This flavorsome Dum Aloo Recipe is Inspired by the classic Indian dish and made with simple vegan ingredients. It's a fragrant Indian potato curry with a creamy flavorful Dum Aloo gravy, often served alongside naan and/or basmati rice.
Dum Aloo Recipe
This recipe is:
- plant-based and vegan
- naturally gluten-free
- inspired by Indian Dum Aloo
- made with baby potatoes in a fragrant sauce
- full of flavor
- created with coconut yogurt
- simply delicious!
- easy to make
What is Dum Aloo?
Dum Aloo is an Indian potato-based curry dish. It has different alternative spellings such as 'Dam Aloo' or 'Aloor Dum' and also Bengali 'আলুর দম' and Hindi 'दम आलू'. The traditional dish comes from Kashmiri Pandit cuisine in the Kashmir Valley, India, but there are also variations of this dish found in Banarasi and Bengali cuisines.
Traditional Dum Aloo Ingredients
In the Kashmiri Dum Aloo dish, small potatoes are used. They are skinned and deep-fried and then cooked in a Dum Aloo gravy. The Kashmiri version of the gravy is made with yogurt (or khoya) and often also includes cashew nut paste. The Banarasi variation uses tomatoes and onions. The widely used spices used in the sauce are garlic, ginger, red chilies, cardamom and fennel.
Where does this Dum Aloo Recipe come in?
This is a vegan version inspired by the Indian dish and uses elements of both the Kashmiri and Banarasi variations, using only vegan ingredients.
Why this recipe works
What I love most about this recipe:
- this recipe is a plant-based and vegan version of the tasty Indian potato curry
- it's super flavorful and packs some delicious textures in one dish - from the creamy, fragrant dum aloo gravy-like sauce to the texture of the pre-cooked potatoes
- the recipe brings delicious Indian flavors into the home. It's a great alternative to ordering takeaway food and you can adjust the spice of the dish to your personal liking
- it makes the kitchen (& the house!) smell fantastic
- this Dum Aloo Recipe is delicious as a midweek meal or as a special addition to a shared meal with family and friends
- it's also easy to make and you can even prepare the potatoes ahead of time
- this dish also tastes fantastic reheated. The longer the potatoes sit in the sauce, the more they take on the flavor and become ultra delicious!
Ingredients & Easy Swaps
For this fragrant Dum Aloo Recipe you need the following ingredients - please check the ingredient notes in full, if you are looking to make any swaps:
- baby potatoes: The traditional dish uses small potatoes and I have that baby potatoes are perfect for this recipe!
- oil: we need oil twice in this recipe - once to shallow fry the par-boiled potatoes, adding to their delicious texture, and once to start the fragrant Dum Aloo gravy and cook the onions and garlic until softened.
- turmeric: the turmeric adds a delicious color to the potatoes!
- garam masala: in addition to turmeric, I also like to add garam masala into the oil with the potatoes. It adds a wonderful flavor to the potatoes as they fry and also gives them a gorgeous color.
- fresh cilantro: top the potato curry with fresh cilantro before serving.
For the Dum Aloo Gravy:
- onions: I used yellow onions in this recipe. You can either finely chop the onion or only chop it roughly and then puree the sauce prior to adding your potatoes later. Of course, you can also leave it chunky, if that's what you prefer.
- salt: I like to add a sprinkle of salt when cooking onions. It helps draw out the water from the onions, allowing them to cook quicker, and also adds a layer of seasoning to the dish. Towards the end of the cooking process you can adjust the salt to your taste before serving the dish.
- garlic: For the best flavor, I recommend using fresh garlic over dried garlic powder. It is best added to this dish minced - or finely grated!
- ginger: Similar to the garlic, I recommend using fresh or frozen ginger for this dish. To create a ginger paste, simply grate is with a fine zester grater and add it to the dish.
- tomatoes: You can use both fresh tomatoes and dicing them before adding them to the dish, or use store-bought chopped tomatoes. I've made this dish with both options and they are both delicious! Using tinned tomatoes might be more convenient for you.
- red chili powder: The heat in this recipe comes from red chilies! For ease, I like to use red chili powder. The amount mentioned in the recipe card is just a guidance, so feel free to add as little or as much as your tastebuds enjoy.
- cardamom: I've used cardamom powder for this recipe. You can swap the powder for cardamom pods - simply crack them open lightly before adding them to the sauce and don't forget to remove them before serving.
- fennel seeds & cumin seeds: giving this potato curry a wondeful aromatic flavor!
- brown sugar: to balance the flavors of this vegan curry recipe.
- coconut yogurt: Making the Dum Aloo sauce super creamy, whilst keeping it vegan! It also helps manage the heat of the dish, so please taste-test your meal before serving and adjust with more yogurt/more red chili powder to your taste. You can swap this out for another plain dairy-free yogurt or use cashew butter (or cashew nut paste like in the Kashmiri variation).
- bay leaves
- 1 saucepan: to boil and fry the potatoes, I used the Olav Copper Core Pot (20 cm size)
- 1 large saucepan: for cooking the Dum Aloo sauce and potatoes, I used the Olav Copper Core Pot (26 cm size)
- 1 small non-stick pan: for toasting the cumin and fennel seeds, I used the Olav Non-Stick Pan (20 cm size)
Find the full quantities in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.
