Aloo dum – or potato and pea curry! – is possibly the most common vegetable curry in India.
Some complex recipes exist, but at its heart it’s easy to make. If I was describing it to someone I’d just say boil potatoes, fry them with garam masala, add some tomato, chilli, turmeric and salt and it’s done; then, if you like, throw in frozen peas just before the end.
- 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Indian bay leaves
- ¼ tsp asafoetida
- 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, finely crushed
- 5cm/2in fresh root ginger, finely grated
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp amchur (dried mango powder)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- 200g tomato passata
- 2 green chillies, sliced lengthways into thin strips, with or without seeds according to preference
- 150g frozen peas
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Handful chopped coriander leaves, to finish
Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for eight minutes until just tender, then drain well. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a medium-high heat, add the potatoes and fry over a high heat for 5 mins, or until just starting to colour. Add the turmeric and fry for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
For the sauce, heat the oil in another pan over a medium-high heat. Add the bay leaves and fry for 1 minute, then add the asafoetida and stir. Add the onion and fry for 5 mins; then add the garlic and ginger and fry for 5 mins, or until softened and lightly golden-brown.
Add the chilli powder, cumin, coriander, amchur, turmeric and salt and fry for one minute, then add the tomato passata, green chillies and 100ml water and stir together. Add the fried potatoes, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10 mins, adding a splash of water if anything catches on the bottom of the pan.
Add the peas and garam masala and cook uncovered for 3-4 mins, or until the peas are cooked. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.