Jeera Aloo is a vibrantly spiced side dish that’s as satisfying to eat as it is easy to prepare. This classic potato recipe is loaded with cumin and fresh herbs, and is naturally gluten-free and vegan. Try it for a healthy and comforting lunch or as an addition to your favorite dinner dishes!
About Jeera Aloo
Jeera Aloo is Hindi for “Cumin Potatoes,” which is about the most perfect name for this deliciously spice-ful dish. Lots of earthy, rich cumin seeds are the foundation in this recipe. As you see with the name of the recipe, in Hindi, Jeera refers to Cumin and Aloo means Potatoes.
Both the potatoes and cumin are complimented with green chilies, turmeric, chili powder and lemon juice, and all together create a fantastic blend of bold and tangy flavors. Every bite of tender potato tastes so warm and comforting!
You can also add a bit of fresh minced ginger, if you like, for even more spice. And although I don’t include garlic or onion here, feel free to add them when you try this easy jeera aloo recipe for yourself.
The recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Whole potatoes are boiled with the skins on, then cooled, peeled and chopped, and sautéed with spices.
Jeera aloo is great for making as a filling and healthy lunch, or hearty side for any number of main dinner dishes.
Below you’ll find my step-by-step photos, video and instructions for making the best jeera aloo recipe, plus yummy serving ideas!
How to Make Jeera Aloo
1. First, scrub and rinse 5 to 6 medium-sized potatoes (500 grams) in water.
2. Boil or steam the potatoes along with ½ teaspoon salt in a stove-top pressure cooker, Instant pot or a pan, until they are tender and cooked well. Do not overcook or they’ll become mushy!
a) In a stove-top pressure cooker: Place the potatoes and add enough water which just about covers the potatoes in a 3 or 4 litre pressure cooker. Pressure cook on medium-heat for 7 to 9 minutes.
b) In a pan or pot: Peel, and chop the potatoes in small cubes. Chopping will make them cook faster in a pan. Add water enough to cover the potatoes. Sprinkle salt. Cover and simmer on a low to medium-low heat until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain all the water and set aside.
c) In the Instant Pot: Place a trivet in the steel insert of a 6 quart IP. Keep the potatoes on top of the trivet. If you do not have a trivet, you can use a steaming pan which fits in the IP. Pressure cook for 20 to 25 minutes on high pressure.
3. For the stovetop pressure cooker, wait until all the pressure falls in the cooker and then remove the lid.
For the Instant Pot, do a quick pressure release (QPR) after 5 to 7 minutes.
The potatoes should be just cooked until barely fork-tender. You want them to still be firm enough to withstand additional cooking in a skillet next.
Prep and Sauté
4. Once they are cool enough to touch, peel the skins and chop the potatoes into bite-sized cubes.
5. Next I recommend that you go ahead and measure out all of the ingredients you’ll need per the recipe below. A bit of prep work ahead of time will make cooking the jeera aloo much easier!
6. Now it’s time to make the aloo jeera. Firstly, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
7. Reduce the heat and to the hot oil add 3 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera) and let them crackle for a few seconds as you continuously stir.
They should brown but not burn, so be sure to keep them moving. The cumin seeds must crackle and you must get the lovely earthy aroma from them.
8. Once the cumin seeds crackle and change color, then add 2 to 3 finely chopped green chilies (1 to 1.5 teaspoons finely chopped green chillies or serrano peppers).
Tip: Green chillies add the pungency and heat to the dish. If you are sensitive to spice, then skip adding them or add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of chopped chillies.
9. Stir well to combine the chilies and cumin seeds.
Make Jeera Aloo
10. Next, add the boiled potato cubes to the pan.
11. Mix together so that the potato cubes are evenly coated with the cracked cumin seeds and green chilies.
12. Sprinkle the potatoes with ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon of red chili powder, and salt to taste.
You can also add 1 pinch asafetida if you are not looking for a gluten-free dish.
13. Saute the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes on low to medium-low heat, stirring often to keep the potatoes from sticking and overcooking. The smell of the seasonings together is absolutely amazing!
14. Next add 2 to 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, depending on how much sour flavor you like. Start with 1 teaspoon, and taste as you add a bit more of the lemon juice at a time to reach just the right level of tanginess.
The brightness from the lemon really brings the flavors in the dish together. 3 teaspoons of lemon juice makes the dish nicely tangy and if you love tangy food, you will like it.
