Kashmiri dum aloo is a very popular vegetarian curry from the scenic valley of Kashmir. The specialty of the Kashmiri dum aloo is in its being super flavorful even without any onion or garlic!
I have been planning to make Kashmiri dum aloo for a long time but was not able to zero-in the final combination of flavors while developing the recipe. There are numerous recipes of Kashmiri dum aloo available on Internet including ample number of videos but something or the other was not suiting my taste bud. I was looking for a version with no onion & no garlic since that’s the very essence of Kashmiri dum aloo, but some looked too red and watery and some were too bland to my liking. The consistency of the Kashmiri dum aloo should be quite thick and the gravy should be clinging to the cute little baby potatoes – that’s the way I like my Kashmiri dum aloo. During my childhood, this delicacy was a permanent item on the menu on any special family get-togethers and the only person who could perfectly churn out this super tasty Kashmiri dum aloo was my aunt, or masi, as we address her!
In our primary blog – Flavor Quotient – I have already shared different versions of dum aloo and they have become quite popular. Be it Pujabi dum aloo or Bengali style dum aloo, each one is unique in its flavor profile and has their individual specialty and that’s why I feel that aloo i.e. potatoes are the most versatile vegetables that we could have ever got! It takes on any kind of makeover effortlessly and mingles with the flavors impeccably soaking up all the deliciousness. Plus, potatoes make a very filling meal which satiates the hunger of both our mind and body.
I know, I know what you are thinking! If you are not a Bengali, then you must be smiling at the thought that Bengalis can’t get over their potatoes! Well, I can’t deny that we Bengalis are little too much into potatoes but you also can’t deny that this humble and easily available vegetable tastes really good in any form and shape – be it in simple white potato curry or spicy aloo chokha – potatoes are real all-rounders! Now coming to Kashmiri dum aloo – it’s another amazing potato dish to add to your repertoire. Kashmiri dum aloo comes from the house of nearly extinct Kashmiri pandit’s cuisine. This cuisine has some really flavorful dishes to offer with mutton rogan josh being the most popular one!
The specialty of the Kashmiri pandit’s cuisine is in making super flavorful curries without using any onion or garlic. The base of mostly all Indian curries starts with sautéing onions and garlic in oil which gives the maximum flavors to any curry, but Kashmiri dishes establish their prominent distinction at that very concept of Indian cooking. Before trying this Kashmiri dum aloo, I myself wouldn’t have believed that a curry could taste so good without any onion or garlic even after being a garlic freak myself! Additionally, if you are looking for a Jain dish, this recipe of Kashmiri dum aloo will fit the bill perfectly since it’s also a no-onion-no-garlic recipe like any other Jain preparations. Give this a try and enjoy a happy meal with friends and family because ultimately whatever we do is only for bringing happiness to our life!
- Baby potatoes – 1 kg
- Yogurt / curd – 2 cup
- Hing / asafetida - 1 pinch
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Green cardamom – 6 to 8, peel the skins and crush the seeds to a fine powder
- Clove – 4 to 6, crushed to a fine powder
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder – 2 tsp
- Ginger powder – 1 tsp
- Fennel powder – 2.5 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp (optional)
- Garam masala – 1 tsp
- Mustard / vegetable oil for deep frying
- Salt to taste
- Freshly chopped coriander leaves to garnish
- Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Pressure cook the washed potatoes upto 2 whistles so that they become partially cooked. Let the pressure cooker cool down and the steam escapes completely. Uncover the lid and drain the potatoes out. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel them and prick each one with a fork.
- Heat enough oil in a kadhai/wok for deep frying the potatoes. Once the oil is hot, fry the potatoes in batches on medium heat until they turn golden brown on all sides. Take them out using a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up excess oil.
- Take out all the oil used for deep frying from the kadhai leaving only about 2 tablespoons behind. Temper the hot oil with cumin seeds and hing.
- Make a smooth paste of spices by mixing turmeric powder, coriander powder and Kashmiri red chili powder with ¼ cup of water. After the oil become fragrant, add this spice paste to the kadhai and sauté on medium flame until the oil starts to release from the spice mix.
- In the meantime, whisk yogurt until it becomes smooth. Add beaten yogurt to the kadhai keeping the flame on minimum to avoid splitting and keep stirring constantly until the spices starts simmering.
- Now add fennel powder, ginger powder, clove powder, cardamom powder, sugar and salt to taste to the yogurt-spice mixture. Stir them really well to combine. Add a splash of water if the spices start to stick to the kadhai.
- Once the oil starts to release again from the spices, add about 1 to 1 & ½ cups of water and bring it to boil. Once the gravy starts to boil, add the fried potatoes, cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and completely cooked through and absorbs the flavors of the spices.
- After about 15 minutes, check and adjust the consistency of the gravy – boil off any excess water and keep the consistency thick and clinging to the potatoes. Check and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Turn the flame off and sprinkle garam masala on top and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Cover the Kashmiri dum aloo for 10 minutes before serving.
- Enjoy the Kashmiri dum aloo steaming hot with chapatti, naan or phulka!