- Baby Potatoes – 500gms
- Onion – 70gms
- Mustard Seeds – 1/8tsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1/8tsp
- Fenugreek Seeds – 5
- Fennel Seeds – 1/8tsp
- Nigella Seeds – 1/8tsp
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Salt - To Taste (3/4tsp)
- Chopped Coriander Leaves – 2Tbsps
- Mustard Oil – 2 1/2Tbsps
- Onions – 100gms
- Ginger – Small Piece
- Garlic – 1 Clove
- Red Chilies – 10
- Poppy Seeds – 2tsps
- Coriander Seeds – 1 1/2tsps
- Cumin Seeds – 1/4tsp
- Cinnamon – Small Piece
- Cloves – 2
- Cardamom – 1
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4tsp
Take potatoes into a bowl and add water. Wash the potatoes well by rubbing between fingers. Change water 2 to 3 times and wash them well. We need to steam cook the potatoes so that they hold their shape without absorbing water. To steam cook potatoes in a pressure cooker use a steamer basket or a holed vessel or a spoon holder---basically the bowl should have holes so that steam passes through it and cook potatoes. Let us use a holed vessel to steam potatoes. Take washed potatoes into a holed vessel. Take a pressure cooker and add 250ml water into it. Add a pinch of citric acid to the water in the pressure cooker---this prevents discoloration as the pressure cooker is made of aluminum. Place a plate (which has some height like a lid of a box) into the pressure cooker so that when potatoes bowl is placed inside the pressure cooker the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Place the potatoes bowl inside the pressure cooker and cover with lid. Place the pressure cooker on stove and heat it on high flame. After first whistle, cook the potatoes on low flame for 10 minutes. When the pressure cooker cools down remove the potato bowl and observe that potatoes are well cooked without turning mushy. Also observe that the pressure cooker is white and clean because of citric acid.
Cool the potatoes for a while and peel them. Take a potato and using a fork prick all over. Similarly prick all the potatoes with a fork. When potatoes are added to gravy of the curry the spices penetrate through these holes into the potatoes.
Take 4 boiled potatoes and add them to a mixie jar and grind them. Add sufficient water and grind the potatoes to a smooth paste. Take the potato paste into a bowl till use. To thicken the gravy we use this potato paste. Peel onion and slice it thinly and take them into a plate. Take a plate and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and nigella seeds---this mixture is known as panch phoron or panch puran. Generally all the seeds are mixed in equal quantity to make the panch puran but as fenugreek seeds are bitter we have taken only 5 seeds.
Peel onions and slice them and take them into a plate.
Peel garlic and chop them into pieces. Wash and chop ginger into pieces. Remove stalks and break red chilies into small pieces. Take a mixie jar and add sliced onions, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, poppy seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, turmeric powder and red chili pieces. Cover the mixie jar and grind the mixture. Add sufficient water and grind the mixture to a smooth paste. Here I have used 100ml water to make the paste. Add water little by little and grind to a smooth paste. Take the prepared paste into a bowl. The taste of the dish aloo dum depends on the texture at which the paste is ground---so give some time and grind the paste to a smooth texture. When the paste is rubbed between fingers one should not feel it grainy—it should be smooth.
Heat a pan and add mustard oil and heat oil till it is smoky. Then add the panch puran and bay leaf and fry stirring till the seeds splutter. Then add sliced onions and fry stirring for even browning. When onions start changing color add the ground paste and fry stirring well. Onions in the paste should lose raw taste so fry the paste well---till oil separates. Then add boiled and pricked potatoes and mix well so that each potato is well coated with the masala. Also add the potato paste and mix well. now add sufficient water (1 1/4Cups) and salt. Mix all well and alow the gravy to reach a boil. Meanwhile prepare the rice cooker. Add water into rice cooker bowl and place a plate (which has some height like a lid of a box) into it so that when curry bowl is placed inside it the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Now place this rice cooker bowl into the rice cooker and switch it to COOK mode. When gravy starts boiling switch off the stove and removethe bay leaf. Add some chopped coriander and mix well. transfer the curry to a bowl. When water starts boiling in rice cooker place the curry bowl inside it and cover the rice cooker with lid. Now switch the rice cooker to KEEP WARM mode and let the curry sit in it for at least 2 hours. After 2 hours transfer the curry to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot and tasty aloo dum with rotis, rice parathas, pulao or naan. Keeping the aloo dum in rice cooker enhances its flavor. However, if rice cooker is not there, then also one can make this tasty dish. After the gravy starts boiling cover the pan with lid and cook the curry on low flame for at least 15 minutes. While cooking on stove for longer duration add slightly more water than required as water evaporates while cooking---or check in between and add sufficient water. But remember---when adding water one may need to add salt also to balance the taste. After 15 minutes of slow cooking, transfer the curry to a bowl and keep it aside for at least 2 hours before serving. When rice cooker is used, one need not keep a watch on it whereas while cooking on a stove one need to check otherwise water evaporates and curry burns. Make and serve the tasty aloo dum to your family members and enjoy.
Points To Remember:
Use baby potatoes so that they look pretty when served. If normal potatoes are used boil them and cut them into cubes and use.
Baby potatoes even when boiled do not absorb gravy easily---that is their property as compared to normal potatoes which absorb gravy easily. So after boiling baby potatoes prick them with a fork all over so that when added to gravy they absorb the gravy.
Many people make panch puran mix by mixing the above ingredients in large quantities and store in a bottle. But when we take the required quantity of panchpuran we may not the seeds in the right proportion--so mix the ingredients freshly only and use them for better taste.
Panch puran seeds when added to oil and fried they release a particular flavor which is very tasty.
Use mustard oil while making aloo dum. Aloo Dum is basically made in eastern parts of India and in these regions they use mustard oil as the base oil for cooking dishes. Using mustard oil gives a specific taste to the dish. However if mustard oil is not there or one does not want to use it feel free to use any oil of choice---still the dish would be tasty.
When using mustard oil, remember to heat it well till smoky or else it may taste bitter.
While grinding the ingredients for paste remember to grind it to smooth texture or else the dish would not be tasty. The poppy seeds in the mixture should be ground well. Paste when rubbed between fingers should not be felt grainy rather it should feel smooth.
When using aluminum cooker, add a pinch of citric acid so that there won’t be any discoloration after cooking.
Use a holed vessel to steam cook potatoes. Generally we take potatoes in a bowl and add water till they are submerged and then cook them in pressure cooker. Observe that they absorb some water when cooked with water. When potatoes are steam cooked as mentioned above they are JUST cooked without absorbing water. When steam cooked the potatoes retain their shape where as when normally cooked they may turn mushy.
To thicken the gravy we have used potato paste. One may also use slurry made by mixing wheat flour and water to thicken the gravy.
Fry the ground paste well in oil till all the rawness of onions is removed and till oil separates---when not fried well the taste also differs.
Make the gravy slightly runny as the potatoes absorb water during the resting period (2 Hours) and the gravy thickens.
Transfer the curry to a bowl and place the curry bowl into the rice cooker and keep in KEEP WARM mode---this way there would not be any water evaporation and the dish also remains hot till served. If the curry is directly placed into the rice cooker bowl and kept in KEEP WARM mode then one needs to keep a watch as water evaporates and gravy thickens.
If rice cooker is not used then cook on stove as mentioned above---but be there to keep a watch or else water evaporates and curry may burn at the bottom of the pan.
With slight care one can easily make this tasty exotic party dish that is Aloo Dum and get appreciation from their family members.
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