Dum Aloo | Kashmiri Potatoes in Spicy Yoghurt Sauce

There are two main versions of Aloo Dum – the Kashmiri version, and a Punjabi version which is generally less spicy than the Kashmiri version.

Dum style cooking is a slow cooking style which allows the ingredients to cook in their own juices and any added sauce. When the lid of the pot is sealed to prevent any steam from escaping it is called dum pukht –Β dum meaning breathe in and pukht meaning to cook. Dum lets the dish breathe in or steam slowly in its own juices, absorbing the delicate flavour of the spices and herbs. You can still see large cooking pots that are sealed with dough or cloth to trap the steam, cooking the vegetables or rice until tender. It is used most commonly when cooking biryani, and is a technique that is more than 400 years old.

Traditionally only a handful of Indian spices were used for flavour, but with time many more ingredients were added to suit different taste preferences. The dough seal is only opened once the dish was ready to serve to retain maximum flavour. A heavy bottomed clay pot is said to work the best as it releases heat slowly (maintaining the temperature inside) and prevents the fire from burning the bottom of the dish.

While Dum dishes were cooked over open fires with coals added to the top of the pot, today the oven provides a way of maintaining a low heat, and a pot can be sealed with kitchen foil if a dough seal is out of the question. On a stove top a heat diffuser can be used to keep the heat low so that longer cooking is possible. This allows greater infusion of the flavours into the potatoes.

As usual, my recipe for Aloo Dum is one of the simpler ones, home-cooking style, but with extraordinary flavours. You may have Greek or French clay pots, or lovely Indian terracotta ones. I lost my Indian pots when I shifted (they break easily) so sometimes I will use a Chinese clay pot for dishes such as this. The advantage is that it comes with a lid that can be easily sealed with foil, although the sealing isn’t strictly necessary these days for this dish.

Most of the times it is brought directly to the table and then the lid is opened. The result is dramatic, with the rich aroma that comes with the escaping steam is always considered an important part of the experience of a Dum cooked dish. They say that Dum cooking takes years to perfect. The good news is that every trial dish, while not perfect, is jolly jolly good. Just cook with deep respect for the ancient technique, with patience, with love, and with home-made garam masala.

This dish is a little different to those you might see elsewhere. It is Kashmiri rather than from other parts of India. It’s sauce is yoghurt based and does not include onions or tomatoes. Cashews are not added. It it is simply yoghurt and spices, very traditional. The potatoes are first deep fried. This gives them a lovely brown colour and also a crisp coating that prevents them falling apart when they are cooking in the yoghurt sauce.Β  The crispness is lost during cooking in the sauce and they become beautifully infused and soft. Before frying, the potatoes are pricked all over to allow the infusion of flavours.

Similar dishes include Potato Fry, Aloo in Aloo, Potato with Onions, and Aloo Gobi.

Browse all of our Potato Curries and all of our Potato dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Spicy Turnips in Yoghurt | Kashmiri Shalgum Curry

We have had a bit of a thing for turnips this year, and recently we found the most gorgeous ones at the Organic stall in the Adelaide Central Market. It seems a crime to peel them, but we did, and made this gorgeous curry that comes from Kashmir.

The turnips are cooked with spice powders until tender, then coated in a yoghurt sauce. The central spice is fennel and it is a great match to the creamy turnips.

Similar dishes includeΒ Turnip with Spices, Turnip Salad with Capers, Turnips with Quince Molasses, Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce, and Turnip Soup with Coriander-Walnut Paste.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and all of our Kashmir dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce

I need to share a secret. In this household, our focus on Winter veggies has been low. Turnips and Swedes (Rutabaga) have been relegated to vegetable soups, Parsnips have been a little more loved, beautiful winter greens are pretty much only simply quickly steamed or sauteed.

But our Winter Kitchen is changing. Horseradish returns. We found some Mustard greens. Beets, home grown, are prized for their earthy flavours. Celeriac is never left, ignored, in the bottom of the fridge. Jerusalem Artichokes are loved. Lotus root tentatively played with. Jicama (Yam Bean) has always been loved. Potatoes and Daikon make more regular appearance. Swede and Turnips are loved for their own flavours. Sweet Potato and Yam – beautiful textures and flavours.

Today we cook some wonderful baby turnips with spices, mustard greens and a little creamy yoghurt sauce. Such an extraordinary dish. But use any other green if you can’t source Mustard Greens.

Similar dishes includeΒ Turnip with Spices, Turnip Salad with Capers, Spicy Turnips in Yoghurt, Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut, Steamed Mustard Greens with Shiitake and Sambal, Turnips with Quince Molasses, Mustard Greens with Mooli, and Turnip Soup with Yoghurt and Coriander-Walnut Paste.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and all of our Mustard Greens dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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