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Dum Aloo

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Dum aloo is one of my favourite veggie curries.

I first tried dum aloo at a friend’s wedding. The catering company made it with small new potatoes and I loved it. It wasn’t until years later that I tried it again.

That time I was on a stag do somewhere in London. It’s all a bit of a blur now, but I can remember that curry as if it was yesterday. A huge karahi was brought to our table filled with deep-fried whole potatoes in a thick red sauce. This is my version of that dish. I just wish I could remember where I had it.

Dum aloo 

What is dum aloo?

Dum Aloo is a popular and flavorful Indian dish that features potatoes (aloo) cooked in a rich and aromatic spiced tomato-based gravy. The term “Dum” refers to the slow-cooking technique used in the preparation of the dish. Dum cooking involves cooking food on low heat, often in a sealed container, to allow the flavors to meld and intensify.

About this dum aloo recipe.

There are many recipes for dum aloo. This dum aloo recipe is from the Kashmiri region of India and Pakistan. 

In that area, many people do not consume onions, garlic or ginger which is why you will find no garlic or onions in this recipe. I do add a half teaspoon of ground ginger but that is optional and definitely not used in the authentic recipe.

So this dum aloo is perfect for those who don’t like garlic and onions or just want to avoid bad breath. You won’t miss either. I promise.

Which potatoes are best for a good dum aloo?

New potatoes are most commonly used in a dum aloo. You could do this too and the cooking time will be shorter. I prefer dum aloo with larger potatoes which you cook until tender and then break up in the sauce as you eat it.

It’s really a personal thing so feel free to use the potatoes you like best.

Can you upscale or downscale this dum aloo recipe?

Yes! This is normally a somewhat dry curry but if you like a lot of sauce, you could double the sauce ingredients. Just be careful with the chilies. If you don’t like a lot of spicy heat, add more chili powder to taste while the sauce is simmering.

If you are doubling the recipe, you can of course double the amount of potatoes you use. Is the sauce looking too dry?  Add a little water or if it is too saucy, just cook it down. It’s really hard to overcook a potato so preparing your sauce exactly to your liking should not be a problem.

Can you work ahead?

No problem. Go ahead and boil and even fry the potatoes a couple of days ahead of serving. You can also prepare the sauce a couple of days ahead of serving the curry. Then all you need to do is heat your dum aloo up until the potatoes are perfectly soft and the sauce is hot.

How long can you keep this curry in the fridge?

If you have leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for at least 5 days. Then just heat it all up. If using larger potatoes, it will be easier to heat your dum aloo in a microwave. If you are using new potatoes, you could just heat it all up in a pan. 

Can you freeze your dum aloo?

You can but you might notice that the sauce texture is different. It will still taste good but dairy products such as yoghurt don’t freeze well. If you do freeze it, your dum aloo will keep nicely in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Is dum aloo spicy?

It can be. In the recipe below I keep the chillies and chilli powder to a minimum. When I cook it for myself, I usually add at least another tablespoon of chilli powder.

This will also give you a deeper red colour. You could substitute a mild chilli powder or paprika if you want the colour without the spicy kick.

Pro Tips

  1. Don’t overcook the potatoes when you boil them. The potatoes should be tender enough to stick a fork in with some resistance but not so tender they fall apart.
  2. Feel free to fry the potatoes until you achieve the colour you are looking for. 
  3. Taste the sauce before adding the potatoes and check for seasoning. Adjust to your own preferences. 
  4. Cook the potatoes in the sauce until they are fall apart tender. If you need to add more water to do this, do it! Then just simmer it down until the potatoes are cooked through and the sauce consistency is to your liking. 

Step by step photographs.

Ingredients for this potato curry

Get all your ingredients together before you start cooking.

Boiling the potatoes.

Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until they are soft enough to easily stick a fork in but still quite hard.

Frying the potatoes

Fry the potatoes for 3 to 8 minutes depending on how dark you want them.

Finished fried potato.

I took mine out after about 5 minutes. They were nice and golden brown.

The Kashmiri chillies, tandoori masala and ground ginger in a blender

Place the soaked chillies, tandoori masala, ground ginger, if using and the soaking water in a blender and blend until smooth.

The blended chillies

Blend until you see no pieces of chilli. Just a smooth sauce.

