Shahi Dum Aloo (Potatoes cooked in cashew nut gravy)
- Potatoes, either baby or tween potatoesJ, 500 gms
- Khus Khus/Posto/White poppy seeds, 1 tbsp
- Cashews, 12-15
- Onion, 1 small
- Green cardamom, 1-2
- Cloves, 3-4
- Cinnamon, 1 inch stick
- Bay leaf, 1
- Fresh Ginger, paste/finely grated, 1 tsp
- Turmeric, 1/8 tsp
- Red Chili powder, ¼ tsp (for heat)
- Kashmiri red chili powder, ½ tsp (for colour)
- Coriander powder, ½ tsp
- Plain Yogurt/Dahi, ¼ cup
- Salt, to taste
- Oil or Ghee, 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
- Water, as needed/mentioned
- Saunf/ Fennel seed powder, 1/4 tsp (optional)
- Cashews, for garnishing, a handful (optional)
Wash and scrub clean the potatoes and par boil them in salted water. Peel and prick each potato a few times using a toothpick. (You can skip peeling the potatoes if using baby potatoes but IMO this tastes better when peeled)
Soak the posto and cashews in ¼ cup of warm water for about 15-20 minutes. Grind into a very fine paste.
Whip the yogurt very well with a fork and keep it on the kitchen counter to ensure it is at room temperature before you start cooking.
Peel the onion. Boil it in ½ cup of water till it becomes soft and all the water evaporates. (Or pressure cook in ¼ cup water for two whistles on high). Let cool and grind it into a fine paste.
Heat 1 tbsp oil/ghee in a heavy bottom pan (with lid). Lightly fry the potatoes till pale golden brown on all sides. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and keep aside.
If using cashews for garnishing later, fry them in the same pan on low heat till pale golden on both sides.
Lower the heat and in the same pan, add the balance 1 tbsp oil/ghee. Splutter in the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf.
Add the onion paste and sauté for 15-20 seconds till it starts to change colour. Add in the ginger paste, mix and sauté together for a minute or two.
Add in the turmeric, red chili powder, kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well with the onion paste and let sauté for a minute or so.
Add in the posto and cashew paste, mix and let it all fry on low heat till the masala starts releasing oil at the sides.
Now add in the potatoes and toss them around to ensure they are well coated with the masala. Let the potatoes cook till the masala starts oozing oil again, about 10 minutes. Do stir frequently but gently – don’t let the cashew paste burn or let the potatoes break.
Switch of the heat and let the potatoes cool a bit. We need to add the whipped yogurt now and if the potatoes mix is too hot, the yogurt will split.
Add the whipped yogurt, mix well and switch the heat back on again – at the lowest heat and let the mix cook for a couple of minutes. Check for salt and add more if needed.
Add this stage, add ½ a cup of water and cover with a lid and let the potatoes simmer for 10-15 minutes till you get a thick gravy and oil starts releasing at the sides.
Sprinkle fennel seed powder and mix well couple of minutes before switching off the heat.
Top with fried cashews and serve hot with plain pooris or paranthas.