Making weekend special with Dum Aloo

Thank God its Friday! When I first became aware of this food chain I wondered why not Thank God it's Sunday. After all Sunday is the big day of the week, which we can't get enough. But then  I explained myself that it got to be the fact that the fun is more in the anticipation than the realization. And come Friday we are all deep in the planning of the weekend. Incidentally at that point I hadn't realised the significance of Friday in the Middle Eastern countries. Where Friday is the Sunday. Where Thank God it's Friday is about the best day of the week, about the actual event and not just the anticipation. Yes its the official weekend out here.

So naturally his day has earned a renewed respect and importance in my life. I'm constantly waiting for it to appear in my week, to get a cosier family time. And of course an extended meal time. No wonder weekend meals are so looked forward to. A tradition imbibed since my childhood, by my mom. Though I got to admit that I'm guilt of not acknowledging enough the extra effort the homemaker has to entail to make the leisure days of the family so much special. I do appreciate it so much more now, when now its my turn to keep the wheel turning of this family tradition.

Though a nice weekend brunch or dinner is always intended, yet that doesn't necessarily mean elaborate preparations. At least not always. Sometimes you just need a little more flavourful dish to deviate from the routine. Like this Kahmiri Dum Aloo. An aromatic preparation of baby potatoes with onion-yogurt gravy and spiced with some freshly roasted spices. Serve it with Lahsuini Dal Palak, naan/ roti/ jeera rice and fresh fruit salad you have a delightful lunch.  

Like all dishes, dum aloo is also made in myriad ways. From Punjabi, Mughlai, Kahmiri to may other versions. Each one unique in its own way. This recipe is the preparation  I tasted at my Kashmiri friend's place, which I adapted to suit my taste. So though this might not be the classic version of a Kashmiri dish, or heavily rich like the Mughlai version (with lots of cream), yet its a balance of the two. Just right for a weekend brunch.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo Recipe 

(Baby potatoes cooked in onion-yogurt gravy, with pistachio paste and freshly ground spices)


Baby Potatoes: 5-6

Red Onion - 1 large, finely chopped

Yogurt - 150 gm

Ghee - 2 tbsp

Blanched pistachio - 1 tbsp (Grind to paste)

Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tsp

Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste 

Turmeric - a pinch

Fresh coriander for garnish

Whole Spices: 

Peppercorn: 5

Coriander Seeds: 1/2 tsp

Cumin: 1/2 tsp

Cloves: 2

Green Cardamom: 2

Cinnamon: 1/2 inch piece


  1. Since I couldn't get the pink baby potatoes, I simply used these small brown ones, which are not as sweet and tender as the pink ones. 

  2. There are two ways to use baby potatoes for this dish. More common way is to leave them unpeeled and simply wash and scrub it clean. And then to prick the skin with fork before lightly frying them in oil till the skin becomes flaky. But since we don't like to have the skin on these brown potatoes, I peeled them and also put them in boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes, to make them tender, before frying them.

  3. Heat the wok and then dry roast green cardamom. Remove them and then add rest of the spices. Roast them on medium heat till they are fragrant. Once they are done, immediately tip them out, to avoid burning. Now remove the skin of the cardamom and grind it with all the spices, except cinnamon.

  4. Also make a paste of the blanched pistachios or almonds, with 1-2 drop of milk.


  1. Prick the potatoes (peeled or unpeeled). Heat ghee in the wok. Add a pinch of turmeric and fry the potatoes, till a nice brown crust forms on the outside (Refer 1st pic) and they are fork-tender (faster in the case of potatoes softened in boiling water. The idea is to get a crisp outside and a tender inside.

  2. Once done, remove the fried potatoes from the pan and place on tissue to absorb the excess oil. Add chopped onion in the same oil. And fry till lightly brownish, about 5-6 mins. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, ground spices and red chilly powder. Saute for 2-3 mins, till the mixture dries. 

  3. Now remove the wok from heat and slowly add the yogurt, mixing it continuously to  avoid cudling. Keep it back on the flame and add the potatoes. Let the mixture come to a boil and the ghee separates (keep mixing in between). 

  4. Add about 1/3rd cup water, mix well and cover the gravy. Keep it on simmer and cook for 12-15 mins, till the gravy thickens and envelopes the potatoes. Add pistachio paste and salt.  Cook for another 2-3 mins, till the paste blends well with the gravy. Add more water if more gravy is desired.

  5. Serve hot with chopped coriander, with rice or roti. 

Sharing this dish with "For u mom" event hosted by UK Rasoi, "Hot & spicy Treats" by Amy and "Indian Food" festival by Indian Simmer. 

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