Punjabi Dum Aloo Recipe | Restaurant style Dum Aloo
Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Santosh Allada
Punjabi Dum Aloo Recipe – Deep-fried baby potatoes are slow-cooked in rich, creamy, and spice-infused onion-tomato-yogurt gravy. This potato gravy dish goes well with any rice dish or Indian bread.
Who does not love potatoes? It is one of the most loved vegetables by kids to adults. Myriad dishes are prepared with this vegetable.
It is cooked in combination with almost all vegetables, like Aloo Gobhi, Aloo Gobhi Matar, Potato Capsicum, Aloo Tomato, Mix Veg, and the list goes on. It’s added in biryanis and pulao. Also, it is stuffed inside bread to make sandwiches, bread rolls, bread pakoda, and stuffed inside flatbread Aloo Paratha.
What is Dum Aloo?
If you are not familiar with Dum Aloo, this dish gets its name from the traditional method of cooking. Dum refers to a type of cooking.
Dum is the traditional method where food is simmered (slow cook on low heat) in a sealed earthen or heavy bottom pot (handi) for hours. The pot is sealed with roti dough or cloth that traps the steam inside until the ingredients become tender. Dum cooking helps retain steam which in turn keeps the dish moist.
The word Dum means “slow cooked by sealing the pot to trap the steam” and Aloo means “potato” in the Hindi language.
Dum cooking was usually associated with cooking non-vegetarian dishes in pre-partition India and much later, the slow cooking technique was extended to vegetarian dishes. That is how, a new addition to the food of both Hindus and Muslims in the valley, Dum Aloo made its appearance.
Dum Aloo traces its origin in the Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine, from the Indian part of Kashmir Valley of Jammu & Kashmir.
Soon it spread to most parts of North India. The other famous ones are Kashmiri Dum Aloo, Punjabi Dum Aloo, Bengali Dum Aloo, Jaipuri Dum Aloo, and Banarasi Dum Aloo.
Depending on the region, procedure, ingredients, flavors, and tastes are different. Also, some prefer to make it dry and others make it with gravy. But, the common string across this regional preparation is the use of baby potatoes.
In this post, I’m sharing the recipe for Punjabi Dum Aloo.
About Punjabi Dum Aloo Recipe
Punjabi Dum Aloo recipe is a restaurant-style preparation, where baby potatoes are deep fried and simmered in a base gravy made with onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, spices, and thickened with cashews and curd.
There are huge variations of Dum Aloo recipes that are cooked in different styles across India. Depending on the region, procedure, ingredients, flavor, and taste are different.
Also, there are many versions of this potato gravy curry prepared and served in restaurants and dhabas worldwide. My Punjabi Dum Aloo Recipe is a restaurant-style variant of the dish which you can easily make at home.
The aroma and flavor of Punjabi Dum Aloo depend heavily on the spices. The allure of Punjabi dum aloo lies in the plethora of spices that transform the potatoes into a melting pot of flavors.
I have divided the whole process into 3 steps to make it easy to follow
1. Deep Fry the potatoes.
2. Prepare the paste.
3. Dum cook the fried potatoes.
I have deep-fried the baby potatoes, but there is an alternative for people who prefer fewer calories. Partially cook the potatoes by boiling just enough to peel off the skin and shallow fry them in a pan.
Here in restaurant style dum aloo recipe made the Punjabi way, the base gravy is the star. Punjabi Dum Aloo gets its characteristic flavor and luscious texture from the intensely-flavored base gravy.
The gravy gets a silky smooth texture, rich taste, and flavor by using cashew nuts and curd. Coriander stems are the ultimate addition to this base gravy which gives it a fresh flavor and aroma.
Potatoes are like a sponge that is really good in terms of soaking up the flavors from the spices. The potatoes after dum cooked will absorb all the flavor of spice-infused gravy and be enrobed into the aromatic, rich, creamy thick gravy.
Layers of flavors, aroma, and soft yet firm potatoes, the first byte and you will fall in love with Dum Aloo.
This Punjabi Dum Aloo recipe is moderately spicy. To reduce the spice, I would suggest adding only Kashmiri red chili powder and skipping red chili powder and garam masala. To even further reduce it down on heat, skip green chili.
Reasons to try
Rich, creamy, delicate, and delectable curry.
Depth of flavors.
Luscious and absolutely delicious.
Vegetarian and Gluten free.
The dish tastes better the next day.
With the help of a few hacks and tips, you too can make restaurant-style Punjabi Dum Aloo at home.
I prefer to select small-size baby potatoes as it takes less time to cook and they absorb more flavor from the gravy to the center.
If you’re not able to find baby potatoes, you can use the regular potatoes and cut them in half or quarters depending on the size.
In theory, the step of deep frying the baby potatoes is optional. But, for the authentic restaurant style flavor and texture, I recommend not skipping this step.
Prevent curd from curdling: Whisk the curd well before adding it to the gravy. Mix spice powders with the curd and mix well. Before adding the curd, turn the flame to low and stir continuously until all the curd is combined and the oil separates.
Do not skip cashews and curd as both impart creaminess and richness to the gravy. These two also balance the tanginess of the tomatoes and the heat of the spices.
