Although I have been very fortunate to live in NYC where such a plethora of diverse and creative food and dining options are available, I am yet to find a dum aloo that matches the one I had in India. The flavors combined in a delicious tomato curry filled with potatoes that were filled with nuts and paneer. The spiciness that made it feel it was summer in between a very cold December night. Alongside naan prepared in a proper Tandoor Oven at the restaurant Punjabi Angithi.
Now, I wanted to have the same culinary experience half way across the world (without having to take a 16 hour flight in the middle of a work week) and because I couldn't find any restaurants that quite met the expectation, I ran through each recipe online. Unfortunately, most recipes were of Banarasi Dum aloo and not Kashmiri Dum Aloo. The difference is Banarsi dum aloo does not contain stuffing in the baby potatoes mixed in the curry while Kashmiri one does. Also, Kashmiri Dum Aloo is served in a gravy that is more like Punjabi butter chicken's gravy rather than the traditional gravy that is heavily based on an onion paste. So, the way I make it, it's very specific to a region in India. Don't come for me if it isn't exactly what you were looking for!
Although I had to modify it to match my taste, I used queen Tarla Dalal's recipe as my base for spices and measuring.
The Spices & Making the Curry:
Once it is all blended completely, see if you need to add more tomato paste (taste test time!), if so, go ahead and add it now! On low heat, mix the curry together and make sure it is smooth. Turn off the heat and let it rest.
The Potatoes & The Filling
Once cooled down, cut the bottom and top of the potato so it's flat. Peel the potatoes.You can save both of these to mix with the paneer. Cut a whole in the center of the potato very gently where you will add the the filling. Once you have the whole cut in, some people fry the potato in olive oil to remove any excess water but I have been able to skip this step and it has turned out amazing still.
Add salt and garlic powder to the paneer and mix. If you want, you can also add nuts to it. I have eaten it with raisins, walnuts, and cashew nuts mixed, before. Fill the potatoes with the filling you just made and add it to the curry!
Serve it with some naan. I got the one from Trader Joe's (don't have a tandoor oven...yet) and I actually love it (thanks to my bestie Lindsey who actually introduce me to it!). And...bone apple teeth 😁
Also food is inherently political. I cannot talk about an Indian and Kashmiri dish without acknowledging the community that gave us this version of the dish. If you want to learn more about the culture, cuisine, and the resilience of this amazing community, my go to source is KOA Youth website and Instagram!
Hi! My name is Vaishnavi and this is a curation of all things food. I travel a lot and since an early age, much like both my grandmothers, I have enjoyed cooking, baking, exploring dining options, and experimenting with food. In college, I started @foodbyvivarmaa as a creative outlet for all things food related. And since then, friends and family have asked me for recommendations and recipes and I thought why not make a traditional blog? Growing up in India and UAE and now living in NYC I have been privileged to be exposed to a very diverse set of dining experiences. My parents gave us the opportunity to travel all over, which has only further expanded my curiosity to explore more. Although I don't put a label on it, 90% of my diet is vegetarian. In India, cooking and eating food is a community ritual. Most of my favorite memories revolve around having a good meal with those who I love. To continue that tradition, I hope to curate my own community as I travel and continue building my life in different parts of the world & hopefully inspire and give others the same feeling of community brought together by food.