Recipe: Curried Potato

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Potato and pea curry with tomato and coriander (aloo dum)

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Aloo dum is possibly the most common vegetable curry in India. It’s almost like chips with everything here, aloo dum with everything there. It’s either easy to make or hard, depending on what you want to do with it. If I was describing it to somebody I’d just say boil potatoes, fry them with garam masala, add some tomato, chilli, turmeric and salt and it’s done; then, if you like, throw in frozen peas just before the end.


    For the fried potatoes

    • 1kg/2lb 4oz potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm/1¼oz chunks
    • 4 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp ground turmeric

    For the sauce

    • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 Indian bay leaves
    • ¼ tsp asafoetida
    • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
    • 6 garlic cloves, finely crushed
    • 5cm/2in fresh root ginger, finely grated
    • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • ½ tsp amchur (dried mango powder)
    • ½ tsp ground turmeric
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 200g/7oz tomato passata
    • 2 green chillies, sliced lengthways into thin strips, with or without seeds according to preference


    • 150g/5½oz frozen peas
    • 1 tsp garam masala
    • handful chopped coriander leaves, to finish


    • Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for eight minutes until just tender, then drain well. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a medium-high heat, add the potatoes and fry for five minutes, or until golden-brown. Add the turmeric and fry for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
    • For the sauce, heat the oil in another pan over a medium-high heat. Add the bay leaves and fry for one minute, then add the asafoetida and stir.
    • Add the onion and fry for five minutes; then add the garlic and ginger and fry for five minutes, or until softened and lightly golden-brown.
    • Add the chilli powder, cumin, coriander, amchur, turmeric and salt and fry for one minute, then add the tomato passata, green chillies and 100ml/3½fl oz water and stir together.
    • Add the fried potatoes, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, adding a splash of water if anything catches on the bottom of the pan.
    • Add the peas and garam masala and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes, or until the peas are cooked. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.


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