If you are not a fan of tangy or sour food, then add 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
15. Lastly, add ¼ cup of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves.
16. Gently mix the coriander into the jeera aloo, and turn off the heat.
17. Serve jeera aloo hot or warm with Chapati, Poori, Paratha or your favorite bread. You can also serve aloo jeera as a side dish with dal and steamed rice.
Storage and Leftovers
Refrigerate any leftovers for 1 to 2 days. I usually make wraps or grilled sandwiches with any leftover jeera aloo. The earthy spiced tangy potatoes taste fabulous in a toasted sandwich or wraps.
Jeera Aloo FAQs
What are the best potatoes to use for making jeera aloo?
There are several different potatoes that work well for this jeera aloo recipe. Yukon gold (yellow potatoes), red skinned potatoes, baby potatoes, and russet potatoes are all well-suited for Indian cooking.
What else can I use instead of lemon juice?
If lemon juice is not available you can use 2 teaspoons of dry mango powder (amchur powder) or 2 teaspoons dry pomegranate powder (anardana powder) to get the lovely sour note. Add dry pomegranate powder, at the step when you add turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
How can I make aloo jeera without boiling the potatoes?
If you do not want to boil the potatoes, then follow these steps:
- Fry the cumin seeds and green chillies in the oil as I have explained above in the step-by-step guide.
- Add potato cubes (rinsed, peeled and preferably cut in 0.5 to 1 inch cubes). Mix and then add the spice powders and salt.
- Cover the skillet or pan tightly and cook the potatoes until tender on a low to medium-low heat. If they start sticking to the pan, add some splashes of water. Mix, cover and continue to cook until potatoes are tender.
- Finish with the coriander leaves and lemon juice.
More Potato Deliciousness!
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Jeera Aloo | How to make Jeera Aloo Recipe
For cooking potatoes
- 5 to 6 potatoes 500 grams, medium-sized
- ½ teaspoon salt
- water as required
- 3 tablespoons oil – sunflower, peanut or any neutral tasting oil
- 3 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera)
- 2 to 3 green chilies – finely chopped or 1 to 1.5 teaspoons green chillies or serrano peppers – check note 4 below
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or paprika
- salt as required
- ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice or add as per taste
- Scrub and rinse potatoes very well in water.
- Steam or cook the potatoes in a pan, stove-top pressure cooker or in the Instant pot.
- a) Cooking in a stove-top pressure cooker: In a 3 or 4 litre pressure, add the potatoes and pour enough water which just about covers the potatoes. Pressure cook on medium-heat for 7 to 9 minutes. When the cooking is complete, wait until all the pressure falls in the cooker and then remove the lid.
- b) Cooking in a pan or pot: Peel, and chop the potatoes in small cubes. Add water enough to cover the potatoes. Sprinkle salt. Cover and simmer on a low to medium-low heat until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain all the water and set aside.
- c) Pressure cooking in the Instant Pot: Place a trivet in the steel insert of a 6 quart IP. Keep the potatoes on top of the trivet. If you do not have a trivet, you can use a steaming pan which fits in the steel insert. Pressure cook for 20 to 25 minutes on high pressure. Do a quick pressure release (QPR) after 5 to 7 minutes.
- The potatoes should be just cooked until barely fork-tender and not crumbly.
- If you have cooked the potatoes, in a stove-top pressure cooker or in the Instant pot, then let the potatoes become warm or cool at room temperature, then peel them and cut into small cubes.
Making jeera aloo
- In a pan, heat oil on medium heat. Let the oil become hot.
- Lower the heat and add cumin seeds and let them crackle in the oil taking care not to burn them. Stir them when they begin to crackle.
- Now add chopped green chillies and mix very well.
- Add the potato cubes and mix again.
- Sprinkle turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt as required. Mix thoroughly.
- Saute the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes on low to medium flame stirring often.
- Next add 2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice, depending on how much tangy flavor you prefer. Start with 1 teaspoon, mix and taste as you add a bit more of the lemon juice at a time to reach just the right level of tanginess.
- Finish off with ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves.
- Combine and mix thoroughly. Switch off the heat.
- Refrigerate any leftovers for 1 to 2 days. You can wraps or grilled/toasted sandwiches with the leftover jeera aloo.
