Sunday, March 22, 2015

Punjabi Dum Aloo: Baby Potatoes In Rich Tomato Gravy

A non Indian friend who follows my blog and loves my cooking always asks-don’t you get bored of Indian cooking, rolling rotis and making curries every day? Ah! No, I don’t. Indian cooking is therapeutic and rejuvenating. Every massala is important, every spice is significant and every step is pure bliss. Cooking Indian food is a magical process, a satisfying experience and an art. You can’t throw or mix anything at anytime; you need to wait for the oil to get hot, for cumin to splutter and for aroma to rise. Oh, only an Indian can understand my words.

Rich curries like paneer butter massala, paneer kofta, daal makhani happens once a month because such recipes are royal in terms of process and ingredients.  There are simple Indian curries which are everyday affair such as gajar mutter, palak bhaji or gobi mutter –straightforward and uncomplicated. So when I have time and good mood, I like to indulge myself into royal cooking experience else I stick to simple Indian cooking-but, no, I never get bored and I never will :-)

Moving on, we have subscribed to Netflix and now we hardly move out of the house. We finished watching breaking bad series (all seasons) in 15 days-yeah we are hooked to our television set. Saturday we had no other plans either, we are now binge watching Homeland. Mr. Husband wanted to eat something nice, I know his ‘nice’.-meaning a subji that has aloo (potatoes). How about sukha aloo (dry potatoes) I asked. No, he said, something spicy that would go with this wintery climate. Dum Aloo, I whispered. He nodded yes with excitement. Dum Aloo is another example of how amazing and creative Indian cooking can be.

Dum Aloo (baby potatoes in gravy) ,takes on different flavours as it travels from state to state throughout the India. Kashmiri Dum Alu is made using yogurt (dahi) and cashews and is sweet in taste. In Bengal, it is known as 'Aloor Dom' and is said to be lightly spiced and simple. Laknawi (Lucknow) style dum aloo has center filled with paneer and later dunked into caramelized onion gravy. Today I am sharing Punjabi Dum Aloo.

In Punjab, its more like restaurant's, with a thick and tangy gravy with tomatoes and yogurt and delicately spiced. This has balance of all the taste buds- sweet, spicy and bit tangy. Lots of whole spices are used to release subtle aroma. We both love and relish Punjabi style of Dum Aloo the most. Don’t stop or hesitate to cook this after seeing the number of steps, like I said, Indian cooking is the best-do try this.

Baby potatoes-10
1/4 tsp asafoetida /hing
1 medium sized onion roughly chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ginger/adrak chopped
4 cloves garlic/lehsun chopped
1 cup of curd/yogurt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1 teaspoon red chilli powder/lal mirch
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves/Kasturi methi
1 bay leaf/tej patta
Oil for cooking and shallow frying
1 tablespoon butter or ghee
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon corn flour
4 tablespoon coriander leaves finely chopped for garnishing
(For Massala/Spice mix)
1 Black cardamom/badi elyachi
2 green cardamoms/hari elaychi
5  peppercorns/kali micrh
1 tablespoon coriander seeds/dhaniya
1/2 teaspoon fennel/saunf
1/2 inch cinnamon stick/dal chini
3 cloves/laung
2 dry red chillies

  1. Dry roast all the ingredients listed under spice mix list on slow heat. Once cooled, grind them to fine powder.
  2. Wash potatoes. In a pressure cooker put sufficient water (just to cover potatoes) with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook on high flame till 2 whistles are released. Peel the potatoes.
  3. Take a fork and start pricking every potato with it (make holes). Heat 4 tablespoon oil in a pan and shallow fry potatoes till golden and crip from all the sides.
  4. Heat oil in a wok/kadai. When hot, add in asafoetida and bay leaf.
  5. Add garlic, ginger. Mix for 1 minute.
  6. Slow down the heat. Add chopped onions and cook till onions turn dark pink in colour.
  7. Add chopped tomato. Mix in salt, corn flour, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves. Cover and cook till tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  8. Mix the dry roasted spice mix with yogurt and beat till smooth. Pour this paste in tomato paste and keep stirring for 2 minutes. When you start seeing oil on the edges, turn the heat to low and cook it covered for 5 minutes.
  9. Blend the above made gravy in the blender with 1 cup of water. Sieve this gravy (chaan le).
  10. Heat ghee/butter in a pan and add gravy to it. Throw in potatoes and sugar, cover and let it simmer on slow heat for 10 minutes.
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves and dried fenugreek leaves.

This can be made all yogurt or all tomato gravy as well. Only the colour will change.
For low fat (healthy) version don’t shallow fry the potatoes, just use the boiled one.
Every pressure cooker is different, so make your own judgement while boiling potatoes.
Dry roasting and grinding the spices can be done 1 week before.
Consistency of gravy is smooth and thick, but, feel free to adjust water as per your choice.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with naan, roti or any plain paratha. I served with methi theplas.
Goes well with rice or biryani.
It is a royal dish, so do make this to please your guests for parties of get together.
For the complete Punjabi thali serve it with paneer butter massala and dal makhani.


  1. I am drooling at the pics... they look amazing shweta!!! Whatever said and done, I always prefer indian cooking irrespective of how much time it may take, and other cooking is only when you crave for some change! Amazing dum aaloo...

    1. really? I thought pictures arent that good. Thanks yaar u made my day. And yes indian cooking is the best :)

  2. Lovely clicks dear!!!! The dum aloo is so delicious and yumm

  3. this are the perks of working mom, its hard to find time and comment on friend's blogs, i also get now less comments on my post but will try to do , first picture is not showing, but the platter looks delicious. i can not eat indian five days a week,

  4. Love that colour... amazing clicks...And yes, i totally agree... me too can never get bored of Indian cooking :)

  5. Yummy Dum Aloo, and super beautiful pictures! Looks so appetizing! :D

  6. nice clicks Shwetha and dum aloo looks superb!

  7. Loved the bowl and pictures..Dum aloo is really delicious.

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog, dum aloo looks nice, they are favourite too.

  9. awesome dear....the clicks are amazing as usual..the dum aloo looks lipsmacking

  10. Beautiful pics and lovely bowl........ and dum aloo is really tempting...... :)

  11. that's so rich and flavorful dum aloo...looks so inviting...loved your serving bowl :)

  12. Shweta, you have beautiful blog. Love this Dum Aloo recipe and pictures are looking to-die-for delicious! Keep it up!

  13. I love your site, Shweta! I haven't experimented much with Indian cooking, but I do have a pantry full of the appropriate spices and seasonings (long story for another time). I clearly need to bust those spices out and make some of this Punjabi Dum looks delicious! Also, I am totally digging your vintage cookware in these photos...well done!

  14. looks deliciously made,Shweta...coming over to dinner at ur place ;)

  15. This looks so yummy Shweta! :) I love the pictures! and totally agree I can never get tired of cooking or eating Indian my opinion there's nothing like it! Indian food is the best! :D

  16. Beautiful presentation. Sum aloo are very tempting. Super yummy :)

  17. wow! great recipe. Going to give this a go. Thanks for sharing this.



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