Punjabi Dum Aloo

Punjabi Dum Aloo – baby potatoes cooked in a spicy curry made with yogurt and a touch of cream.

This is a popular North Indian recipe and one that was made very frequently in my house.

dum aloo served in a copper kadai garnished with cilantro with a plate of rice in the background

Most people I know love potatoes and as a family were no exception growing up.

The aloo bhujiya was almost a constant on our table and made every week, sometimes ever twice or thrice a week.

Then of course there were potatoes in tehri, aloo palak, aloo gobi and so much more. In short, our meals were often incomplete without potatoes.

Another favorite in my house was Dum Aloo. Baby potatoes tossed in a creamy curry were everyone’s favorite especially my dad’s.

Mom would always make it for special occasions like his birthday or festivals like Diwali, Holi.

Our favorite way to eat it would be with pulao, especially the one topped with fried cashews and fried onions. I should share that pulao someday on the blog, it’s nothing special really but it used to taste so good with the fried cashews!

Those celebrations were the best and I miss those days so much. We never realize how precious they are until they are over and we have nothing else but memories.

Anyway, back to this dum aloo recipe. Over the years, I have made them in different ways and I am sharing with you guys my favorite version. This one has so much flavors from all the spices, yogurt and I hope you guys will love it just as much.

What is Dum Aloo

Dum Aloo is a potato curry which is made using baby potatoes.”Dum” refers to dum cooking in Indian cuisine where dishes are cooked on low heat by sealing the pot. For example this vegetable biryani uses the same method. Dum cooking enhances the flavor of the dish.

It can be made in different ways. I grew up eating punjabi version of dum aloo, with spices, yogurt and cream. In fact I wasn’t even aware that there were other types of dum aloo when I was a kid.

It was later on in life that I realized that there are other versions for example Kashmiri Dum Aloo which is completely different from the punjabi version.

My house help in India would sometimes even stuff these baby potatoes while making the dish. We would stuff them with nuts and raisins, it would definitely add to the taste and richness.

Some people add tomatoes to the gravy, some use besan (gram flour), my version uses yogurt as the base. There’s no right or wrong way of making it, everyone just has their own way!

Ingredients & Substitutions

Let’s talk about all that goes in this recipe!

Baby potatoes: obviously these are the main ingredient for Dum Aloo. I like to go for potatoes which are between 35 to 40 grams in weight.

Larger than those are probably too big for dum aloo. Also, do not use fingerling potatoes here. I mean you can use them but they are not traditionally used in the recipe.

Some people also make dum aloo by using medium size potatoes and cutting each into quarters.

The baby potatoes are first boiled and then fried. You can either deep fry them or pan fry them (like me).

Yogurt: So, yogurt forms the base of this curry. I used whole milk plain yogurt. You can use low fat yogurt too, should work.

Whenever using yogurt in large amount in a curry, there’s always a possibility for it to curdle.

To make sure it doesn’t happen, have the yogurt at room temperature before adding to the pan. Also whisk the yogurt before adding and while adding the yogurt, remove pan from heat and whisk continuously until all the yogurt is combined.

These steps will ensure that the yogurt does not curdle when added to the curry.

Spices: I roast some spices like coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and then grind them using a spice grinder and then add to the recipe. The freshly ground spices give the curry a lot of flavor.

Cashews & Cream: To impart that creaminess and richness to the gravy, I have used cashews and a bit of cream.

These ingredients also impart a sweet touch to the curry. If you don’t have cream, you can skip it. Probably use 5 more cashews then.

Cilantro & Kasuri methi: these two ingredients are used in the end as garnishes.

They impart a nice aroma to the curry, so do not skip on these.

plate of rice with baby potato curry and a spoon placed on the side

Tips to make Good Dum Aloo

Use mustard oil: for that punjabi style dum aloo, it’s a good idea to use mustard oil to cook the curry.

You can use any other oil, but mustard oil has a flavor of it’s own and that really elevates the final flavor of the curry. Do try and notice the difference.

Use freshly ground spices: whenever you use freshly ground spices, it definitely makes a difference to the final taste.

It hardly takes 2 minutes to roast the spices and then grind them to a powder. I always use a spice grinder to grind fresh spices.