- Lemon juice: You can add 2 teaspoons of dry mango powder (amchur powder) or 2 teaspoons of dry pomegranate powder (anardana powder). For adding pomegranate powder, add it in the step when you add the turmeric and red chilli powder.
- Potatoes: Use yukon gold (yellow potatoes), red skinned potatoes, baby potatoes, or russet potatoes.
- Spice & herb variations: You can add about 1 teaspoon minced ginger. 1 teaspoon of ground coriander (coriander powder) and ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder also gives good flavors.
- Green chillies: Green chillies bring in the pungency and heat to the dish. If you are sensitive to spice, then skip the green chillies or just add about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of chopped chillies or serrano peppers.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Jeera Aloo recipe from the archives first published in September 2011 has been republished and updated on January 2023.
tried it, tastes good. Added this one to my list of recipes. Thanks for contributing to my arsenal.
Thank you and welcome.
Are their any spices milder than jeera or potato recipes that I can try to substitute the jeera? I don’t really enjoy the taste of whole jeera. Thank you.
You can omit the jeera or cumin but the taste will be very different. Instead of skipping cumin, I would suggest to add about ½ teaspoon of ground cumin. You can also add about ¼ teaspoon if you prefer.
I have shared many potato recipes. You can choose from what you like or prefer from here: Potato Recipes
This is so simple, but cumin really makes potato taste unbelivably good. Like it so much
This is such a simple and satisfying recipe with a very few ingredients. Every time we make this recipe it turns into such a flavourful dish in no time. Love it. Thanks dassana.
welcome sunila. thanks for the review on jeera aloo and glad to read it. happy cooking.
I made this last night to accompany a vindaloo dish..
Your Jeera Aloo was delicious..will definitely be making this again soon.
Probably tonight. 🙂
Thanks for sharing this Recipe.
Welcome Robert. Nice to know this.
Turned out very tasty.
so good .
your recipes are simple and very easy to make, but always turn out to be very very tasty. i learnt cooking with help of your recipes. thanks and lots of affection.
thanks a lot vijendra for this feedback. glad to know that the recipes have helped you to make tasty meals at home. happy cooking.
awesome recipe with it ds website is so cool i started cooking seeing this website now i m addicted to cooking bcoz of this website’s recipe,thank u so much
Welcome Akila. Glad to know this. Happy Cooking.
Im an Indonesian married to Singaporean Indian. Never tried to cook indian food before because i thought it would need a lot of spices that i couldnt remember. But this dish is remarkably simple yet delicious. I love love love it. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
welcome mery. glad to know that you liked the dish. there are many indian recipes which does not require much use of spices.
I am not from India but my partner is and I have always tried making dishes from. India when I discovered your recipes they made my cooking so simple and honestly my partner always says they are delicious. Thank you so much and for the step by step guide. Also the pic u put intakes cooking so simple
Wishing you alot more sucess
Welcome Sophia. Glad to know that you both are liking the recipes. Thanks for your best wishes.
Was going to prepare it for today’s night dinner along with roti..the recipes which I done by seeing urs vl b d great success
thanks prasanna for your positive feedback.
It was really good! Thanks
welcome tahmid and thanks.
it was really good! thanks.
Ur recipes are too good. Always precise. U make cooking look easy. Love all ur recipes 🙂
thanks a lot anusha 🙂
This is such an amazing food.l just love it.
thank you adyasha for your positive feedback 🙂
I have used several of your recipes and the food has always turned out delicious and brought back memories of the family kitchen in Delhi and the food cooked by my aunt and also by my father. I am sure they would both be happy and proud that I am continuing a tradition of good home cooking, and I thank you so much for helping make this possible and for enabling me to introduce authentic, wholesome Indian food to my children.
firstly a big thankyou for your kind, honest and encouraging words. you are welcome its our pleasure we could help you 🙂 god bless you.
Thanks a lot for sharing these amazing recipes. I don’t look at any other website anymore. And if there’s something I don’t find in your blog, I choose to not make it 😉
hey geetika quite pleased to know this also if you have any request in your mind just comment on our blog we would add them in our request list 🙂
Its a great, quick and easy recipe for students like me. I used curry leaves and it turned out to be a delicacy worth enjoying.
thanks pratyasha for sharing positive feedback.
