Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kashmiri Dum Aloo - Baby potatoes cooked in spices and gravy

Potatoes – aren’t these strangely the only vegetable no kid has ever hated? Having found ourselves tired of the Idaho, Golden Russell and other American potatoes, S and I promptly picked a dozen baby (not too tiny in the Indian parlance) potatoes from our local Indian Grocery Store. These potatoes are truly considered normal sized in India, and the baby potatoes are gooseberry sized, which I haven’t seen out here.

There was no thinking, it had to be Kashmiri Dum Aloo – fresh, delicious looking little Indian potatoes. My cousin shared her sister-in-law’s recipe for Dum Aloo quite a while back, which was not the traditional version. The traditional version, slightly modified with garlic, onions and tomatoes, took me not too long.

Here’s what I needed:
1. 12 baby potatoes – microwaved for 15 minutes, or until baked well but not too tender. Peeled, and pricked with a fork

2. 4 campari tomatoes

3. 2 white onions

4. 4 cloves of garlic

5. 2 green chilis

6. 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

7. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

8. 1 ½ teaspoon fennel seeds

9. Bayleaf, 4 cloves, 3 cardamoms, 1 piece of cinnamon, 1 star anise, 4 black pepper corns, ¼ spoon dry ginger powder, ¼ spoon poppy seeds, 1 spoon Kashmiri Mirchi powder, 1 spoon Garam Masala

10. ½ cup milk and 4 tablespoons of thick yoghurt.

11. Oil, Salt, Chopped coriander leaves, cumin seeds, turmeric powder

Here’s how I dished it up:
1. Grind together 1 large onion chopped into chunks, along with the garlic, tomatoes and green chilis.

2. Grind together the coriander seeds, fennel and cumin seeds, along with the whole masalas and dry powders.

3. Chop the other onion finely, set aside

4. In a deep pan, heat a little oil and shallow fry the baked potatoes till they turn golden brown and crisp on the outside. Set aside to drain on paper towels.

5. In the same oil, allow some cumin seeds to splutter, add in the chopped onions and fry till well cooked.

6. Add the tomato-onion-chili-garlic paste followed by turmeric powder, continue frying.

7. Mix some water into the ground masala powder, add this to the cooking gravy, cover and cook till the oil parts.

8. Add the milk and quickly stir so it doesn’t curdle in heat. Now, add the thick yoghurt and continue stirring.

9. Sprinkle salt as needed, check the taste and adjust the consistency with water if the gravy is too thick.

10. Toss in the fried potatoes and cook for 5 more minutes till the flavours blend in. Sprinkle some garam masala all over finally and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

This isn't traditional, definitely not "Dum" aloo per se, but this sure is damn delicious nonetheless. This goes well with naans, rotis, jeera pulao, fried rice… Well, we’ve got the side dish going, now we have to decide what the main dish is going to be!

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