Instant Pot Achari Aloo

Instant Pot Achari Aloo – one pot quick curry where potatoes are cooked with Indian pickling spices.

Best enjoyed with warm rotis.

potato curry served in a bowl with a spoon and a plate of rice in the background

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Panch phoran was one of my favorite spices growing up.

My mom used to make Aloo Baingan (potato & eggplant) sabzi using panch phoran and that was my absolute favorite.

For those who are not aware, panch phoran is a 5 spice blend and is an integral part of Bengali and east Indian cooking.

I think eastern UP food has some influence from the east Indian cooking and that’s the reason that my mom added panch phora to several of her dishes including chutneys and sabzis.

These 5 spices also form the base for pickling spices in India.

In India pickle=achar, which is very different from what pickle is here in the US.

Achar or Indian pickle is made from vegetables and fruits which are preserved in vinegar/lemon juice/mustard oil etc. and flavored with Indian spices namely the achari spices.

So what are these achari spices?

Fennel Seeds

Cumin Seeds

Black Nigella Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Fenugreek Seeds

These spices lend a very distinct flavor to the anything that they are added to. They are often added to achars (pickle) but can also be added to dals, sabzi, chutneys so on.

Here, I added them to a potato curry and hence the name Achari Aloo!

This Achari Aloo

✔ made in one-pot

✔ packed with so much flavor

✔ goes well with rice or roti

✔ vegan and can be made gluten-free

I used baby potatoes for this recipe. Not the super tiny ones, those I only see at farmers market in summers.

But the regular baby potatoes that we see in the stores here in US. So, I used those and cut them in half.

Each piece measured around 1.5 inches. You can make this recipe using regular russet or gold potatoes too.

Just remember to cut them into really large pieces, around 1.5 inches. If you cut them small, around 1 inch then you would need to adjust the cooking time.

Please see the instructions for that below.

Most of the flavor for this recipes comes from the pickling spices. It is what makes the recipe so these are must here.

potato curry served with white rice in a white plate along with a spoon placed on the side

What if you don’t have all the achari spices?  Okay, you can still make this achari aloo even if you don’t have all the 5 achari spices.

But make sure you have cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Fennel is really important here so do not skip on it.

Is this gluten-free? No, I have used hing here which is not gluten-free. So, to make it gluten-free, either skip the hing or use gluten-free hing.

If you are bored of eating regular potato sabzi or just looking for a new way to cook potatoes, then give this a try.

It makes a nice side with roti and dal.

 

Method

1- First peel the potatoes and cut them into 1.5 inch pieces. I used baby potatoes here, each was around 2.5 inches wide and 50-70 grams by weight.

So, I cut the smaller ones in half and slightly bigger ones into 3 to 4 parts. Set aside. Also, puree the tomatoes using a blender and set aside.

2- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black nigella seeds (kalonji), mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Saute for few seconds until seeds crackle.

3- Then add the hing and stir.

4- Add the chopped onion, green chili and curry leaves. Saute for 2 minutes until the onions are softened.

step by step picture collage of making achari aloo in the Instant Pot

5- Then add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.

6- Then add the pureed tomatoes and de-glaze the pot using a wooden spatula. Scrape the bottom with the spatula making sure there’s nothing stuck at the bottom of the pot.

This is important else the pot might not come to pressure.

7- Add in the tomato paste.

8- Then the potatoes and then coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder.

step by step picture collage of making achari aloo in the Instant Pot

9- Add the water and stir.

10- Also, add the salt and mix.

11- Close the pot with it’s lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.

If using regular potato (like russet & gold) and you have cut them in 1-inch pieces, then pressure cook for 2 minutes only with quick release.

12- Open the lid and stir in the cilantro. You can add 1 tablespoon yogurt, cream, coconut milk or cashew cream at this point (optional). I did not add anything.

step by step picture collage of making achari aloo in the Instant Pot

Serve achari aloo with rotis or paratha or rice.

overhead shot of a potato curry served in a bowl with a spoon

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Instant Pot Achari Aloo

potato curry served in a bowl with a spoon and a plate of rice in the background
Manali
Achari Aloo- potatoes cooked with Indian pickling spices. Made in the Instant Pot, this dish is so flavorful and also vegan!
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 219 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 10 baby potatoes 512 grams, cut into 1.5 inch pieces, each potato weighing between 50-70 grams,
  • 1 tablespoon oil 15 ml, I used sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon kalonji black nigella seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon methi fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon hing asafoetida
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 2 large tomatoes pureed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 cup water 8 oz
  • cilantro to garnish

Instructions
 

  • First peel the potatoes and cut them into 1.5 inch pieces. I used baby potatoes here, each was around 2.5 inches wide and 50-70 grams by weight.
    So, I cut the smaller ones in half and slightly bigger ones into 3 to 4 parts. Set aside. Also, puree the tomatoes using a blender and set aside.
  • Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black nigella seeds (kalonji), mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Saute for few seconds until seeds crackle.
    Then add the hing and stir.
  • Add the chopped onion, green chili and curry leaves. Saute for 2 minutes until the onions are softened.
  • Then add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Then add the pureed tomatoes and de-glaze the pot using a wooden spatula. Scrape the bottom with the spatula making sure there's nothing stuck at the bottom of the pot.
    This is important else the pot might not come to pressure. Add in the tomato paste.
  • Add the potatoes and then coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder. Also add the water and salt and mix.
  • Close the pot with it's lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
    If using regular potato (like russet & gold) and you have cut them in 1-inch pieces, then pressure cook for 2 minutes only with quick release.
  • Open the lid and stir in the cilantro. You can add 1 tablespoon yogurt, heavy cream, coconut milk or cashew cream at this point (optional) to make it creamy. I did not add anything.
  • Serve achari aloo with rotis or paratha or rice.

Stove-top Instructions

  • Boil the baby potatoes using either stove-top pressure cooker, 4 to 5 whistles on high heat. Or in a pan with water, for around 15 minutes until potatoes are done. Then peel the potatoes and set aside.
  • Follow all the instructions as such in a pan on stove-top on medium heat but do not add 1 cup water after adding the potatoes and salt. Use around 1/2 water (or as needed) to thin it out a little. Let the potatoes simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Notes

  1. This dish has very little gravy and it kind of dries up as it cools down, so it is like a semi-dry sabzi. If you like it to have gravy, just add more water while re-heating the dish. 
  2. Skip hing to make this dish gluten-free.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 530mgPotassium: 1095mgFiber: 7gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 951IUVitamin C: 104mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 2mg
Keyword achari aloo
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4 thoughts on “Instant Pot Achari Aloo

  1. 5 stars
    This was very simple to make and came out amazing!

    I didn’t have curry leaves or hing so I left that out and I used double the amount of seeds and seasoning because I like a lot of flavor.

    The only thing I added which wasn’t in the recipe is frozen peas Because I love peas and potatoes together.

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