Loved the recipe! Thank you! I used ground coriander (1/4 teaspoon) because I used what I had in the house, and it turned out delicious. I used gold yukon potatoes, no good reason, really, but they were perfect!
welcome lindsay. some versions of this recipe also add coriander powder.
Made this today with jacket potatoes. I guess it’s the same as any other, only bigger. Didn’t have coriander leaves, so used parsley instead. And no cumin seeds,so used powdered cumin. Potatoes were very floury, raita on the side was a must 🙂
Could you please put sort of menu for Indian fest? Would like to make more of Indian food at home, but not always which starter would work better with the main and dessert.
Greetings from London,
in this recipe, its good to have some kind of a raita or dip by the side. i have been getting requests for menus. so will try to add these. in fact certain combinations go very well and sometimes they do not. so will plan and add accordingly.
As far as I know, turmeric is not used during fast. But otherwise, the recipe is a complete “thumbs-up”!!
the usage of turmeric depends from family to family. some people use turmeric. hence i have mentioned it as optional in the post.
Can I use amchur powder instead of lemon juice?? Plz tell me
meenu, yes you can use amchur powder instead of lemon juice. if making for fasting then check your family rules as some people don’t use amchur for relgious fasting.
came out perfect!! thx
The snap is too attractive!! I loved “the pair of bells”, I think it is called as Kulhithaalam(not sure) – Looks like a priced possession. Love the intricate work on the bells.
Now coming to aloo jeera, it is easy to make and always a staple at home. I like it with curd rice.
Awesome recipe and amazing pics!
I fully agree with Adriana. The pictures are so exquisite and tempting,you feel like picking it from the screen straight away. I am very fond of potatoes. The simple receipe that you have suggested for the aloo goes well with me. I despise too much of “Masala” and deep frying. This Jat Pat recipe goes well with me,simple as it is. Thank you.
thanks. do try this simple recipe of jeera aloo. it is a fav at home.
It’s hard to choose a recipe for jeera aloo when most of them use almost the same ingredients, but what won me over instantly were your perfect pictures. I felt that I could just reach out to the screen and grab a few potatoes. I’ve just made your recipe and had the jeera aloo with chapatis. Absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing it.
thanks adriana. glad to know you liked the jeera aloo pics and also that it turned out great. also the jeera aloo taste great with chapatis or pooris.
tried kaddu ki sbzi….n it was awsome 🙂 ….
good to know that dr parul.
I made it with baby patatoes… wow just the way it looks in your picture… same.. and the taste was just awesome.My Daughter enjoyed
Too good and too easy….
Thanks once again
Really it waz sooooO yummy n mouth wateRin…i saw yo Recipiez fo da 1st tym n thot ov tRyn 1 by 1 n dz Recipie waz ma 1st attempt n it Really tuRned out jz delicious…..bfo tRyn i thot itz so smple who cud it b so gud bt i wud jz say woowwww hatz off :):) keep it up plz n kindly post moRe Recipiez eRe i lovd it… 🙂
thanks rahila. it is a simple recipe, but most of the times, recipe with simple ingredients turn out winners. i keep on posting recipes. to get the recipes in your mailbox, you can subscribe by filling your email address in the black box in the second left column.
Even though Navratri is almost over I would love more of those recipes please! I love food that is simply cooked, it is so easy to taste the goodness of the vegetables when the flavours are subtle. I will make your jeera aloo recipe and also the Bombay Sandwich which is what brought me to your blog in the first place. Thank you!
hey sure… i will keep on posting simple recipes like the ones made during fasts, as thats what i prefer to cook these days.
My husband saw this photograph while I was browsing FoodGawker and he started drooling over it! Now, I think I’ll have to make this one soon to satisfy his craving! Love jeera aloo- it always reminds me of my train journeys back from hostel- mom would pack jeera aloo and poori. Your pictures are awesome! Thanks for shairng!
thanks for your lovely comments shumaila.
Hiya lovely recipe I do want to ask what brand of red chilli powder do you use, I really like the tiny chilly bits wrapping your aloos
for this recipe i have used the everest brand of red chili powder made from kashmiri red chilies. its called as everest kashmirilal.
Hi, this looks lovely and I can’t wait to make it. What kind of potatoes do you use??
thanks susan. generally i use the potatoes which are available in the indian market. you can use either russet potatoes or red skinned potatoes or even baby potatoes. when using baby potatoes use them with the their peels on.