Mixing the yoghurt with the chilli sauce from the blender.

Whisk the blended chilli sauce with the yoghurt.

Infusing the whole spices and ground spices in oil over a medium-high heat.

Heat some oil over a medium-high heat in a pan that has a tight fitting lid. Add the whole spices and the remaining ground spices and fry for about a minute.

Stirring in the prepared yoghurt and chilli sauce blend.

Add the prepared yoghurt and chilli sauce blend.

Adding the fried potatoes to the pan.

Add the par-cooked, fried potatoes.

Potatoes cooking in the curry sauce in a covered pan.

Cover the pan and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fall apart soft. You can add more water if needed to do this.

Dum aloo

All done. This sauce with the potatoes is amazing. Season with flaky salt and coriander and a little lemon juice if you like.

Dum aloo served with naan bread.

Serve it up. No side dishes needed but I did serve mine with a sneaky garlic naan.

If you like this dum aloo recipe, you might like to try some of the Indian Vegetarian favourites.

Dum Aloo
Pakistani Chickpea Biryani
Punjabi Saag Curry
Punjabi Rajma
Butternut Squash Curry
Sri Lankan Green Beans Curry
Aloo Gobi
Saag Paneer
Onion Pakora Curry
Chana Saag Curry
Potato Curry
Saag Paneer
Mushroom Curry
Masala Corn
Gobi Manchurian
Bombay Potatoes
Masala Dosa
Saag Aloo
Tandoori Hummus
Tarka Dal
Masoor Dal
Dal Makhani
Chana Dal
Homemade Poppadoms From Scratch
Cabbage Thoran
Chai Tea (masala chai)

Have you tried this dum aloo recipe?

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Yield: 3 - 4

Dum Aloo

Dum aloo
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 5–6 medium roasting potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil, plus extra for deep-frying
  • 8–12 dried Kashmiri chillies, soaked in 250ml (1 cup) water for 30 mins
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 250g (1 cup) natural plain yoghurt
  • 2.5cm (1in) cinnamon stick
  • 1⁄2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp chilli powder, plus more to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 1⁄2 tsp garam masala
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon


  1. Par-cook the whole potatoes in boiling water until about 80% cooked through – about 15–20 minutes. They should be soft enough to easily stick a fork in but hard enough that you wouldn’t want to start eating.
  2. For deep-frying, heat about 10cm (4in) of rapeseed oil – enough to cover the potatoes. When hot (if you have an oil thermometer, aim for 190°C/375°F), carefully place the par-cooked potatoes in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes, until crispy and brown. Set aside.
  3. Now pour your soaked chillies and the soaking water into a blender and add the tandoori masala and ground ginger, if using and blend until smooth. Stir this into the yoghurt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  4. To cook the curry, heat the 2 tablespoons of rapeseed (canola) oil in a large wok or frying pan over medium–high heat. Stir in the cinnamon stick, asafoetida, chilli powder, bay leaf, cardamom pods, fennel seeds turmeric, cloves, cumin and coriander and fry it all, stirring continuously, for about 1 minute.
  5. Now pour in the yoghurt mixture and whisk. The oil will rise to the top as it is added, so you need to whisk briskly to emulsify it into the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium.
  6. Once you’ve achieved a smooth red emulsified sauce, add salt to taste and try it. I usually add more chilli powder at this point too as the potatoes can stand up to a spicier sauce.
  7. In go the fried potatoes! Stir them into the sauce, then cover the pan to simmer for about 10 minutes. It’s really hard to over-cook a potato so just let them simmer in the sauce and become fall-apart gorgeous. Cooked to perfection, you should be able to cut into them with a fork and take a sneaky bite or two. Just don’t rush things. Your curry is ready when the potatoes are super soft and the sauce has thickened.
  8. Check for seasoning.


  1. To serve, sprinkle with chopped coriander (cilantro) and garam masala and add a twist or two of lemon juice.


MAKE IT VEGAN: Substitute soy or coconut yoghurt for the dairy yoghurt. The yoghurt is used as a sauce thickener so whisking in about 1 generous teaspoon of cornflour (cornstarch) will help achieve a similar consistency.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 599Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 1049mgCarbohydrates: 1393gFiber: 193gSugar: 505gProtein: 247g

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