Have you ever tried the spicy and tangy aloo dum from phuchkawala in Kolkata? It is one of the spiciest thing you can ever eat. The heat from chilies and sour taste of the tamarind pulp mixed with the just well done baby potatoes, makes this street food one of my favorite. As I am writing this post, I am literally salivating remembering the paper plate full of fingerlicking good baby potatoes aloo dum on my last trip to Kolkata.
Potatoes have a special place in every Bengali’s heart. The comforting aloo chokha (Bengali version of mashed potatoes) or half cut potatoes in kansha mangsho (spicy mutton curry) – we like our potatoes anywhere and everywhere. But when it comes to aloo dum – it is like a Christmas in summer. The Kolkata street style aloo dum is a favorite everywhere whether it’s a side for luchi on a Sunday morning or an accompaniment with alcohol on a Friday night party. Try this recipe and you’ll know what I mean. You can also serve this aloo dum on phuchka to make alu dum phuchka, load it with loads of green chilies, cilantro and dash of tamarind pulp. I have adapted this recipe from Ishita’s Kolkata style spicy baby potatoes.
- 1 lb boiled baby potatoes
- 2 - 3 big bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 tablespoon tamarind pulp
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon rock salt
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds, coarsely grounded
- 2 - 3 green chilies, coarsely chopped, optional
- 2 tablespoon mustard oil
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon sugar, optional
- Mix a pinch of turmeric powder, salt and sugar, if using with the baby potatoes. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan, and fry the potatoes till they start turning slightly brown about 3 minutes. Take out of the pan and keep aside
- In the same pan add the chopped onions and bay leaves and fry till the onion is almost done, about 5 minutes. Add in the ginger and garlic paste and fry for another 2 -3 minutes, or till the oil starts separating
- In the meantime, in a small bowl take about ¼ cup water and all the dry spice powder, stir to make a smooth paste. Pour in the spice paste to the fried onion mix and toss for a minute.
- Add the reserved baby potatoes and pour in the tamarind paste. Toss to coat. Pour about a cup of water and season with salt, if you are using rock salt then use little less salt than you would use.
- Cook on high for about 5 minutes or till the potatoes break once pressed
- Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with chopped cilantro, green chilies and roasted cumin powder, sprinkle the rock salt and pour in the lime juice
- Boil the potatoes skin on and about a teaspoon of salt to the water. Boil till the potatoes are not fully cooked. Once you are able to touch the potatoes, peel the skin off
- When serving you can pour another tablespoon of tamarind pulp thinned with water, to get a tangy taste
- The spice level mentioned above will yield a mildly spiced aloo dum, if you want more heat add more chili powder to the aloo dum
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