Safed Aloo: Potatoes cooked in White Sauce

Safed Aloo DSC01535_Safed_Aloo_3-3


Over these years I have been extremely fortunate to have been introduced to different cuisines. India is a place of such diversity that the food and ingredients can change entirely within a few miles you travel. Within the same region there are differences and even bigger differences when you step into another state. A whole new world, a whole new meal.

So when I was introduced to the Rajasthani cuisine some odd twenty years back, I embraced it with my heart. I did not get many days to stay in Rajasthan at my in – laws home. Over the years our visits were not too many either. But every day I have spent their company, I have learned something new. I have been introduced to many unique dishes which I am yet to blog about. Laal Maas, Green Fenugreek Seeds and Aloo Kofta are somethings that have already here for records.

Safed Aloo was something I had for the the first time in a relative’s home in Pittsburgh many years back. Long before that I had been introduced to the “Safed” series of the Rajasthani cuisine. This is a very traditional dish specific to the region. I am not exactly sure if it is cooked the way I did. I have tried to incorporate the traditional ingredients to the best of my knowledge. The process is mine as I realized every home has a different way to make it. What I did today tastes quite similar to what I have known to be the original “Safed Aloo“.

Safed” means white. So this dish is cooked with no turmeric unlike most curry dishes in India. The sauce is nutty, delicate and mild. I had posted the recipe for Safed Paneer before. Take a look if you wish. Some of you already tried it and let me know that you loved it!

(I do apologize for a bad photograph…)

Hoping you enjoy the Safed Aloo too.



Safed Aloo: Potatoes cooked in White Sauce


Ingredients: (serves 8  as a side)

  1. 3 lbs potato, small gold baby potatoes pref. (or half the number of  medium sized potatoes)
  2. 1/4 cup posto/white poppy seeds
  3. 1/2 cup cashews
  4. 1/4 cup almonds, soaked for a few hours and peeled
  5. 1.5 tablespoon dry shredded coconut (not sweetened like the baking coconut)
  6. 3 tablespoon ghee 
  7. 4 cloves or elaichi
  8. 6 green cardamoms cracked
  9. 4 inch stick cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon methi/fenugreek seed
  11. 4 cups thinly sliced onions (about two large onions)
  12. 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  13. 2 tablespoon ginger paste or grated ginger
  14. 1 teaspoon white pepper powder or to taste
  15. 1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste (optional)
  16. 3/4 cup plain Greek or thick drained yogurt
  17. 2 tablespoon Khoya or Mawa or dry milk powder (I have not used this)
  18. a few golden raisins (optional)

Note: If you want the dish to be completely white, do not use the the chili powder. 



Soak poppy seeds, cashews and part of the almonds for about an hour or more. The rest of the almonds may be sliced for garnish. The soaked nuts and seeds are to be made into a paste.

Peel potatoes and wash. If you are using larger potatoes cut them in fours or six. The small baby potatoes can be halved or left whole depending on size. Pierce potatoes with fork, each about 6-8 times, wash thoroughly and then and soak all potatoes in cold water until ready to cook.

Heat ghee in a wok or pan. Add the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. When they start to sizzle add the onions, a sprinkle of salt and cook them at low to medium heat while stirring and tossing very frequenlty. Do not allow them to turn brown. Add the methi/fenugreek seeds to the wok/pan once the onions are softened and limp. Cook and stir for a little bit longer, about 10 more minutes, taking care to see that the onions are not brown.

Now drain out the potatoes and add to the wok. Add the ginger and garlic paste. Slowly cook while stirring to allow the ghee and spices to coat the potatoes. They should cook to form a thin layer on the outside without having them turn brown. You will need to cook for about 10 minutes. Now add the nuts and poppy seeds paste. Add the chilli powder and white pepper powder. Cook at medium heat while tossing frequently to prevent the paste from sticking to the wok and turning brown. Cook for about 12 minutes and then add the coconut and the yogurt. Reduce heat to low, cover partially and cook the potatoes with the yogurt until the potatoes are cooked through. You will see the ghee seep up over the sauce. Do not increase the heat while cooking with the yogurt as it will split.

Now add the khowa or milk powder if you would be using it, cook for couple of minutes. Switch off the heat and cover tightly and keep for about 10 minutes.  If you want to use raisins, add them and gently stir to have them mix in.

Note: This sauce will thicken and dry up if not served immediately. If you are serving this later and the sauce thickens, add a little warm water and heat it up.

Best served with Naan, roti or parathas.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes

Serves: 8-10

Difficulty Level: Medium



Related Posts:

Aloo Bhaate/Aloo Makha: Mashed Potatoes the Bengali Way

Niramish Dum Aloo – Spice Coated Baby Potatoes

Kashmiri Dum Aloo: Baby Potatoes cooked in Fragrant Spices and Yogurt Sauce

Aloo Matar/Peas and Potato Curry

Aloo Gobi / Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

Dum Aloo: Potatoes Simmered in Spices & Coconut Milk

Keema, Matar, Aloo: Minced Meat with Peas and Potatoes

Poppy Seed and Chickpea Crusted Potatoes

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11 comments to Safed Aloo: Potatoes cooked in White Sauce

  • Barbara

    Welcome Back!!
    Hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

    I have you as my “Home Page” so I was pleasantly surprised to see a recipe instead of a picture of clouds that I’ve looked at for months.
    The potatoes look great – who wouldn’t like potatoes in a creamy sauce!

    All the best!

  • felicity

    Hello Soma, How good to see you back – have missed you, as, I’m sure many have. Do hope you and your family are all well and that you have enjoyed a wonderful summer. We’ve had quite a hot summer here in Greece – wonderful especially when you are on the beach enjoying sardines and freshly fried potatoes and tomato salad!! Will definitely try out your potato recipe – it looks very tasty! Many warm wishes, while hoping to see more from you….

  • Roy

    Hello soma,

    Happy to see your post. There are some people whom you see when you start blogging. Their journey inspires you. I would love to see you back in full mode blogging……

    Best Regards!

  • The recipe images are mouth watering. Feels like one should make it now and taste it. Thank you for sharing.

  • Looks tasty. Will it be good to eat the next day if we keep it in the refrigerator. Or has to be finished on the same day. We have people at our home who work at different timings and different shift. Will be going to make this recipe on Sunday. Thanks for posting the recipe.

    Yes it will keep in the refrigerator. If the sauce thickens you can add water and heat up well.

  • That dish looks and sounds ever so delicious! I love learning about new cuisines too.



  • douglas mctaggart

    love the photo of the storm clouds in the sky ,seen this before somewhere ?

  • Swati

    Love your recipes! Hope all well with your family. Glad to see you are back to blogging.

  • Hi Soma,
    Very delicious recipe!!
    loved it.

    We at UNWIND curates useful and interesting videos for women. Loved ur blog. Do u make videos as well? We wud love to include them.

    With warm regards,
    Team UNWIND

  • Anjali Dwivedi

    Thanks for above all recipe..

  • Alex

    Very cool idea for a Sunday family dinner…

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