Punjabi style Shahi Dum Aloo: Baby potatoes served in a luscious gravy 🥘

If you are cooking for compliments, then this is an apt dish. It is baby potatoes served in a silky smooth gravy that’s mildly spiced, tangy and yet subtly sweet. This recipe was shared by chef Kunal Kapoor and it works beautifully well. You can catch it on YouTube. As the chef elaborates, “dum” is a style of cooking wherein you apply the heat from the bottom and top of the vessel (via hot coals), we don’t do that here but the name sticks. The word “shahi” in Indian food means royalty, said to originate from the Mughal era and are referred to the gravy dishes with creamy texture, sweet and mildly spiced.

Shahi Dum Aloo with baby potatoes
Shahi Dum Aloo with baby potatoes

This dish is laborious, there’s no hiding that fact; hence slaving in the kitchen for over hour and a half makes sense only for love or reward.

[1] You start with peeling and parboiling the baby potatoes (12-14 nos or 2 cups).

As the potatoes are boiling, you can do the remaining prep work for the gravy. Slice an onion (1 cup onion for 2 cups baby potatoes, the onion quantity will reduce to less than half when they are cooked), ginger (half an inch), garlic (4 to 5 small cloves) and green chilli  (1 no.), keep aside. Soak 10 to 12 cashew nuts in a little water. Keep ready beaten curd (1 and a half cup).

[2] When the potatoes are done, pat dry and dunk them into hot oil (veg oil) and fry them till they turn golden. This is time consuming, so while the potatoes are frying we can start with the gravy.

Parboiled baby potatoes being fried in oil
Parboiled baby potatoes being fried in oil

[3] For the gravy, heat oil (3 tbsp) in a pan, add the whole spices (6 kinds) and saute- Bay leaf (1 no.), Black pepper whole ( 4 nos.), Cinnamon stick ( half an inch), Cloves (4 nos.), Cardamom (4 nos.) and Cumin seeds (jeera) (1 tsp)

Next add the onions first, sauté for sometime till it becomes translucent and then add the ginger, garlic and green chilli; sauté till the onions turn brown. This step requires time and patience. Adding a little salt will hasten the browning, but careful not to crank up the heat and burn the contents.

The whole spices and the onion, ginger and garlic for the gravy
The whole spices and the onion, ginger and garlic for the gravy

Meanwhile, the baby potatoes would have fried well and developed a golden crust, take them out and keep aside on a tissue paper to absorb the excess oil.

[4] When the onions turn brown, add little warm water and then spice powders (4 kinds)turmeric powder (half tsp), red chilli powder (1 tsp), coriander powder (2 tsp) and cumin or jeera powder (half tsp). Sauté. (No need to add Kashmiri chilli powder here.)

After adding the powdered spices
After adding the powdered spices

[5] Next, crank up the heat and add the beaten curd (1 and a half cup will be apt) to the pan and keep stirring the continuously to prevent the curd from splitting. After a few minutes, reduce the flame and let the mixture cook. The oil will surface and the gravy reduced. Take it off the flame.

Gravy after adding the beaten curd
Gravy after adding the beaten curd

[6] Blend the soaked cashew nuts with a little water to get a smooth paste

Cashew paste
Cashew paste

[7] Next pour the gravy mixture into a blender (take off the bay leaf) and puree. Be careful as the contents are hot (the contents should fill atmost only half the jar, do in batches if required).

The pureed mixture
The pureed mixture

[7] Strain the puree and collect only the liquid for the gravy. (Rinse the blender jar with some water so as to collect back all the gravy and strain this too.)

The golden liquid gravy after straining
The golden liquid gravy after straining

[9] Pour back the collected liquid gravy into the pan, add salt and bring to boil. Add the cashew paste, once again stirring to avoid lumps. Check seasoning. Add kasuri methi powder or fenugreek leaf powder and a pinch of sugar to balance the sourness of the gravy.

Adding Kasuri Methe powder or fenugreek leaf powder into the gravy
Adding Kasuri Methe powder or fenugreek leaf powder into the gravy

[10] Add the fried baby potatoes to the gravy and let it simmer for a 5 to 10 min minutes. Serve hot with chapati or rice😋.

Baby potatoes in the gravy
Baby potatoes in the gravy

 

The most important steps are getting the onions browned and constant stirring so as not to split the beaten curd. The result is the silky, flavourful and rich gravy😘, so good…it’s worth the effort !!

Till next post, take care !!

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