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Olav is a German startup from Cologne and they create sustainable, high-quality pots and pans. Their pots are created with copper core technology, which helps them heat up quickly and have a good heat distribution throughout. In the long run, this helps reduce energy costs as the saucepans don't require a long time to heat up.
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In addition to pots and pans, they also offer Olav Chef knives. Check out the full range on their website.
How to make Dum Aloo (Step-by-Step)
This recipe is fairly easy to make and you cook it as a midweek dinner or as part of a large curry spread shared with friends and family. You can also prepare the recipe in advance by parboiling and frying the potatoes ahead of time.
Please read all recipe steps carefully before starting on this dish.
Step 1: Parboil and peel the potatoes
To start with this Dum Aloo recipe, first, boil the baby potatoes in salted water for roughly 15 minutes or until tender. Drain the water and allow for the potatoes to cool for a few minutes, until cold enough to handle. Carefully remove the potato skins.
Step 2: Shallow-frying the potatoes
In theory, this step is optional, but for the best flavor and texture, I recommend not skipping this step.
Heat 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a wide, shallow saucepan or frying pan, and once hot, add in the turmeric and garam masala. Stir to mix the spices with the oil and then add in the parboiled baby potatoes.
Fry until the potatoes are golden, regularly stirring to allow for even browning. Once done, carefully remove the fried potatoes from the hot oil and place them on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
Step 3: Preparing the Dum Aloo gravy
Place the whole fennel and cumin seeds into a large pan and toast them over medium heat for a few minutes or until the spices become fragrant. Be careful not to burn them! Remove them from the pan and grind them into powder. Alternatively, you can also add the spices whole if you don't mind whole spices in your final dish.
Heat 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil in the large frying pan. Add the onions and salt to the oil and fry for a few minutes until fragrant, then add in the garlic and ginger paste.
Stir for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, then add in the chopped tomatoes.
Stir through the spices: red chili powder, cardamom, and toasted fennel and cumin. Add the brown sugar, 400 milliliters of water, and 2 bay leaves, close with a lid and bring to a simmer.
Step 4: Simmering
Once simmering, stir the coconut yogurt into the sauce and add your fried potatoes. Allow for the potato curry to simmer over low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
When your potatoes are tender and the Dum Aloo sauce thickened, remove the dish from the heat and remove the bay leaves.
How to serve Dum Aloo
Serve your Dum Aloo hot and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Traditional Dum Aloo is often paired with fresh naan, but you can also serve this flavorsome potato curry alongside basmati rice or flavored rice and roti. It can be served as a main dish or a side dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dum Aloo is often served alongside naan, but you can also pair it with basmati rice, flavored rice or Indian roti.
Traditionally, dum aloo is made with small potatoes. Baby potatoes are perfect for this recipe! You can also chop larger potatoes into small chunks for this delicious Indian-inspired dish.
If you love this recipe, definitely give my Vegan Red Lentil Dhal or Roasted Pumpkin Red Lentil Dhal a go! It's simple to make and super flavorsome!
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Dum Aloo Recipe
- 1 large saucepan
- 1 potato peeler
- 1 large frying pan
- 35 oz baby potatoes (1 kg)
- 1/4 cup rapeseed oil (60 ml)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 handful fresh cilantro to garnish
For the Dum Aloo gravy:
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup onions finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 garlic cloves grated
- 1 inch fresh ginger grated
- 14 oz chopped tomatoes (400 g) tinned
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder or to taste
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder*
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut yogurt* (60 ml)
- 2 bay leaves
- Boil the baby potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow for them to cool down, then carefully peel the potato skins.
- Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan and add the turmeric and garam masala. Place the potatoes into the hot oil and fry until golden, making sure to stir regularly. Once done, remove the potatoes from the heat and place them on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
- Toast the fennel and cumin seeds in a frying pan for a 2-3 minutes or until fragrant, then grind them into powder.*
- Heat 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a large saucepan and sauté the diced onion and salt over medium heat until translucent. Add in the grated garlic and ginger and heat until fragrant (1-2 minutes).Stir in the chopped tomatoes, red chili powder, cardamom, fennel, cumin, and sugar. Pour in 1 + 3/4 cups of water (410 ml) and add 2 bay leaves, then bring to a boil.
- Stir in the coconut yogurt and fried potatoes and simmer the potato curry over low to medium heat for 25-35 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are tender and the Dum Aloo gravy has thickened, remove the dish from the heat.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve alongside naan and rice.
- swap out the cardamom powder for whole cardamom pods. Simply crack them open slightly before adding them to the sauce and don't forget to remove them before serving.
- instead of brown sugar, you can also balance the flavor of the dish with maple syrup or agave nectar.
- swap out the coconut yogurt for another plain vegan yogurt or use cashew butter or cashew nut paste to make the Dum Aloo gravy creamy.
- instead of tinned chopped tomatoes, you can also use fresh tomatoes.
- if you prefer, you can also leave the fennel and cumin whole
- for an extra level of flavor to the dish, pierce the potatoes with a fork before adding them to the dum aloo sauce.
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