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Aug 252008

 Kashmiri Dum Aaloo – the way it actually should be. Its spicy,hot, and oh so heavenly. I have often received compliments for this dish. The best one always is “Is this really a Potato”? Well.. that’s how we like to keep our dishes. Deep, Rich, Tasty and oh so mysterious.

Now there is a lot one can do with potatoes. Its almost universal in its appeal. Boiled, Baked, Mashed, Fried. Oh don’t we just love potatoes !

So what makes a Koshur “Dum Olu” or Dum Aloo so special?  It’s the way the spices marry the potato and leave a trace of spicy romance. And it sure isn’t the Kashmiri dum aloo you are used to in restaurants – the sweet dollops of potato in gravy are not real thing.

The making of kashmiri dum aloo is in fact a culinary art. Its not the recipe, but the execution of the recipe that makes a difference.  Every kashmiri family makes dum aloo with almost the same recipe, yet each family’s dum aloo tastes different.

Adding sugar is an optional step. I picked this trick from my grandmom, when my daughter who was 6 yrs old then, would keep saying that “why can’t anyone make dum aloo like great granny? ” Even my mom could never figure out what her mom was doing differently. So we asked her and she answered with a sheepish smile ” I add a pinch of sugar in the end – it cuts the heat and enriches the color!

With this recipe, I share the love that my Dad , Mom and Grandmother shared with me while teaching me the steps to perfectly execute this dish. Here’s to you Papa, Mumma and Naani ma!

Dum Aloo Kashmiri – Authentic

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Serves: 10 - 12

Serving Size: 1

This recipe is more about the technique & patience while cooking and does take time to cook. If you are in a hurry and think you can modify the steps, or make short cuts, please do not attempt this. The results may not be as expected.

Also, with the steps involved, a beginner cook of Indian Cuisine may try and attempt this after a few trials of other less complex recipes.

If you do alter instructions and ingredients, please remember you are altering the results. I am not trying to discourage you, just requesting that you maintain the sanctity of a cultural treasure!


  • 10 - 12 medium sized potatoes;
  • 1- 11/2 TBS Kashmiri chili powder/ Degi Mirch also works well; [reduce the chilli according to the heat you can take ;)]
  • Salt to taste,
  • 1/4tsp asafetida powder (hing powder)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder,
  • 4-5 cloves; ( slightly crushed)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt(room temperature and whisked well)
  • ½ tsp cumin seed
  • 1 C oil for frying
  • 4 Tbs oil
  • 1 cinnamonstick ;
  • 2-3 big brown cardamom/badi elaichi; ( slightly crushed - give it a knock with a heavy spoon)
  • 1 small green cardamom;
  • 3 -4 tsp fennel powder;
  • 1/2 tbs sugar;(optional)
  • water;
  • Garam Masala powder ( Kashmiri Garam masala)


  1. Boil the potatoes or cook them in a pressure cooker, but be sure not to overcook. You want an overall boiled potato without it being mushy.
  2. Peel the skin off the potatoes, and pierce the potatoes all over with a tooth pick or a thin skewer. You have to sort of pierce them through and through. This is an important step. So take your time.
  3. Heat oil in a Kadahi or pan.
  4. Deep fry the potatoes on medium heat until they get a reddish brown tinge and are crisp and light. The potatoes should feel lighter than when they were when boiled. If they are not light, the spices and oil won't steep in.
  5. Remove from heat and place them in a bowl.
  6. Now keep all spices, water and yogurt lined up and ready to go.
  7. Take a separate pot, heat some oil on medium heat. (4 Tbs should be good to get a good taste going, but you should use more (if you can ) to get the real taste.
  8. Add in cumin, then the cloves and sauté for just a few seconds. Add in the bay leaf, asafoetida, cinnamon, green cardamom, brown cardamom.
  9. Add a Tbs or two of water to the chili powder, mix well and then add to the oil. This reduces the risk of the chili getting burnt. If you are comfortable, you can add in the chili and immediately add some water too. Either way, you need to ensure the chili powder doesn't burn or smoke.
  10. Now add the yogurt and Keep stirring the yogurt until it comes to a boil and homogenizes with the rest of the spice, And oil floats on top.
  11. Now add salt and all other spices to this mixture. Stir.
  12. Add about 2 1/2 cups of water. And bring to a rolling boil.
  13. Add in the fried potatoes.
  14. The potatoes should be just about submerged in water.
  15. Cook for fifteen minutes on medium heat; covered.
  16. Add the garam masala, sugar and cover and cook for another 4-5 min until the gravy thickens.
  17. Serve piping hot with White Rice , Dal and a Salad.


The prep time and cook time is approximate. It can change with size of the potatoes and the altitude at which you live. This is home recipe, and the times suggested are just guidelines.

Do add in more or less water based on your own estimate. And Do read the recipe a couple of times before attempting.