This week has marked the first week where I am not inundated with social events. My way of celebrating? Making a recipe with fresh, green ingredients. The other day, I made what I feel like would be the starter level Bengali curry: aloo dum. Now, don't knock it just because it's simple! Aloo dum takes pride of place in Bangladeshi festivities but somehow doesn't quite cut it amongst the thriving, cool population of London desis today. Spiced baby potatoes are tossed around in a thick, saucy onion and tomato masala. I made this to go with a huge dawat that went well into midnight. None of the guests were Bengali and it went down a treat as a different way to serve something that’s normally viewed as boring!
Prep+cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-5 portions
6-7 baby potatoes
1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
pinch of salt and pepper
1-2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp ground almonds or cashews
2 tomatoes, chopped (tinned can be used too)
1 bay leaf
2-3 green cardamoms
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
handful of coriander and spring onions, chopped finely
2 tbsp olive oil for cooking
1) Bring water to a boil in a medium sized pan. With a fork, score holes into the washed baby potatoes and boil them for 15-20 minutes.
2) Heat a saucepan, drizzle with oil and sauté onions until they are soft and translucent.
2) Stir in salt and pepper, ginger and garlic paste along with ground almonds. Mix all the spices including bay leaf, cardamom and cloves. Leave the turmeric for the potatoes. Finally add the tomatoes and let the masala fry for 5 minutes or so until the oil takes on a red/orange tinted hue. You want the onions and tomatoes to be so soft that eventually they just become a pulp!
3) Meanwhile, remove the boiled potatoes, drain well and toss them in a bowl with a pinch of turmeric so they are stained yellow.
4) Place potatoes into the masala, add a cup of water, cover and cook over a medium heat for another 5-10 minutes. If like me, you like a little tang to your potatoes, add a drizzle of tamarind paste or pomegranate molasses.
5) Serve with fresh garnishes of coriander and luchis or pooris. Mine are nowhere near perfect but this is the best way to enjoy aloo dum!