Dum aloo recipe with stovetop & Instant pot instructions. Easy, delicious, creamy & flavorful restaurant style dum aloo recipe made by simmering potatoes in a spicy onion tomato & yogurt gravy. Dum aloo is one of the classic Indian dishes served in a special meals like weddings, celebrations or festivals. Dum translates to steam cooked & aloo to potatoes. So dum aloo translates to potatoes that are steam cooked.
In Indian cuisine there are a lot of dishes that are made by dum cooking. Dum biryani, dum aloo, dum baingan are some of the popular dishes.
These dishes are cooked by sealing the pot to trap the steam. These are basically slow cooked which makes the dishes very flavorful & delicious.
There are different ways a dum aloo is made. Some use besan, some use only spice powders & some use both besan & yogurt. Also there is a variation, Kashmiri dum aloo which is made with just yogurt and spices.
In this post I share 2 recipes to make this dish. The first dum aloo recipe shared here is made in a restaurant style. So it is creamy, spicy and super delicious. The second recipe is to make an no onion no garlic dum aloo.
You can make the recipes in an instant pot too. Find the instructions in the recipe card below.
How to make dum aloo (stepwise photos)
1. I have used 450 to 500 grams baby potatoes, but you can also use large potatoes. Wash, peel & cube them to 1½ inch. If using uneven sized baby potatoes, cut the large size ones to make all of them the same size. This way they cook evenly.
2. Bring 3 to 4 cups water to a boil in a pot. Then add the potatoes and boil them till half cooked. To check, prick the potato with a fork. You should feel it hard but not very hard. Remove them from water and cool completely. Also ensure there is no water over them.
3. This step is optional but the texture of potatoes fried in oil is very nice. Pour 3 tablespoons oil to a wide non-stick and heat it. Add the potatoes and fry them on a medium high heat until golden.
4. I drained off the oil after 2 minutes and pan roasted them until golden. I do this just to avoid heating oil for a long time. You may do the same. Set these aside. Prick each of them with a fork in 2 to 3 spots, so the potatoes absorb some flavors.
Preparation for gravy
5. Boil 1¼ cup onions (230 grams) in 2 cups water until transparent for about 6 to 8 mins. This step helps to remove the pungent smell and bitter taste from the onions. Drain them & rinse well. Add the cooled onions, 1 cup tomatoes (180 grams) and 12 cashews (24 split) to a blender jar.
Tip: Though blanching onions is recommended, I have used them raw here as I don’t have the bitter taste problem. But I highly recommend this step as sometimes later you may taste the curry bitter.
6. Make a smooth paste. If your blender is not strong enough then filter the puree otherwise the gravy will not be smooth enough.
Making dum aloo gravy
7. Heat the pan with 2 tablespoons oil. Add 1 bay leaf & 2 green cardamom. Saute just for a minute. Add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and 1 slit green chili (optional). Saute until the raw smell goes off for about a minute.
8. Add the ground onion tomato puree.
9. Saute until the paste thickens and raw smell goes away.
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon garam masala. I used this punjabi garam masala.
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder.
11. Saute until the onion tomato masala begins to leave the sides of the pan. Make sure the raw smell has completely gone before you proceed with the next step.
12. Add ¼ cup yogurt to a small bowl and whisk it until smooth. Then add 2 tablespoons of the onion tomato masala to it. Mix all of them well and add it back to the pan. This prevents the yogurt from curdling.
[Note: Actually I add it directly to the pan and it never curdles. But I hear a lot of people say it curdles. If the yogurt is very runny it may. So this tip works well even if the yogurt is runny.]
13. Saute until it thickens and bubbles.
15. Add the fried potatoes and then ½ cup water. If needed add ¼ cup more.
16. Bring the gravy to a boil. Cover with a air tight lid or foil. Then dum cook on a very low flame for 5 to 7 mins. Check whether the potatoes are soft cooked. Make sure the gravy has reached a thick consistency. It thickens a bit more when cooled.
15. Add 1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi. Cook for just a minute. Switch off.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Keep dum aloo covered until you serve. Serve with plain paratha, laccha paratha, naan, roti, plain basmathi rice or jeera rice.
