Jeera Aloo Recipe (Cumin Potatoes)
Jeera aloo, a flavourful & delicious North Indian side dish made with potatoes, spices and herbs. ‘Jeera’ is the Hindi name for the spice ‘CUMIN’ & aloo is the word for potatoes. So jeera aloo is potatoes sautéed with cumin. This is a quick, simple and delicious dish that can be made even by novice cooks. It is a side dish that can be eaten with Rice Dal, roti, paratha, phulka or Poori.
I often make Jeera aloo for the office & school lunch box as there is no preparation work involved for this recipe. Like most other kids, mine too love potatoes. They enjoy this just with any thing, rice or roti as a side.
Sometimes I also use it as a filling in the Kathi rolls and sandwiches along with some julienned veggies. This is a dry dish, so it is good to serve along with a gravy, dal or atleast a raita.
I resort to this jeera aloo when I have surprise guests home for a meal. Some basmati rice, dal, this jeera aloo, papads & kachumber is one of the best combos.
My recipe will give you jeera aloo that is super flavorful and not at all bland. It has a punch of flavors from whole cumin seeds, ground cumin, ginger, red chilli powder, coriander powder and kasuri methi.
Jeera aloo is served in most Indian restaurants in an North Indian thali (meal). There are a few different ways it is made. Some people make it just by sautéing the aloo with jeera, green chilies & ginger.
But I make it with more whole and ground spices. So this recipe will give you a very aromatic, mildly spicy & delicious Jeera aloo that you can even enjoy with just some plain rice & yogurt.
Usually jeera aloo is made very simple without the addition of a lot of spices. But my version does use them for a burst of flavors.
Here are some Potato recipes that are popular in the Indian cuisine:
hara bhara kabab
How to Make Jeera Aloo (Stepwise Photos)
1. Wash potatoes thoroughly. Boil them just until cooked and not mushy. You can boil them in a pot, stovetop pressure cooker or an instant pot. You can also cube the potatoes first and add them to a steam basket. Steam them in pressure cooker or in a pot. The potatoes must hold shape and not become mushy.
Boiling potatoes in pot: Here I cooked them directly in a pot by covering the potatoes with just enough water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and reduce the flame to medium heat. Cover and cook them until fork tender but not mushy.
Boiling in pressure cooker: Pour 1 cup water to your stovetop pressure cooker or instant pot. Place the potatoes and cook them for 3 to 4 whistles depending on the size of the potatoes. If doing it in a IP, press the pressure cook button and set the timer to 6 to 8 minutes, depending on the size. For the largest russet potatoes, cook them for 10 minutes.
2. To check if they are cooked, prick with a fork. If still uncooked then you will feel the hardness. Cool them and remove the skin. Cube them to desired sizes. If you chop them too large they won’t taste good.
3. Next add 2 tablespoons ghee or oil to the hot pan. Add 1¼ teaspoon cumin seeds and fry on a low heat until they smell good.
4. Add 1 chopped green chili and 1 tablespoon fine chopped ginger. If you have kids at home, skip the chili. Ginger is also optional but adds flavor. You can also add ginger garlic paste if you do not have ginger.
5. Fry them for a minute until a nice aroma comes out. Then add 1 pinch of hing. You can skip hing if you don’t have or don’t like it. Take care not to over fry ginger as it may lend a bitter taste.
6. Reduce the flame to low. Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, ¾ teaspoon cumin powder and 1¼ teaspoon coriander powder.
Tip: To make cumin powder, I roasted the cumin seeds on a low flame until aromatic. Cooled completely and then powdered. I usually make a lot of cumin powder and store it in a glass jar. I do the same to make the coriander powder as well.
7. Add ¼ teaspoon dried mango powder (amchur). You can skip this and add lemon juice later.
8. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) too. You can skip kasuri methi, but we love that as it adds a unique aroma.
9. Mix and fry for a 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not burn. Quickly pour 3 tablespoons water and mix.
10. Soon the the spice powder blends well with water and thickens.
Sautéing Jeera Aloo
11. Next add in the potatoes and toss them gently. Do not over mix otherwise they may turn mushy.
12. Cover and cook on the lowest flame. This helps jeera aloo to absorb the flavors. Taste it and add more salt if needed.
13. Finally sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves.
Serve jeera aloo as a side with rice, roti or paratha. It also goes well in sandwiches, wraps or rolls.
- Jeera aloo can be made made in 2 ways. First method is to boil the potatoes and then saute them with spices. The second method is to saute the aloo first with cumin and then cook them in the pan itself. I go with the first method as it is easy to boil the potatoes first.
- Most homes make jeera aloo in the simplest way just by using cumin and green chilies to spice & add heat. But I prefer to use a few more ingredients which elevate the flavor of the dish.
- You can also grill the potatoes in a oven and then add them to the tempering. I often do this for dinner to go with the rice & gravy.
I make so many variations to this recipe. Kids need fancy & new varieties every time for their meal. So I sometimes add in some green peas, cubed capsicum, sometimes a handful of methi leaves or palak (spinach).
I even add sliced mushrooms or broccoli. Then roast them for a while. Then add the potatoes. Any variations will just go well in this dish. Get creative & add in the veggies you love!
