Aloo Dum - A Delicious Bengali Potato Delicacy
Aloo Dum is loved everywhere and preparations vary from Bengali Aloo Dum to Punjabi Dum Aloo and Kashmiri Aloo Dum, but no matter which one you try, they are all just so great. In some variations like Kashmiri Aloo Dum, curd is added which further enhances the taste of this dish.
I have boiled the potatoes till they are 90% cooked (see Preparation), as when the dum is given to the aloo, they cook all the way till they are well done. The dum is basically to cook anything in its own vapors. I also poke holes into the whole potatoes to let the masalas infuse in them when they are fried. This really is what gives the dish its amazing flavor. The key ingredient to this masala, and eventually this dish, is really the whole spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and pepper).
This is the Bengali version of the Aloo Dum. So, lets get to this recipe for it.
- 250 gms small to medium aloo (potatoes)
- 2 medium size onions
- 2 medium size tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
- 2 each of cardamom, cloves and cinnamon
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves (chopped)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Salt (according to taste)
- 6 tbsp oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 pepper corns
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tbsp pure ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 red chillies
- 2 longitudinally cut green chillies
1. Boil the whole potatoes until they are 90% cooked, and when done and cooled, peel them and poke holes in them from all sides with a fork so that while cooking the masalas would infuse into the potatoes.
2. Cut the onions and tomatoes finely.
Instructions for cooking
1. Heat oil in a pan and when its hot enough, reduce the flame to medium high, and fry the your potatoes until they turn golden in color, then remove them from the pan and keep aside.
2. Now, add bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and pepper corns, and red chillies, and when they splutter, you'll notice a wonderful aroma. Now, add onions and fry till they change color. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for a minute.
3. Then, add tomatoes and stir fry for 5 minutes or till they are well cooked. Now, add 2 tbsp of water and turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin and garam masala powder, salt, sugar and green chillies. Stir well. When you see the oil separating from the masala, it will indicate your ingredients are getting done.
4. Now, add the fried potatoes and stir fry properly so that the masala blends into the potatoes. Add half a cup of water and cook with the lid on and let the potatoes and masala cook in their own heat, on a low flame - this is essentially the dum we talk about. Keep frying tillt he water evaporates and the masala forms a rich paste (as in the image at the top).
5. Add the ghee all over the aloo dum.
6. You may garnish with coriander leaves.
7. Your delicious Aloo Dum is ready.
An alternative for the potatoes is to cut them and cook them the same way (in this case, you need not poke them with a fork during Preparation).
This is an awesome and rich dish you can have with rotis, chapatis, bread or any type of rice and since I'm a potato fan, cooked this way, they just turn out so yummy. As they are fried, the texture is just so well done. The masalas infused in the potatoes bring out a tremendous taste and add to the flavor many times over.
So, delve into this delicacy and enjoy.