In restaurants to make dum aloo recipe, most times potatoes are deep fried which impart a great unique melt-in-the-mouth texture to the potatoes.
They turn light, tender, delicious and flavorful when added to the spicy gravy. This texture can however not be got by just boiling or steaming them.
For a home cooked dum aloo recipe to make the dish healthy, the potatoes can be boiled and used. However I have parboiled them for 3 to 4 mins, then fried them in 3 to 4 tbsp oil for 3 to 4 mins.
Then drained the oil and fried until golden. Then they are added to the gravy and dum cooked for a brief time. The dum cooking process makes the aloo very flavorful and delicious.
Recipe 2 – No onion no garlic Dum aloo
250 to 300 grams baby potatoes
3 to 4 tablespoons oil
1 bay leaf
200 grams tomatoes (1 ½ cup chopped, avoid sour tomatoes)
½ cup green peas (optional)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds or shahi jeera
1/8 teaspoon hing/ asafeotida
½ teaspoon fennel powder
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
1 ½ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ cup yogurt
15 cashew nuts to blend (or blanched & soaked almonds)
¾ to 1 cup water (more if required)
1 tablespoon coriander leaves (fine chopped)
1. Boil 250 grams potatoes until slightly tender but undercooked.
2. Drain them to a colander and prick each potato a few times (2 to 3) with a fork. Let them cool and air dry for a while. Meanwhile blend the yogurt with cashews to a smooth puree. If using almonds, soak them in hot water for 4 to 5 hours, peel and use.
3. Pour 3 tbsps oil to a small pan and add the potatoes. Fry them until blistered or light golden. Remove and set them aside.
4. Pour 2 tbsps oil to a hot pot or pan. If you want you can use the same oil in which you fried the potatoes. Regulate the flame to low and add bay leaf and half tsp shahi jeera or cumin seeds. As soon as the seeds begin to splutter, add 2 pinches of hing and half tsp fennel seeds powder.
5. Stir and add 1 teaspoon ginger paste. Saute until aromatic.
6. Add 200 grams tomatoes, half teaspoon salt and half cup green peas (optional). Saute until the tomatoes turn mushy and soft.
7. Next add red chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder.
Saute until the masala smells good and begins to separate the oils.
8. Then add the potatoes.
9. Add the ground yogurt cashew paste. Stir and cook for a few minutes until bubbling. Pour ¾ cup water. Bring it to a gentle boil.
10. Cover with a tight lid or foil. Simmer completely and dum cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the potatoes are completely tender and the gravy becomes thick.
Taste test and adjust the spices and salt if required.
Add coriander leaves and serve dum aloo with roti, poori or with basmati rice.
- To make in instant pot, skip frying the potatoes.
- Perform all the steps on saute mode (except adding yogurt cashew paste). Add the potatoes.
- Pressure cook for 4 to 5 minutes depending on the size of your baby potatoes.
- Add the yogurt and cashew paste after the pressure drops. Take a few tablespoons of gravy to the yogurt and cashew paste bowl. Mix and then add to the dum aloo in the instant pot.
Recipe 1 card
Dum aloo recipe (restaurant style)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 400 to 500 grams potatoes (1 lb or 25 small baby potatoes)
- 1¼ cup onions cubed (2 medium, 230 grams)
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped (2 medium, 180 grams)
- 12 cashew nuts or almonds
- 2 to 3 tablespoon oil
- 1 green chilli chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or 1 inch ginger & 3 garlic cloves finely minced)
- ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon sugar to balance the flavors
- ¼ cup plain yogurt (thick curd) (refer notes)
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves finely chopped for garnish
Spices for dum aloo
- 1 bay leaf (very small or half)
- 2 green cardamom
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder (low heat kind, or paprika)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds powder (optional, but recommended)
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
Preparation for dum aloo
- Wash and peel potatoes. If using large potatoes, then cube them to equal size about 1½ inch each. If using baby potatoes make sure all are of the same size.
- Bring 3 to 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a pot. Then add the potatoes. Boil them until they are half cooked. To check, prick them with a fork, you will feel them hard but not very hard. Remove them from water with a slotted spoon. Set aside to cool & dry.