Do not over-boil the potatoes: so this is a problem I used to face when I would boil the potatoes in my regular stove-top pressure cooker. I would always end up over-boiling the potatoes.

They need to be just boiled to the point where the skin comes off easily. I now boil them in a pan and they come out perfect every time for this recipe.

Please see instructions below on how to boil them just right for this dum aloo recipe.

Fry the potatoes before adding to the curry: pan frying (or you can deep fry) the potatoes once they are boiled and then adding them to the curry makes it more flavorful.

You can add the boiled potatoes directly to the curry if you want to cut down the calories, but if you can, please pan fry them. I promise the results will be better.

Finish with cream and sugar: since the recipe uses lot of spices and yogurt, the cream and sugar in the end help in balancing the flavors.

It’s not a lot, just 1 teaspoon of sugar and couple of tablespoons of cream but it really helps in bringing the flavors together.

Serving Suggestions

We love this dish with jeera rice and also with naan.

You can serve it with either of those or with any bread of choice.

Method

1- Start by boiling the potatoes. Place a pot of water on medium-high heat. Once it heats up a bit, add the potatoes to it and let the water come to a boil.

2- When the water comes to a full boil (it will take some time), turn off heat, cover the pan with a plate and let it remain like that for 15 minutes.

This will cook the potatoes just right and they will not be over-cooked.

3- Then drain using a strainer and wash the potatoes under cold water. Peel the potatoes, the skin will come off easily.

4- Use a toothpick to prick the potatoes all over, do this with all the potatoes and then set them aside.

step by step picture collage of making punjabi dum aloo

5- Now let’s roast and grind the spices. Place the whole spices- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 4 green cardamoms, 2 cloves and 1-inch cinnamon stick into a small pan on medium heat.

Roast the spices for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant, be careful not to burn them.

6- Then let them cool down a bit and then transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.

7- Heat 2 teaspoons mustard oil in a pan (make sure mustard oil is well heated before adding anything to it else it will have the raw taste). Once hot,  add ginger, garlic and green chili and cook for 1 minute.

8- Then add the onions and cashews and cook for 3 minutes until onions soften.

step by step picture collage of making punjabi dum aloo

9- Remove pan from heat, transfer mixture to a blender.

10- And blend to a fine paste. Set it aside.

11- Now heat 4 tablespoons of mustard oil in a kadai/work on medium heat (again make sure mustard oil is really hot before you add anything to it else it will have the raw smell). Add the boiled potatoes and fry them until golden brown from both sides.

12- Once golden brown from both sides, remove the fried potatoes on a plate. Once they cool down a little, prick them again with toothpick.

step by step picture collage of making punjabi dum aloo

13- To the same oil, now add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 bay leaf. Saute few seconds and then add 1/2 teaspoon hing.

14- Then add 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder and fry for few seconds so that it gets a nice red color.

15- Add the prepared onion-cashew paste and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.

16- Then add the ground spices (that we had grind earlier) along with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and mix well and cook for 1 minute.

step by step picture collage of making punjabi dum aloo

17- Remove pan from heat and add the whisked (and room temperature) yogurt to the pan.

18- Stir the yogurt continuously as you mix it with the curry so that it doesn’t separate.

19- Put pan back on medium heat and continue to stir and let the mixture come to a light boil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Then add salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder and turmeric.

20- Cook for 4 minutes until you see oil on top of the masala.

step by step picture collage of making punjabi dum aloo

21- Then add the fried potatoes to the kadai.

22- Mix well and add 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid tightly and “dum” cook for 5 to 6 minutes on low heat.

23 & 24- Then add cream, sugar, garam masala, kasuri methi. I added additional 3/4 cup water here. You can add more or less depending on the amount of curry you want. Simmer 3 more minutes and turn off heat.

