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.
Serve jeera aloo hot or warm withChapati, Poori, Paratha or your favorite bread. You can also serve aloo jeera as a side dish with dal and steamed rice.
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.