- This step is optional but gives a good texture to the potatoes. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan. Add the potatoes and shallow fry them on a medium high flame until golden. Remove them to a plate.
- Prick each aloo with a fork 3 times so it absorbs the flavors of the gravy. Ensure you don't overdo this and break them.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add onions to it. Boil for 6 to 8 minutes until they turn pale and transparent. Drain them completely & rinse with cold water. Drain again.
- Add them to a blender jar along with cashews and tomatoes. Make a smooth puree. If you do not have a powerful blender, then filter the puree. Keep this aside.
Making dum aloo
- Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons oil. Add bay leaf and cardamom. Then add ginger garlic paste & fry until the raw smell goes away.
- Add the onion tomato paste and saute until the raw smell goes away and the paste thickens slightly.
- Next add chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder, salt, fennel seeds powder, sugar and turmeric.
- Saute until the masala becomes thick, smells good and aromatic. (check step-by-step photos above)
- Meanwhile, whisk yogurt in a small bowl until smooth. Then add 2 tablespoons of the onion tomato masala to the whisked yogurt. Mix it well and add back to the pan.
- Saute until the masala turns thicker. Add potatoes and pour ½ cup water. Stir well to make a gravy. If needed add more water as required. Bring the gravy to a boil.
- Cover with a tight lid or foil. Dum cook on a low heat for 5 to 7 minutes. At this stage the gravy must be thick and potatoes fully cooked.
- Sprinkle crushed kasuri methi. Taste test and add more salt if needed. Turn off.
- Lastly sprinkle coriander leaves and transfer dum aloo to a serving bowl. Keep covered until dum aloo is served.
- Serve it with basmati rice, roti, butter naan or even with flavored rice like jeera rice, ghee rice or pulao.
Instant pot Instructions
- Bring 1 ½ cups water to a rolling boil in a small pot. Add the cubed onions and boil them for 6 to 8 mins, until transparent. Drain them completely and rinse with cold water. Drain again.
- Add these to a blender jar along with tomatoes & cashews. Blend to a smooth puree.
- Peel and dice the potatoes to 1 ½ inch pieces & keep them in water.
- Press the SAUTE button on the Instant pot and pour oil to the steel insert.
- Add bay leaf and green cardamoms to the hot oil. Followed by ginger garlic paste.
- Saute for 30 to 60 seconds until the raw smell goes away.
- Then add the onion tomato paste, red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, salt, sugar and fennel powder.
- Saute for 3 to 4 until the mixture turns slightly thicker.
- While this is done, whisk yogurt in a small bowl until smooth. Take 2 tablespoons of the onion tomato masala to the yogurt and mix it well. Pour it back to the pot.
- Mix everything well and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes. The mixture turns very aromatic and you will get the caramelized smell. The raw smell of tomatoes has to go away by then. Do not burn. Press CANCEL button.
- Pour 1 ¾ cups water and deglaze the pot with a wooden spatula to release the bits of masala stuck at the bottom. Do not skip this step.
- Drain the water from diced potatoes and add them here. Taste test the gravy and add more salt if needed.
- Secure the Instant pot with the lid and position the steam release value to sealing. Press PRESSURE COOK button and set the timer to 4 minutes.
- The IP beeps when it is done. Wait for 6 to 7 minutes and then release the pressure manually by gently moving the steam release handle to venting.
- You see the dum aloo gravy is almost thick yet slightly runny. The potatoes also will be perfectly done. Crush kasuri methi and add it.
- Press SAUTE button and let it cook for 30 to 60 seconds. The gravy will thicken further after cooling.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with naan or plain basmati rice.
- Some kind of onions taste bitter when pureed raw directly. So boil the onions and make a paste along with tomatoes and cashews.
- Dum aloo in restaurants is made by deep frying the potatoes until golden. This makes them light, tender and really delicious when added to the gravy. You can either deep fry, shallow fry or just boil and use them in this dum aloo recipe.
- Avoid using sour tasting yogurt as it makes the gravy sour. If you do not eat yogurt then you may replace it with another 8 cashews or almonds.
- Do not reduce the spices in the curry as it really helps to balance the tang from the yogurt.
- This recipe has been tested in a 6 qt IP with diced potatoes.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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