Dum a is cooking technique. It is a slow-cooking method where the main ingredient with other spices are kept in a closed handi(round bottom pan with lid) and cooked on a very slow heat. The vessel is kept closed so no steam can escape.This type of cooking technique was introduces to India by the Mughals, probably during sixteenth century.
But when I am talking about the Bengali style alur dum(alu is potato in Bengali), it only has the name dum in it. The cooking process is quick and short, as the potatoes(alu) are boiled before adding to the spices. Probably to reduce the time of cooking. There are north Indian variety of dum-aloo or kashmiri style dum-aloo where the potatoes are fried and cooked in dum with the spices. I will discuss those recipes some other time in my blog for sure.
For now a pure bengali style alur dum , or you can call it a potato curry, to go with the Sunday morning luchi or kochuri or porota.
Ingredients for alur dum:
- Tomato:1 mediem chopped
- Ginger paste:1tbsp
- Cumin seeds
- Dry red chilies:2-3
- Green chilies:2-3
- Cumin powder:1/2tsp
- Coriander leaves:handful
- Red chili powder:1tsp
- Turmeric powder:1/4tsp
- Salt to taste
Procedure to make alur dum:
1. Boil the potato with skin. I prefer using a pressure cooker, as it reduces the cooking time. Wash the potatoes and prick them with a fork. Put them inside the cooker along with some salt and water, cook for 2 whistles and remove from heat. Wait till the pressure releases. Try to use small equal-sized potatoes.
2. As the pressure releases take the yogurt in a bowl and mix with sugar and little water and bit it till smooth. Keep aside.
3. Let the potatoes cool down. Peel the potatoes.
4. Take oil in a pan; fry the boiled and peeled potatoes till nice golden brown. Take the fried potatoes out and keep aside.
5. In the same pan add some cumin seeds, dry red chilies, green chilies. As the cumin seeds changes color to brown add the ginger paste and chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt that helps to cook the tomato faster. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook till the tomatoes are mushy.
6. Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder and cook for 4-5min.
7. Lower the heat. Add the bitten yogurt. Cook in low heat till oil separates from the spices.
8. Add the fried potatoes, salt, and little water. Cover and cook for 15min on a low heat.
9. Garnish with handful of chopped coriander leaves.