Dum Aloo Recipe | 2 Ways
Dum aloo recipe with stovetop & Instant pot instructions. Make it in 2 ways – with and without onion & garlic. My restaurant dum aloo (recipe 1) is easy, delicious, creamy & flavorful made by simmering potatoes in a spicy onion tomato & yogurt gravy. The no onion and garlic dum aloo (recipe 2) is simpler to make as it uses no onion and tastes equally delicious as the other. Serve this over plain basmati rice, flavored rice like Jeera rice, ghee rice, matar pulao or with naan and roti.
About Dum Aloo
Dum aloo is a North Indian curried dish where baby potatoes are steam cooked in a delicious gravy. The word Dum means “cooked with steam” and aloo means “potato” in Hindi. So dum aloo is a slow cooked potato curry, which basically uses the dum style of cooking.
In Indian cuisine there are a lot of dishes 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.
Dum aloo is one of the classic Indian dishes served in a special meals like weddings, celebrations or festivals.
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.
Make 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.
More Indian potato recipes
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.
Dum aloo goes great with ghee rice, plain basmati rice, jeera rice, lachha paratha, plain paratha, puri, naan or roti.
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
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ Kg 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)
- 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.
How to Make 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)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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I have made dum aloo so many times from YouTube. All of them are extremely spicy and oil-laden. First time I tried your recipe and it turned out so good. Better than any restaurant food. Thank you. Will try more recipes from your website.
Happy to know you liked it Malathi. Thanks for trying.
I am a big fan of your recipes. This dum aloo is our favorite and often make the gravy ahead & refrigerate. Air fry the aloo when required and reheat the gravy for quick dinner. Goes amazing with frozen naans and even with basmati. Thank you for all the videos and pictures. They help a lot.
Hi Kiran. So glad to know! I love how you plan and make it ahead. Thank you for sharing with us how you make it.
Hi Swasthi, what is alternative to cashew if making for someone with nut allergy
You can use 1/4 cup fresh coconut or 2 to 3 tbsps melon seeds (magaz) or white poppy seeds paste.
Thank you for the wonderful recipe Swasthiji. The dum aloo was a crowd pleaser!
Glad to know Debalina
Hare Krishna Swasthiji,
We made your dum aloo matar without onion and garlic. Must say it was very delicious. Really appreciate your effort. 🙏 .
Hare Krishna Kishor ji
Very glad to know it turned out delicious. Thank you so much
Very nice recipe. Prepration was very tasty, praised by all. Thanks
Glad to know Mridula
Thanks for letting me know!
I made dam alu. Very nice and tasty. Every one praised the prepration. Thanks for your recipe.
This is probably the recipe from this website that I have made the most. It’s so good!
One question: I am currently living with someone who can’t eat dairy, and I wanted to make a version they can eat. Would plant based yogurt be the best substitute for the yogurt here, or is there something else that works better in your experience?
Glad to know! Thank you!
Just use more cashews. 18 to 20 should be just fine. Squeeze some lemon juice while serving (not on very hot curry). Hope this helps
I tried this recipe today and it turned out very tasty.
I have tried many of your other recipes too. And they all were yummy.
I have become fan of yours. Your simple way of explaining and tips helps us a lot.
Thanks for all the recipes.
You are welcome! So glad to know ! Thank you so much!
I have a son who is allergic to cashews but I would love to try this recipe. What other replacement to cashew can I use . ( he is also allergic to almonds, any dairy products and walnuts )
Poppy seeds or magaz seeds (melon seeds) go well as a replacement to nuts. A few readers have made my butter paneer with sunflower seeds and said it works well as a substitute. However I have only tried with poppy seeds and magaz. Both work well. Soak the seeds well and drain out the water before making a smooth paste. Add fresh water.
This is really flavorful and delicious but the recipe screams for salt. I would salt as you go if you make this. Also, would advise you to remove the bay leaf and cardamom pods before serving. Next time I will add some green peas as I think they would be a great add.
Glad to know it came out good.
hi i am chef pritam from mauritius your recipes very good i share in the world ,,thanks
Hi Chef Pritam,
You are welcome! Glad to know!
While making this dish on non stick pan or instant pot, there is a lot of splattering. Especially when adding ginger garlic paste on oil or when adding the onion tomato paste. The splattering is worse on instant pot. Is there some way to reduce the splattering? Thanks
Add them to warm oil, before the oil becomes too hot. Also don’t use very cold ginger garlic from the fridge. Keep it out for some time. Cook on medium flame so it won’t splutter a lot. Hope this helps
Very good, mine had white specs in it I am not sure if it was from the cashews or I didn’t temper the yogurt enough. Tasty still.
Was really spluttery too but cleaning up is all part of it I suppose
Yes it should be. First whisk it well with little onion tomato masala as mentioned in the recipe. Cook it on a low to medium flame & use a deep pot. Cover the pot partially while you cook it so it won’t splash. Hope this helps
Nice recipe short and easy my son loved it
Glad to know!
Followed the recipe to the T and it turned out so flavourful. Kids loved it. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.
You are welcome! Glad your kids loved it. Thank you!
Thank you so much for your easy and spot-on explanations throughout the recipe. I made it for the first time at home and my siblings loved it, my mom is a great cook but she works abroad, and being a single parent she barely gets time off. That’s why as an elder sister I keep looking for new recipes to keep my siblings surprised. I just want you to know your recipes are much much appreciated!♥️
Glad to know you! You are most welcome.
So happy to know the recipes are helping. Thank you so much!
Was quite quick to make. Extremely tasty recipe. Just loved it, as did all my friends who had lunch with me. Thanks.
Glad to know!
I use many of your recepies and find them very good.
I tried making this and it turnsout very good.. simple and very delicious… thank you for sharing… we loved it..
You are welcome! Glad to know it turned out good.
Very well explained with pictures, Everyone loved this recipe, thank you
Glad to know Deepa!