Jeera aloo recipe
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 4 medium potatoes (400 grams)
- 2 tablespoon oil or ghee
- 1 tablespoon ginger chopped
- 1 green chilli chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida (hing, skip for gluten-free option)
- ¼ teaspoon dried mango powder (amchur) (or lemon juice)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) (optional, but recommended)
- 3 tablespoon water
- 2 to 3 tablespoon coriander leaves
spices for jeera aloo
- 1¼ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¾ teaspoon cumin powder (jeera powder)
- 1¼ teaspoon coriander powder
Preparation for jeera aloo recipe
- Rinse potatoes under running water and boil them just until fork tender, without making them mushy.
- To boil on stovetop – Add them to a pot & pour enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a rolling boil and reduce the flame to medium. Cover the pot and boil them until fork tender yet firm.
- To cook them in pressure cooker, pour 1 cup water to the pressure cooker. Place the potatoes in it. Pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles depending on the size of the potatoes. When the pressure releases naturally, open the lid and remove the potatoes.
- Cooking in Instant pot – Pour 1 cup water to the IP. Place a trivet and then the potatoes over them. Press pressure cook button and set the timer for 6 to 8 mins, depending on the size. The largest russet potatoes will take about 10 minutes. When the pressure drops, remove the potatoes.
- Cool them and peel off the skin. Cube them to desired sizes. I cut mine to about 1 inch pieces. Set them aside.
How to make jeera aloo
- Pour oil or ghee to a hot pan. When the oil turns hot, add cumin seeds.
- When they begin to splutter, add ginger and green chilies. Saute for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Reduce the flame to low. Then add in hing, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and mango powder (optional). Make sure the pan is not too hot at this stage as we don't want the spices to burn.
- Take kasuri methi in your palm and crush them in between your palms. Add it here. Saute till fragrant. This takes just a minute.
- Pour 3 tablespoons water and combine well. Very soon the mixture thickens.
- Add in the boiled aloo. Toss them gently and cover the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 mins on a low heat.
- Sprinkle coriander leaves. Taste test and add more salt if needed. If you have not added mango powder, sprinkle lemon juice.
- Serve jeera aloo with rice-dal, poori, roti or chapati.
- You can use more spice powders to make the dish spicy. It was medium spicy and not hot.
- To make the recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free hing or skip it.
- To make the recipe vegan, use oil inplace of ghee.
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
Jeera Aloo Recipe first published in April 2018. Updated and republished in March 2021.
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. More about me
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Loved it for a first time cook. Easy to follow recipe and so tasty. Definately will cook this again. Thank you.
Thanks Swasthi. This was another fantastic recipe! Followed it exactly as written and it came out perfect. Rather untraditional, but I served the aloo as a side with Tandoori lamb chops, green salad and Raita. It was a fantastic meal!
Glad to know Ashley
That’s a lovely spread! Thank you!
I like your recipes very much.
Thank you Prabitha
Swasthi, I hope this is not a duplicate comment – but the Jeera Aloo was a great addition to dinner last night. Thank you again for the recipe.
I will add some mushrooms or peas or spinach with it next time. Would either of these be ok to cook in the masala before adding the potatoes.
No problem. Glad to know it turned out good, Yes you can add them.
I usually saute them first and then remove them to a plate. When the masala is ready (after adding water it thickens) then I add all of them back along with potatoes. The key thing here is to use the correct amount of spices. Adding more veggies with need slightly more spices. Also mushrooms, peas and spinach doesn’t need a lot so use accordingly. Hope this helps. Thanks for rating the recipe
And yes, five star??
Hello Swasthi. Cooked the jeera aloo last night. Very tasty with dal and rice. You mentioned adding mushrooms. I also thought some peas. What sort of quantity of either do you think might be a good balance. Thank you again, Sandy
Hi Swasthi, could you give me a guide to what you think might be an overall weight of potatoes is required. Always struggle with what is the weight of a medium potato or tomato – I know it is very western but once I know, then I experiment :).
You can use around 400 grams. Yes you are right. Hope this helps
Thank you. Will cook tomorrow night (australian time) with dal palak and tumeric rice. Keep well and positive in these challenging times.
Hope you all enjoy the dinner!
Awesome reciepe. Loved it .
Mam I am loving your receipe guidance I made aloo jeera & kushka rice it was owsome keep it up sister by following your recipe guidelines in a week I became good cook thank you so much sister god bless you
Glad to know the recipes are helping.
Thank you so much!
Simple delicious recipe.
It turned out be great. Loved your recipe.
Thank you Saloni
Very very good! And quick and easy too! I added black mustard seeds after the cumin seeds as well. Will be a standard in our house. Thank you so much!
You are welcome! Glad you all like it. Thank you so much!
Yummy. My children liked your jeera aloo very much. Today they took to school in the chapati rolls with some yogurt. They love it. Thank you
You are welcome.Glad your children liked the jeera aloo. Thanks much for the comment.
Tried the jeera aloo for sons school tiffin today. Turned out to be delicious. Thanks for adding another dish to our breakfast menu.
You are welcome. Glad it turned out good!
Thank u….its very tasty….and easy…
I like ua recipes.. Its easy and simple ?
Thank you so much
Just tried it out. Very nice recipe with quite a subtle taste. Would go along great with a dhaba style dal fry. Will go through your recipes to find the same. Also hope to find a nice recipe for bhindi masala in there.
Anyways, thanks.! Cheers!
Thank you so much for trying.
I have the simple bhindi masala here
You can also check this simple homestyle dal fry here
Yummy jeera aloo. I made this for the first time. very good and my family too loved
Yummy! Couldn’t believe a simple dish can taste so good. Thank you
Yummy.My kids loved it. Thank you very much
Thanks for trying.