Do not rush to cook the masala paste. It needs patience for cooking on a slow flame.
Meal-prep Dum Aloo for a party, get-together, or potluck, make the onion-tomato-cashew base gravy a day ahead, and refrigerate. Make sure to cool the gravy before refrigerating. On the day of serving, deep fry/pan fry the baby potatoes and simmer them in the base gravy for 10-15 minutes.
Alternatively, you can make Dum Aloo the previous day and refrigerate it. But, do not cook the potatoes completely. Next day, you can add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to the curry and simmer on low heat until the potatoes are tender.
Potato: Authentic and traditional Dum Aloo recipe uses Baby Potatoes. It is the main ingredient to make this mouth-watering delicacy.
Oil: you can use any oil in this recipe.
Base gravy: oil, bay leaf, cumin, whole black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom, onion, tomatoes, cashews, dry red chilies, ginger, garlic, coriander stems, and salt.
Yogurt/Curd: this makes the gravy wonderfully creamy.
Spice powders: turmeric powder, red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala.
Kashmiri red chili powder is known for its bright red color than spice. This is what gives the Dum Aloo the restaurant’s signature reddish color.
Sugar: It is used to balance the sourness of the tomatoes.
Herbs: dried fenugreek leaves and salt.
How to make Punjabi Dum Aloo
Step 1. Deep Fry the Potatoes
1. With the help of a fork or toothpick, prick 8-10 baby potatoes a couple of times.
This is mandatory so that when dum cooking, the potatoes absorb the flavors of gravy.
2. Heat oil in a pan over a high flame and deep fry the potatoes by stirring in between until golden color.
3 & 4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes that are golden and transfer them to a plate. Fry all the potatoes till golden and crisp.
Step 2. Prepare the Base Gravy
5. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan over medium flame. When hot, add 1/4 tsp cumin, 2-3 cloves, 1-inch cinnamon, 2 small green cardamoms, 3 Kashmiri dry red chilies, 6-8 garlic cloves, and 2-inch ginger. Saute for 10 seconds or until aromatic.
6 & 7. Add roughly chopped 1 large onion and 8-10 cashews. Saute until onions turn soft.
8. Add the chopped 3 medium-sized tomatoes and saute for 1-2 minutes.
9 & 10. Add salt, 2 tbsp coriander stems, and 1 green chili. Give a good mix.
11 & 12. Cover the pan and simmer on low flame until tomatoes turn mushy.
Can add 3-4 tbsp water, it will help tomatoes cook faster.
13. Transfer the onion-tomato masala to a blender jar and keep it aside to cool.
14. Blend to a smooth paste by adding 1/4 cup of water.
For a smoother texture, you can strain it.
Step 3: Make the Punjabi Dum Aloo
15. In a bowl add 3 tbsp full-fat curd, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1-2 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder, 1/2 tbsp coriander powder, and 1/2-1 tsp garam masala. Mix well until smooth without any lumps and keep aside.
17. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a deep pan or handi over medium flame. When hot, add 2 bay leaves and saute until aromatic.
Meanwhile, heat 1 cup of water on a low flame.
18. Add the blended masala paste and give a good mix.
If you are a beginner, be careful as a lot of spluttering happens and can cause skin burns.
19. Saute until the moisture evaporates.
You can cover the pan with a lid and cook the masala paste. In between stir after 1-2 minutes so that the masala does not stick to the pan.
20. Add the curd mixture and stir continuously so that the curd does not split.
21. Saute until the oil separates on the sides of the pan.
22. Add 1/2 tsp sugar and mix well. Taste test and add salt and spice, if needed.
23. Add the fried potatoes and give a good mix.
If you want you can again poke holes in the fried potatoes. This is an optional step.
24. Add 1 cup of hot water and mix well.
25. Seal the pan with aluminum foil or with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure that there is no space for steam to escape. Simmer on low flame for 10-15 minutes.
The cooking time will depend on the size of the potatoes. Check once after 10 minutes, if the potatoes are uncooked, continue to dum for 5 more minutes.
26. Remove the foil and you will notice a thin layer of oil floating on the top.
27. Add 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and 1/2 tbsp kasuri methi (crush between palms before adding). Mix well.
28. Simmer the curry for 5 minutes and turn off the flame.
If you feel the gravy is thin, continue to cook the curry until it thickens, or add more hot water if you prefer thin consistency.
Punjabi Dum Aloo is ready. Garnish with coriander leaves and kasuri methi before serving.
Serve this delicious Punjabi Dum Aloo hot or warm with Indian bread of your choice like tandoori roti, butter naan, whole wheat roti, chapati, puri, or lachha paratha. Serve it with raita, and a salad on the side for a wholesome meal.
If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Before serving, reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop. If the gravy has thickened, add water as per how you want the gravy of dum aloo.
You could also freeze the base gravy in an airtight container or portion it out in ziplock bags. Thaw and heat the gravy well before adding the potatoes and it will make the meal prep easier.
The leftover dum aloo tastes best the next day. When you keep the curry in the fridge overnight, flavors disperse more evenly and the gravy matures with time enhancing its flavors and aroma. Also, the longer potatoes are in the sauce, the more they will absorb the flavors.