Cover with a lid and let it remain like that for 5 more minutes before serving.

step by step picture collage of making punjabi dum aloo

Garnish with cilantro and serve punjabi dum aloo with rice or naan.

baby potato curry served in a copper kadai with a plate of rice in the background and a spoon of red chili powder placed on the side

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Punjabi Dum Aloo

dum aloo served in a copper kadai garnished with cilantro with a plate of rice in the background
Manali
Punjabi Dum Aloo- popular North Indian curry made with baby potatoes! Cooked with spices, yogurt, this curry is so flavorful and goes well with rice or naan.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 364 kcal

Ingredients
  

Spice Mix

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick

Curry

  • 500 grams baby potatoes 14 baby potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons +2 teaspoons mustard oil divided
  • 1 large red onion 230 grams, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1.5 inch ginger roughly chopped
  • 1 green chili
  • 10 cashews raw, unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon hing
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 cup yogurt 240 grams
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water or as needed for consistency of gravy you prefer
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi
  • cilantro to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Start by boiling the potatoes. Place a pot of water on medium-high heat. Once it heats up a bit, add the potatoes to it and let the water come to a boil.
    When the water comes to a full boil (it will take some time), turn off heat, cover the pan with a plate and let it remain like that for 15 minutes.
    This will cook the potatoes just right and they will not be over-cooked.
  • Then drain using a strainer and wash the potatoes under cold water. Peel the potatoes, the skin will come off easily.
    Use a toothpick to prick the potatoes all over, do this with all the potatoes and then set them aside.
  • Now let's roast and grind the spices. Place the whole spices- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 4 green cardamoms, 2 cloves and 1-inch cinnamon stick into a small pan on medium heat.
    Roast the spices for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant, be careful not to burn them. Then let them cool down a bit and then transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons mustard oil in a pan (make sure mustard oil is well heated before adding anything to it else it will have the raw taste). Once hot,  add ginger, garlic and green chili and cook for 1 minute.
  • Then add the onions and cashews and cook for 3 minutes until onions soften.
  • Remove pan from heat, transfer onion mixture to a blender and blend to a fine paste. Set it aside.
  • Now heat 4 tablespoons of mustard oil in a kadai/work on medium heat (again make sure mustard oil is really hot before you add anything to it else it will have the raw smell). Add the boiled potatoes and fry them until golden brown from both sides.
    Once golden brown from both sides, remove the fried potatoes on a plate. Once they cool down a little, prick them again with toothpick.
  • To the same oil, now add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 bay leaf. Saute few seconds and then add 1/2 teaspoon hing.
    Then add 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder and fry for few seconds so that it gets a nice red color.
  • Add the prepared onion-cashew paste and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Then add the ground spices (that we had grind earlier) along with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and mix well and cook for 1 minute.
  • Remove pan from heat and add the whisked (and room temperature) yogurt to the pan. Stir the yogurt continuously as you mix it with the curry so that it doesn't separate.
  • Put pan back on medium heat and continue to stir and let the mixture come to a light boil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Then add salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder and turmeric.
    Cook for 4 minutes until you see oil on top of the masala.
  • Then add the fried potatoes to the kadai.  Mix well and add 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid tightly and "dum" cook for 5 to 6 minutes on low heat.
  • Then add cream, sugar, garam masala, kasuri methi. I added additional 3/4 cup water here. You can add more or less depending on the amount of curry you want. Simmer 3 more minutes and turn off heat.
    Cover with a lid and let it remain like that for 5 more minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve punjabi dum aloo with rice or naan.

Notes

  1. This curry isn't very spicy, if you prefer heat add more green chilies. And you can also replace 1/2 of the kashmiri red chili powder with regular chili powder (which is spicier).
  2. The recipe might look long but it's easy to put together. You can make the spice mix a day before, that will save you time the next day. You can even boil the potatoes beforehand to cut short the process. 

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 7gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 531mgPotassium: 771mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 338IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 125mgIron: 3mg
Keyword dum aloo, punjabi dum aloo
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

 

13 thoughts on “Punjabi Dum Aloo

  1. Looks so Delicious!
    I don’t know much about cooking but yeah learning it somehow. So I find this dish quite easy for me and obv mouthwatering will make it someday for my hubby!! 😄😄
    Hope he likes too. Thanks for the amazing recipe!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe yesterday. Turned out so yummy!! I couldn’t believe that we could make dum aloo so well without tomatoes.

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made it with out cream. Next time I will add a little basin to the curd for a thicker sauce – I also replaced the onions with tomatoes, and it works very well – Incase you are short on onions like I was today.

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