Bengali Aloor Dum
We often write about our love for the versatility of potatoes so it really should come as no surprise that we’ve found yet another recipe for potatoes that makes us swoon.
As it happens, on a day that we needed to cook a special meal, we could find only potatoes in our pantry. We had to choose between making the delicious Kashmiri Dum Aloo or trying a new recipe, and because it was that kind of day, something new won. We reached out to Marshmallow who you know from these delicious recipes and stories. She has a Bengali Cook called Buladi who was happy to set us up with a brilliant recipe.
The Bengali Aloor Dum is not just differently pronounced but it is a whole world away in terms of taste. Baby potatoes cooked to a perfect bite in a rich, thick base that is fragrant with whole and ground spices. We cleaned up every surface this delicious dish touched.
250g Baby Potatoes (try and avoid new potato because they absorb more water)
1 ½ medium Onions, thinly sliced
1 medium Tomato
2 Green Chilis
1 inch Ginger
10-12 cloves Garlic
1 stick Cinnamon
4-8 pieces Cloves
3-4 pieces Cardamom
2 small Bay Leaves
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ Red Chili Powder (go easy on this if you don’t like it spicy)
½ tsp ground Coriander
¾ tsp ground Cumin
Pinch of Sugar
Salt as per taste
10 tbsp of Mustard oil (hyperlink)
Peel and halve the potatoes. Heat about 3-4 tbsp of oil in a kadahi and fry the potatoes with some salt on medium heat for about 5-7 mins till they appear semi cooked. Place the potatoes on some paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Take half of the onions, ginger, green chili, garlic and grind them into a paste.
Add the remaining oil to the kadahi and heat. Add bay leaves, 3-4 pieces of clove, and half the cinnamon stick. Add the remaining sliced onions to the hot oil and fry till they turn brown.
Turn the heat down low and add the paste. Cook the paste till the raw onion smell dissipates (don’t let it turn brown). Add the turmeric, chili powder, coriander and cumin. Stir and cook for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomato and cook till the it releases oil.
Add the fried potatoes, sugar and salt. Add 4 tbsp of water, cover and cook. While the potatoes cook, take the rest of the clove, cardamom and cinnamon and coarsely grind them. Pierce the potato to see if they are cooked. Remove the bay leaves and add the freshly ground spice mix. Stir well and take it off the heat.
Serve with warm chapatis, luchis, or for pure indulgence, some rice.