The other day I spotted the season’s first baby potatoes in the market, and they were so fresh and tender that I had to get some make Dum Aloo, a Kashmiri speciality. It involves frying baby potatoes and then slow cooking them in a lightly spiced yoghurt gravy. The result is a rich, yummy potato curry that is to die for.
There is something about Kashmiri cuisine that appeals to me. Perhaps the fact that it is not very common or that it is so delicately spiced.
This recipe is adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe for Dum Aloo.
- Baby Potatoes – 20
- Thick Yoghurt or Dahi – 3 Cups
- Saunf or Fennel – 1 tbsp
- Cumin – 1/2 tsp
- Soonth or Dry Ginger Powder – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
- Choti Elachi or Green Cardamom – 5
- Cloves – 4
- Mustard Oil – 1/4 cup
- Salt to Taste
- Heat a heavy ladle and dry roast the fennel for 2 minutes.
- Remove the roasted into a plate and let cool.
- Next, dry roast the cumin for 2 minutes and add to the fennel.
- Finally, dry roast 2 cloves, and add to the cumin and fennel.
- Powder the roasted fennel, cumin, cloves, and green cardamom seeds to a fine powder.
- Whisk the spice powder, garam masala, chilli powder, dry ginger powder, and salt into the yoghurt to form a smooth liquid.
- Peel the baby potatoes.
- Using a fork, prick the baby potatoes 2 or 3 times.
- In a heavy bottomed wok or kadhai, heat the mustard oil to smoking point.
- Reduce the heat to medium.
- Fry the baby potatoes in batches till they are golden brown.
- Place the potatoes on kitchen towels to soak up the oil.
- to the remaining oil, add two cloves and let the oil cool a bit till it is just warm.
- When the oil has cooled a bit, add the yoghurt mix and mix well.
- Over low to medium heat, cook the yoghurt mix while stirring constantly.
- Add the fried baby potatoes and about 1/8 cup of water.
- Mix well.
- Cover and let the baby potatoes cook for about 20 minutes on low heat.
- Serve hot with rotis.
- Baby potatoes should be small and firm.
- You could parboil the baby potatoes in salt water. This makes them easier to peel, but may need more oil to cook.
- When you add the cloves to the hot oil, be careful. If the oil is too hot, the cloves tend explode and jump out of the pan.
- The yoghurt must be thick with very little water. If the water content is high, the yoghurt tends to curdle when added to the oil and cooked.
- You could use refined oil instead of mustard oil, but do use mustard oil because it lends a lovely flavour.
- Heat the mustard oil to the smoking point, else you will have a Dum Aloo that smells strongly of the mustard oil.