Baby potatoes cooked in a mild yogurt-based curry and flavored with fennel, ginger, and whole spices; this Kashmiri dum aloo is a classic dish from Indian cuisine.
Kashmiri aloo dum is mildly spiced, tangy, and oh-so-delicious. It pairs perfectly with basmati rice, roti, or naan and is a great new way to enjoy potatoes.
What is Kashmiri dum aloo?
Kashmiri dum aloo is a simple potato curry made with baby potatoes simmered in yogurt and spice gravy. This dish does not use onion, tomato, or garlic. Ginger is also used in dried form (called saunth). The main flavoring spice of this dish is fennel powder, which adds a unique and distinctive taste.
Kashmiri dum aloo is mildly sour and mildly spicy and has a rich yogurt-based gravy. Since onion and garlic are not used, it is considered satvik and can also be made for fasting/vrat.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Authentic and unique: Kashmiri dum aloo is an authentic and unique dish from Kashmiri cuisine, known for its distinct flavors and preparation methods.
- Easy to make: Despite its authentic flavors, this dish is surprisingly easy to prepare.
- No onion and no garlic dish: This recipe of Kashmiri dum aloo is made without onions and garlic, making it suitable for those who follow a Jain diet or prefer dishes without these ingredients.
- Mildly spiced: Kashmiri dum alu stands out from typical Indian curries because of its mild spiciness. It is an excellent choice for individuals who prefer a milder yet flavorful dish.
Baby potatoes: New baby potatoes work best for this dish. If you are using regular potatoes, cut them in half after boiling them.
Whole spices: I use jeera (cumin seeds), shah jeera (caraway seeds), bay leaf, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, pepper, and Kashmiri red chili. All these spices are easily available in Indian grocery stores and online stores like Amazon.
Powdered spices: I use fennel powder, ginger powder, Kashmiri chili powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala powder.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Dum aloo can be prepared in many ways depending on the region. The two most popular versions are the Kashmiri dum aloo and Punjabi dum aloo. The biggest difference in both versions is the use of onion, garlic, and tomatoes in the Punjabi version. Hyderabadi dum aloo is also a popular variation that is made in the South-Indian style and uses coconut and tamarind for the masala base, and spices like mustard seeds and curry leaves are also used.
Kashmiri dum aloo has flavors from whole and powdered spices. The spices are subtle and are balanced by yogurt, making this dum alu tangy and flavorful. The Punjabi version of dum aloo is made with onions and tomatoes. The potatoes are simmered in an onion-tomato spice base. Cream and/or nut paste (cashew or almond) is also used in the Punjabi version, which makes the Punjabi dum aloo rich, creamy, and mildly sweet. This version is what is commonly available in restaurants, too.
Step 1: Boil potatoes until done. Peel them and set them aside (image 1).
Step 2: Take fresh curd/yogurt in a bowl and whisk it well. Add the ground fennel, dry ground ginger, Kashmiri chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, and garam masala. Whisk it well (images 2 and 3). Add one cup of water and mix well. Set aside (image 4).
Step 3: Fry potatoes on medium heat until they are golden brown. Carefully flip them and fry until both sides are golden brown. Set them aside (images 5 and 6).
Step 4: Heat ghee in a frying pan or kadhai. Add whole spices (bay leaves, green cardamom, black cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, pepper), jeera, shah jeera, Kashmiri red chillies, and hing (images 7 and 8).
Step 5: Add the yogurt and spice powder mixture and bring to a boil (images 9 and 10).
Step 6: Add the fried potatoes and mix well. Cover and simmer on low heat until the potatoes are completely done, and the gravy thickens slightly (images 11 and 12).
Make sure the yogurt is whisked very well and does not have any lumps to it. If the yogurt is lumpy, it will give a curdled texture to the curry.
Use whole baby potatoes that are almost the same size. This way, they will all cook uniformly at the same time.
Take care not to over-boil the potatoes. They should be just done so that the skin can be peeled off, but they should still have some firmness to it. Once the potatoes are boiled, drain the water from them immediately. This step is crucial and cannot be skipped.
You can also use an Instant Pot to cook the potatoes. Clean the potatoes and place them in a steamer basket. Add two cups of water to the inner pot and place the steamer on top. Pressure cook potatoes for 8 minutes and then do a quick release of pressure.
I prefer to shallow-fry the potatoes instead of deep-frying them. You may deep fry them if you prefer to. Also, I am using ghee to make this dum aloo curry; however, you can use mustard oil or any other cooking oil.
Since Kashmiri chili powder is used, this curry is quite mild. If you want a hotter version, add a small amount of regular red chili powder or cayenne pepper. You can adjust the amount of the chili powder as per your preference.
What to serve with Kashmiri dum aloo?
Kashmiri aloo dum is typically served with rice or bread. It pairs exceptionally well with basmati rice, which allows you to enjoy the creamy and flavorful curry sauce along with the tender baby potatoes. It can also be paired with flavored rice dishes like jeera rice and saffron rice.
Yes, you can use other types of potatoes for Kashmiri aloo dum, such as russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes. However, baby potatoes are the best choice because they are small and have tender skin. They will cook evenly and will not fall apart in the gravy.
Yes, you can make Kashmiri dum aloo ahead of time and reheat it before serving. To do this, cook the dish according to this recipe, then let it cool completely. Once it is cool, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply bring the dish to a simmer over medium heat until heated through.
I highly recommend not freezing this dish. Freezing and thawing can alter the texture of certain dishes, particularly those with creamy or dairy-based curries like Kashmiri dum aloo.
Kashmiri dum alu has flavors from whole and powdered spices. The spices are subtle and are balanced by yogurt, making this dish tangy and flavorful. The Punjabi version of dum aloo is made with onions and tomatoes. The potatoes are simmered in an onion-tomato spice base. Cream and/or nut paste (cashew or almond) is also used in the Punjabi version, which makes the Punjabi dum aloo rich, creamy, and mildly sweet. This version is what is commonly available in restaurants, too.
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Kashmiri Dum Aloo
Prep the potatoes:
- Wash and clean the potatoes thoroughly. Place them in a large saucepan or pot and add cold water to cover them by one inch.
- Place the pot on high heat and bring it to a boil.
- Parboil the potatoes for 5-7 minutes or until they are almost done. Drain the water immediately.
- Once they cool down slightly, peel the potatoes and set them aside.
Make yogurt-spice mix:
- Take yogurt in a bowl and whisk it well. Make sure the yogurt is smooth and lump-free.
- Add fennel powder, ginger powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, and garam masala. Whisk it well. Add 1 cup water and mix well. Set it aside.
Make the dum aloo:
- Heat one tablespoon of ghee in a frying pan or kadhai.
- Add the boiled potatoes and fry on medium heat until they are golden brown.
- Carefully flip them and fry until both sides are golden brown. Set them aside.
- In the same pan, add one more tablespoon of ghee.
- Add whole spices (bay leaves, green cardamom, black cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, pepper), jeera, shah jeera, Kashmiri red chili, and hing. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add the yogurt-spice mixture and bring to a boil. Add the fried potatoes and mix well.
- Cover and simmer until the potatoes are completely done and the gravy thickens slightly
- Add cilantro and mix well. Serve hot.