Everyone has heard about Punjabi Dum Aloo and Kashmiri Dum Aloo, In Punjabi style aloo’s are deep fried and made in gravy of onions and tomatoes where as in kashmiri style they use yogurt and lots of spices. My version has both infused so I decided to call it Kashmir se Kanyakumari tak, everyone can make it and eat it.. lol..
Aloo (Potatoes) are the most popular food in the whole wide world, be it in any form chips, mash, roast, baked or in curry. Everyone just loves it; kids too are fascinated with this not so good looking vegetable. In India itself the way potatoes are used would even amaze potatoes about its potential, no matter how much we explore, but we always find a new way to cook this vegetable.
Let’s get started, making this dish my style. In this version, I am not deep frying the potatoes but instead boiling them, trust me they just taste the same at the end of the dish. But if you prefer frying it, feel free to. There is one more way, which has the same result as boiling but is faster to put the potatoes in a pressure cooker and wait for one whistle and turn off, wait for all the steam to come out and drain the water. I did not use this method as the prep for gravy and boiling was happening simultaneously.
I just washed the small potatoes and added them to a big pot of water along with a tbsp of salt and boiled them till they were cooked. This took about ½ hour so I started making my gravy for the potatoes.
Keep a pan or wok on medium flame and add a little oil, followed by bay leaf, fennel seeds, cassia stick or cinnamon stick and cardamom seeds. I just lightly smashed the cardamom and used the seeds from them and not the skin.
Once the spices release their aroma, you can add the roughly chopped onions and mix and let it cook, the best way to cook onions are not to mix them too many times, but make sure not to let them burn or stick to the pan. Add a little salt as salt helps the onions to cook faster.
When the onions get translucent, add the crushed tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and green chillies and again mix and leave them. If you like spicier feel free to add more green chillies for me one was enough, as we would be adding the red chilli powder. Usually, red chilli powder is used for getting a colour to the gravy; I used the kashmiri degi mirch powder. Once the tomatoes are tender and start leaving the water and reducing, turn of the stove and let the mixture cool.
Meanwhile we will prepare the marination for potatoes; take yogurt in a bowl and add the spices; salt, turmeric, cumin powder (homemade gives best result), coriander powder and garam masala and whisk them well to make a paste and keep the marination aside. It’s very easy to make cumin powder at home, just add cumin seeds to a hot pan and roast them. You need to make sure you keep tossing them; once you get the dark brown colour remove them from the flame and immediately transfer them. Please note you need to keep an eye on them as turning from dark brown to burnt would get in a fraction of seconds and transferring them from the hot surface would stop them from cooking. You can either put the roasted cumin seeds in the grinder or put them in between two papers and crush them with the help of rolling pin and make a powder.
Once the onion and tomatoes mixture has cooled down put them in your blender/grinder and add cashews to it. Please note this is a very important step, we need a grinder or blender to make this mixture to a smooth paste as this mixture has bay leaf and whole cinnamon sticks this needs to be blended into a paste or else you would get pieces in your mouth which might taste a little bitter, If you do not have blender and instead use a chopper then do not add bay leaf and cinnamon stick at earlier stage but you can later.
When the paste is ready using the same pan, add some oil and once it’s hot add cumin seeds and if you did not add bay leaf and cinnamon earlier do it now. Once the seed starts to spatter add the grinded paste and kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves) and cook it. Always rub kasuri methi between your palms and then use it for it to release flavours. We need to cook it till the mixture starts leaving oil, if needed you can add water but just to keep the mixture from sticking.
By this time, the potatoes should be cooked, peel them and prick with fork or knife. Take another pan on medium flame and put one tbsp of oil and add the potatoes to it. Do not overlap them, each potato has to touch the base to cook evenly; they need to get the brown colour on all side.
Once they are cooked add the marination to it and cook till the marination reduced and sticks to the potatoes.
Add the potatoes to the other pan where the gravy has been reduced and tomatoes leave their oil. Cook for few minutes and then add water to it, the quantity of water depends on the consistency of gravy you cooking for. I usually add more water and then let the gravy reduce for more flavours. Add shah jeera and let it cook for 2 minutes and done, check for salt and chilli and then garnish with fresh coriander..
Gravy / Curry:
- 2 onions roughly chopped
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes / 2 fresh tomatoes roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (Saunf)
- 1 cinnamon or cassia stick (Dalchini)
- 4 small or 1 big bay leaf (Tejpatta)
- 1 green chilli
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 2 cardamoms just seeds(Elaichi)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1 big pinch kasoori methi (Fenugreek leaves)
- 15 cashew (Kaju)
- ½ kg small potatoes (aloo)
- 1 cup yogurt (dahi)
- 1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp homemade cumin powder (jeera powder)
- ½ tsp black cumin seeds (shah jeera)
- Fresh coriander
- Take a large pot full of water add salt and potatoes and boil it, till the potatoes are tender, the skins starts to crack open.
- Meanwhile in a pan on medium flame take 1 tsp oil once the oil is hot add fennel seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamom seeds. Toss them till they are fragrant.
- Then add onions and salt and sauté till onions are translucent, and then add tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and green chilli and cook till tomatoes are tender and mixed well with onions.
- Remove from flame and let it cool down completely. Then add the mixture in the blender, you can do it in batches and add cashew to them. Grind them to very smooth taste. Do remember we have put in cinnamon sticks and bay leaf, if the mixture is not blended well then you might get small pieces in mouth.
- In the same pan add 1 tsp of oil and add cumin seeds (P.S if you have not added the bay leaf and cinnamon earlier you can add them now). Once the seeds splatter add the taste we just blended and add a big pinch of kasoori methi in it. Make sure to rub kasoori methi between your fingers or palm to release all flavours. Mix well and leave it covered on medium flame for 2 minutes then cook it uncovered till the mixture starts releasing oil.
- Meanwhile your potatoes should be ready, peel them and prick them with fork.
- In another pan, add 1 tbsp oil and once the oil is hot add the potatoes to it, make sure they do not overlap, all potatoes should touch the base to get the brown color. Cook them till they get browned all side so keep tossing them in between.
- While the potatoes are being cooked in a small bowl take all the ingredients needed for marination and add pour them over the potatoes and cook till all the liquid has disappears and yogurt is well coated around the potatoes.
- Once done, add the potatoes to the other pan where the mixture has been cooking, mix them to coast well and add sufficient water, water depends on the consistency you cooking for the gravy.
- Then add shah jeera and fresh coriander.