Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aloor Dom

I've been sitting on this for weeks, trying to come up with a translation that would truly explain what "Aloor dom" is to someone who isn't Bengali. Aloo is the Bengali for potatoes, so the easiest name would be "potato curry" but it really wouldn't be right. Curry is just too generic a word to explain this dish which was a quintessential part of growing up in Bangladesh. Served with a side of  Luchi ( a deep fried flat bread very popular in my part of the world), aloor dum was breakfast on weekends for the longest time. One way of making this, is to boil the potatoes till barely cooked through and sauteing in a mixture of spices. It is then simmered in a covered pan over a low flame till the flavors completely permeate the potatoes transforming it into a delightful beginning to a lazy weekend.
p.s. I do know that it's Wednesday. But no harm in planning for the coming weekend.

1 lb Potatoes
4 tablespoon oil
7-8 curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tomato
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cayenne pepper

I used red, yellow and purple baby potatoes which were cut in half, boiled and then peeled.  You want these to be on the smaller end of the spectrum as the smaller potatoes taste better in this dish.


Heat oil in a flat pan and add curry leaves. After a minute add cumin and mustard seeds. Be careful as the seeds will splutter in hot oil. A process we lovingly called tempering. Very common in Bengali cuisine.
  
Add in rest of the spices along with chopped tomatoes.

Saute for a few minutes adding tablespoons of water if the mixture starts sticking.

Add potatoes. Give it a quick stir to evenly mix everything. You want each piece of potato to be coated. But be gentle as traditionally the dish is served as chunky pieces that are not mashed together.

Add 1/2 cup of water, lower the flame and cover with a tight lid. Water will slowly evaporate and infuse potatoes with flavor, a process known as "dom". Stir once in a while to ensure it doesn't stick.  

Potatoes are ready once most of the water evaporates and you are left with a semi-dry mix of potatoes and spices.

2 comments:

  1. Ive never seen potatoes that colour, the purple ones I mean! Amazing! This sort of dish totalllyyyy floats my boat, sounds just so moorishly good. Gorgeous recipe :)

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  2. Thanks. I live really close to Idaho. The farmers market here is amazing. :)

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