Monday, August 9, 2010

Dum Aloo Banarasi

Very rarely you come across the perfect recipe, a recipe that hits all the right notes, flavor wise. This is one of those rare treasures. Chances are if you have ever been to my house I might have made this for you. This is my no fail forget-about-finger-licking-you-will-lick-the-whole-pot recipe.

The dish is perfect and needs no tweaking. The gravy is ambrosial, it has the perfect balance of hot,sweet and spicy notes. I used baby red potatoes as I like their color and I do not have to peel them.

Recently on our trip to North Carolina we stopped by Morris Farms to check out their produce. We bought these beautiful baby red potatoes from there along with ripe strawberries, sweet peaches and boiled groundnuts (peanuts). We also had their tractor churned peach ice cream and strawberry shortcake and they all tasted luscious. Do try and stop by if you ever travel that way. However, do check their corn before you buy them, we bought a whole crate full and it was the most over grown hard corn ever.

 I got this recipe a long time ago from one of my google searches and I have since forgotten the source and thus I'm unable to give credit to that person. I have adapted it just a little to my personal taste and I can say with confidence that this is one of the best gravies I have ever had.

You can use this gravy in other dishes....I have even substituted the aloo / potatoes with paneer.

Farmers market baby red potatoes.

Serves 4-6


2 pounds / 1 kg  small / baby / new potatoes ( I prefer the red potatoes )
1 tbsp salt
1 pound / 1/2 kg  tomatoes ( They come to about 5 large sized roma tomatoes)
3-4 cloves of garlic
50 gm / about 1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 tsp fennel seeds / saunf
12 whole dried red chilies ( available at your local Indian grocer )
1 stalk cilantro / coriander leaf
1 tbsp of butter
250 ml / about 1 cup of water

10 cardamoms / elaichi
1 tbsp ginger - garlic paste
100 gm / about 1/2 cup yogurt / fresh dahi
50 gm / about 1/4 cup fresh cream
1 tbsp kasturi methi / dried fenugreek leaves
1 tbsp honey or sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt, to taste

  1. In a medium saucepan add the tomatoes, garlic cloves, cashew nuts, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cilantro stalk, butter and one cup of water and bring all to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove, cool and grind to a fine paste. Set aside.
  2. In another large saucepan boil the potatoes in salted water till nearly done. Drain properly and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan and pan fry the boiled potatoes for 5 min. Alternately, you could also deep fry the potatoes, just make sure you drain your potatoes properly and pat them dry with a paper towel.

  4. Remove the potatoes and set aside on an absorbent paper.
  5. In that same large saucepan add the cardamom to the oil ( if all the oil gets absorbed by the potatoes add another tablespoon of oil ). Fry the cardamoms till they start to change color, then add the ginger - garlic paste and saute it for another minute or two.
  6. Pour in the yogurt and the above prepared paste and bring to a boil. Now go ahead and add the potatoes, salt, fresh cream, honey / sugar and kasturi methi. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.Once done remove from heat and serve with hot rotis.


Part of the spices from top to bottom : Garlic cloves, whole red chilies, fennel seeds, cashew pieces and cumin seeds.

Boil the potatoes in salted water

Enjoy this dish with hot rotis or rice.


  1. i tried the dum aloo recipe... badhiya bani yaar... i just loved the colour and texture of the gravy... though i made some blunders, i didnt get the small aloo so i used the big aloo, boiled and cut, and the second blunder was i forgot to boil the tomatoes etc i directly made its paste :( but it still tasted wonderful, abhishek also enjoyed it, i am planning to try it with paneer also as u had mentioned. -Ketaki

  2. Thank you so much Ketaki, do not worry this recipe is very forgiving...