Dum Aloo - Spicy Potato Recipe
Spicy potato recipe - dum aloo style
This is my own quick and easy version of a classic Kashmiri potato dish.
Genuine dum aloo is often served as a side dish, but because we are vegetarian, I use additional vegetables to make a meat-free meal.
Of course, because dinnertime always seems to sneak up on me, I use a curry paste to make this dish even more quick and easy.
We have this for dinner, served with flatbread, but it's a great recipe for lunchtime tooIf you're not vegetarian, but like Indian and Pakistani themed foods, this makes a great side dish to accompany other dishes.
You can easily make it in advance too and just complete the finishing touches prior to serving. This is also suitable for vegans because the spice paste I use contains no animal by-products at all.
Don't be fooled by the 'lactic acid' ingredient - it's not animal-based. It's also inexpensive as only about a tablespoon of paste is required and the rest keeps for ages in the fridge - ready for next time.
Ingredients for dum aloo style potatoes
These quantities make just the right amount of this dish to make dinner for the two of us. If you're serving this as a side dish it will feed more people,of course.
- 12 small potatoes - approximately
- 1 tomato
- 1 medium onion
- 1 small sweet red pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small piece ginger root
- 1 tablespoon Patak's korma paste
- Fresh cilantro
- Olive oil
Simple potato prep
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Wash the potatoes and clean out any eyes. I don't peel them but chop them into halves (or quarters for larger ones.) When the oil is hot, add the potatoes, stirring them. I prefer to dab them gently with paper towel before adding them to the pan to mop away any moisture that would make them spit in the oil.
Turn down the heat under the pan to medium.
My favourite cookbook
I've owned this book for years (so many that it's beginning to fall apart) and I find so much inspiration for interesting meals.
Although the author is best known for Indian cooking, this huge book covers vegetarian recipes and meal ideas from all around the world. It's invaluable in my kitchen and in very regular use.
Peel and chop the onions. Give the potatoes in the pan a good stir, add the chopped onion and stir again. Shake or stir the pan occasionally so that the potatoes and onion don't stick and are evenly cooked.
Prepare the pepper
PEPPER, GARLIC, GINGER & CILANTRO
Now that the vegetables in the pan are cooking nicely, de-seed and slice the red pepper. Peel and chop the ginger and the garlic and chop about three quarters of the cilantro. I chop them into a bowl. mix them together and then add them to the pan, stirring them in. Cook them together for about a minute.
Spoon the paste into the pan and stir it into the vegetables. Let the flavors mingle for about a minute and add approximately ½ cup water. Stir well, but gently, so you don't break up the potatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
PREP THE TOMATO
The tomato is added at the last minute because it gives flavor and freshness to the final dish and, although I still have the 'cheat chapattis' to heat, I get the tomato ready first so that they chapattis can be served right away. All I do is halve the tomato, remove the seeds and slice. Then set them aside. If you're preparing this dish in advance, this is where to stop. When you're ready to serve, you'll just need to heat the potato / vegetable mix, heat the chapattis and add the tomato. This takes only a minute.
This potato dish is lovely served with any sort of flatbread. Sometimes, I used ready-to-heat naan bread. Other times (not very often, I admit) I make chapattis from scratch. The problem with that though is that ideally a gas ring is needed and I have electric. So the solution is to cheat and use commercially-bought tortillas. I use either one large, or two small, per person. The first step is to open the kitchen door because this can get smoky! Heat a flat bottomed skillet or frying pan to a high heat. Place a tortilla in the pan and press down using a spatula. After only about ten seconds, flip it and press down again.
TO SERVE DUM ALOO
Check the potato dish and to see if the liquid is sufficient. If it is a little too thick, just add a little more water. If too thin, turn the heat up and boil briefly to reduce the sauce. At the last minute, add the tomato slices and stir. Plate the dum aloo and serve with the chapattis and fresh cilantro to garnish.
This is a fascinating book which contains over five hundred delicious recipes. Many people consider this to be THE ultimate resource for meat-free Indian food.
If your experiences with Indian food has been in restaurants, you'll be amazed when you try 'the real thing'. This style of cookery uses no garlic or onions so if this fits in with your dietary preferences, this is the book for you.
Further reading - meatless meals
This is a wonderful book for those who are looking for information about eating healthily - vegetarian or not. It's a great reference book if you already stick to a vegetarian diet but also invaluable if you are considering eating less meat or adopting a vegetarian way of life. An invaluable reference book which is full of delicious ideas.
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© 2013 Jackie Jackson