners in my book!
How to make this Punjabi dum aloo recipe
There is a fair bit of advance prep involved in making dum aloo before you get to the actual cooking. However, once you have everything ready, putting it together is a cinch.
Prepare the ingredients for dum aloo
Boil the baby potatoes until they are soft but still firm. The skins should not split since we are going to simmer them in gravy later. You can prep the potatoes in a saucepan or in an instant pot if you have one.
Take them out of the water and let them cool down. Prick all over with a fork. I don't peel the potatoes as I find it very time consuming. Shallow fry in hot oil until browned. The potatoes in dum aloo are traditionally deep-fried, but I have found that shallow frying gives almost the same results.
Make the dry masala: put fennel, cumin and coriander seeds in a spice grinder and whiz. Mix in Kashmiri red chilli and turmeric powders. Your dry masala powder is ready.
Make the onion and ginger garlic pastes: put the chopped onion with a few tablespoons water in a blender and whiz until you get a smooth puree. Do the same with the ginger and garlic.
Alternatively, you can put all three together in the blender and make one paste. I don't do this because I like to make a big batch of ginger-garlic paste which I keep in the fridge for later use.
However, if you want to make them together for the sake of convenience, add 2 medium onions, 8-10 garlic cloves and an inch long piece of fresh ginger along with ¼th cup water to a blender and blend until you get a smooth paste.
Make the tomato puree: put the tomatoes in the blender and blend.
Make the cashew paste: Put the pre-soaked cashews in the blender along with some soaking water to make the cashew paste.
To make things easier, you can put the tomatoes and cashews together in the blender and make one paste.
Cook the dum aloo in a skillet
Heat the oil in a medium-hot skillet and put the whole spices (black cardamom, cloves and peppercorns) in it. Follow immediately with the onion and ginger-garlic pastes.
Roast this masala very well so that the raw smell goes, and it becomes thick and shiny. This should take around 10-12 minutes. If the masala starts sticking to the pan, add a few tablespoons of water while roasting. This is an important step, so don't skip it. The final taste of any gravy made in the Indian style depends a lot on how well you roast it in the initial stages.
Tip in the tomato puree, cashew paste, powdered spices, yogurt and salt. Add a cup of water and mix very well.
Roast this masala again for 10 minutes or until the water evaporates.
Add the fried baby potatoes and 2 cups water. Mix well and cook on a low flame for 20 minutes.
Top with some chopped cilantro, and punjabi dum aloo is ready to be served with fresh naan bread!
More Indian potato recipes
- Aloo Curry - A vegan potato curry that tastes tastes terrific with freshly made puri, a crisp and puffy Indian bread. Perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch.
- Bombay Potatoes - Baby potatoes steamed in the instant pot or stovetop, tossed in a few spices and dressed with lemon juice, green chillies and cilantro. An easy side.
- Bharwa Shimla Mirch - Mini green bell peppers stuffed with a spicy potato filling and baked in the oven.
- Aloo Tikki - Crispy golden potato patties topped with tamarind chutney. A chaat lover's delight!
Punjabi Dum Aloo Recipe
- 20 baby potatoes
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 2 medium onions pureed
- 1 big tomato pureed
- 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 10-12 cashews paste
- 2 tablespoon yogurt whisked
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 black cardamom
- 3-4 cloves
- 8-10 peppercorns
- 1 sprig cilantro leaves chopped
- salt to taste
- Wash the potatoes and put in a saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes until they are soft but still firm. Drain the water and pat dry.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the potatoes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside. Don't remove the remaining oil from the skillet.
- In a dry grinder, put the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds and grind to a powder. Add chilli and turmeric powders and mix. The dry masala is now ready.
- Heat the oil in the skillet again and add the whole spices - cardamom, cloves and peppercorns, followed by the onion, ginger and garlic pastes.
- Roast this wet masala on medium heat until the water evaporates and the rawness goes. (10-12 minutes)
- Add the tomato puree, cashew paste, yogurt and dry masala powder prepared in step 3 above along with some salt and 1 cup water. Mix everything well and cook this gravy for 10-12 minutes.
- Add 1-2 cups water and the fried baby potatoes. Cook on a low flame for 20 minutes or until the oil leaves the sides of the skillet.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro. Punjabi dum aloo is ready to serve with some hot naan or any Indian bread of your choice.
- Soak the cashews in water for half and hour before making a paste. Soaking will soften the cashews and make for a smooth, lump free paste.
- All the spices are readily available in any Indian store close to you. Kashmiri chilli is a mild variety of red chillies and adds a vibrant red colour to any dish without making it too spicy.
- If you don't have whole spices, you can substitute with one-fourth teaspoon powdered garam masala.
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