the recipe of today is the very popular punjabi dum aloo. this dum aloo recipe is more restaurant like and not spicy-hot like the kashmiri dum aloo.
punjabi dum aloo has a tang from tangy tomatoes and sweet hint from onions and cashews and in combination with the usual indian spices, what you get is a creamy and delicately spiced & flavored dum aloo. you can also have a look at bengali dum aloo which is very simple and lightly spiced.
i have adapted this punjabi dum aloo recipe from a small book which i recently purchased - taste of punjab by nita mehta
now this is a step by step recipe and this will give you an idea how frying onion paste, tomato paste and cashew paste is so important for north indian dishes. if you don’t do it properly, you won’t get the right flavors and taste in your final dish.
as a substitute for yogurt, i have used lemon juice. however, the dish would equally taste good with dairy yogurt or a vegan yogurt. in the recipe details below, i have mentioned at which step the yogurt needs to be added.
so lets begin on how to make punjabi dum aloo recipe:
1: the baby aloos (potatoes) are rinsed, wiped dry, halved and shallow fried in oil till they get cooked completely.
2: in hot oil, black cardamom and cinnamon are added and fried till the oil becomes fragrant. then add the onion-ginger-garlic paste.
3: now brown this paste. the paste has to be browned before you proceed to the next step. this is an important part. if the onion paste is not browned well, the curry won’t taste good.
4: add the tomato puree and stir.
5: after 3-4 minutes, add the spice powders.
6: fry this whole masala paste till the oil starts to leave the sides. another important step.
7: now add the cashew paste.
8: stir and fry again till the oil leaves the sides of the masala paste. can you see the oil bubbles at the sides…
9: add water and stir.
10: bring the whole curry to a boil.
11: add the shallow fried baby potatoes.
12: simmer till the gravy thickens a bit and lastly add lemon juice and salt.
punjabi dum aloo recipe below:
- 10-12 baby potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1 large tomato
- ½ inch ginger
- 2-3 garlic
- 2 tbsp broken cashews or 10-12 king sized cashews soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1 black cardamom/badi elaichi
- 1 inch cinnamon stick/dal chini
- ½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
- ½ tsp red chilli powder/lal mirch powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
- 1 tsp fennel powder/saunf
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ½ tbsp lemon juice or 1 tbsp yogurt
- 2.5 to 3 cups water
- 1 or 2 tbsp coriander leaves for garnishing
- rinse the baby potatoes and wipe them dry. keep the peel on. halve or quarter them if big in size or keep them whole.
- shallow or deep fry in medium hot oil till they are golden browned and completely cooked.
- grind the soaked cashew to a smooth paste. grind the onions, ginger and garlic to a smooth paste. also blend the tomatoes to a smooth puree.
- heat 2 to 3 tbsp oil. add the black cardamom and cinnamon. fry till the oil becomes fragrant and then add the onion-ginger-garlic paste.
- on a low flame fry the paste till it becomes golden brown and the oil separates. this takes about 9-10 minutes.
- add the tomato puree to the browned paste and stir.
- after 3-4 minutes, add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, fennel powder one by one.
- stir again and fry till the oil separates. takes about 10-12 minutes.
- now add the cashew paste and yogurt (if you are going to use yogurt, at this stage).
- again fry the masala paste till the oil separates. this takes about 3-5 minutes.
- now add approx 2.5 to 3 cups of water. bring the gravy to a boil.
- add fried potatoes and simmer for some 4-5 minutes till the gravy thickens.
- lastly add lemon juice (if you are going to use this, at this stage). add salt.
- garnish dum aloo with some chopped coriander leaves and serve punjabi dum aloo hot with rotis or steamed basmati rice.