When you need a soul satisfying, ambrosial side dish to dunk the fluffy Naan in, consider this Kashmiri Dum Aloo. The tiny potatoes simmer for long and absorb the flavors of the unique blend of spices from this state in India, which is cradled in the lap of Himalayas and is known for its majestic beauty. If there is a “Paradise on earth”, it is said, it has to be Kashmir.
Yes it is another Dum Aloo recipe: quite a different kind, very fragrant and without any onion or garlic. I have already posted two recipes of Dum Aloo (here and here). This only shows how kaleidoscopic the Indian cuisine can be. The dish with the same name can be differently cooked in every state. While the concept of the recipe remains the same, the tastes are beyond compare with the change of spices.
Dum Oluv is what it is called in Kashmir, where “Dum” is the process of slow cooking in a sealed and covered pot and “Oluv“ are the potatoes.
This one is quite remarkable. And the flavors get stronger a day after or may be even two.
I am not going to claim here that is the traditional recipe. I have never been to Kashmir, neither have I been exposed enough to the cuisine to assert it to be authentic. However there are some basic spices used heavily in the Kashmiri cuisine, fennel seeds, dried ginger, hing or asafoetida and Kashmiri red chillis are among them along with clove and cardamom. A lot of their sauce is made with yogurt, so there is a perfect balance in texture and taste. I have tried to involve the integral features in this dish.
Kashmiri Dum Aloo: Baby Potatoes cooked in Fragrant Spices and Yogurt Sauce
Ingredients: (serves 4-6 as side)
- 20 small/baby potatoes (about the size of ping pong balls), peeled and poked with fork/skewer
- oil for deep-frying the potatoes
- 4 – 5 tablespoon mustard oil (or any other cooking oil you want)
- a generous pinch of hing/asafoetida
- 1 tejpatta/Indian bay leaf
- 1 teaspoons green cardamom powder, (peel the cardamom and grind the seeds to a fine powder either with a mortar & pestle or spice grinder) – divided
- 1/4 teaspoon clove powder (pound cloves to a powder)
- 2.5 tablespoons saunf/ fennel seed powder, divided
- 1 teaspoon sooth/dry ginger powder
- 2- 3 tablespoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder, or about 8 Kashmiri whole red chilies ground to a paste – adjust amount to taste. you may use paprika with deep red color and less heat
- 2 and 1/4 cup plain yogurt, well drained and whisked smooth and lump free
- 1 tablespoon unsalted and unroasted cashew or almond
- 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala powder + 1/4 teaspoon roasted cumin powder, to finish off
- salt to taste
- few tablespoons of dry roasted cashews + some golden raisins for garnish (optional)
- fresh coriander/cilantro for garnish
Peel the potatoes and poke each of them in multiple places with fork. Soak them in salted water for about 15-30 minutes. Drain.
Heat the oil and deep fry the potatoes until they are golden, on a medium flame. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. If required fry them in batches.
Soak the raw cashews or almonds for a few hours. If you are using almonds, peel the brown skin after soaking them. Make a wet paste with the nuts and set aside.
Drain yogurt until thick and creamy. Whisk yogurt with red chili powder, half the amount of the green cardamom powder, all of the ginger powder, half the amount of the fennel seed powder and the nut paste. Set aside.
Heat the mustard oil, or any other oil you are using. Traditionally mustard oil is used and it gives an extra edge to the flavor of the dish, but if you are not used to and do not like it, then just use any cooking oil.
Add the asafoetida to the hot oil. Immediately add the tejpatta/Indian Bay Leaf powdered clove, rest of the cardamom and the ginger powder. Remove the pan from the heat right away. Add a few splashes of water to the oil to cool it down. be careful, the oil is hot and it will fume and sizzle. Wait for a minute and then add the whisked and spiced yogurt a little at a time to the oil and keep stirring it. Keep doing this until you have added the entire yogurt. Put the pan back on the stove in very low heat. Now add the pre-cooked potatoes to the pan, add about 3/4 cup of water ( more if you want more sauce), give it a good stir and tightly cover the pan. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
Uncover, stir in the Garam Masala and the roasted cumin powder and add the roasted cashews and raisins if you are using. Add and adjust salt. Gently stir everything in and cover it back again until ready to serve.
Add the fresh cilantro if you want just before serving. Serve with flat breads. We love it best with Naan.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: Less than 30 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Serves: 4-6 as side
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