As we continue to turn chefs in lockdown, here’s a little help from a celebrated one. London-based Asma Khan has been revolutionising the food industry since she stepped in. Today, she runs the famed restaurant, Darjeeling Express, has a bestselling cookbook, Asma’s Indian Kitchen, to her name. Here’s her Aloo Dum recipe:
What you need:
1 kg/2 lb 4 oz potatoes (any variety, though ordinary white waxy potatoes work best), unpeeled
1½ tsp salt
6 garlic cloves, ground to a paste
2 tbsp tomato purée (tomato paste)
½ tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp vegetable, sunflower or groundnut oil
½ tsp panchporan (a mixture of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds)
A handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, picked or chopped, to garnish
Aloo Dum recipe step-by-step:
Place the potatoes in a large pan that has a lid and fill with water. Add 1 tsp of the salt. Place the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil. The cooking time for the potatoes will vary according to their variety, size and quality.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the garlic paste, tomato pur.e, chilli powder and the remaining ½ tsp salt. Set aside.
Test the potatoes to check that they are cooked. Using the point of a sharp knife or skewer, pierce the middle of the largest potato. The potatoes should be tender but not falling apart. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander and leave to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins from the potatoes, then cut them into 2.5-cm/1-inch cubes and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the panchporan to the pan. Wait for the spice seeds to pop before adding the garlic, tomato and chilli mixture. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until the oil separates and the mixture has darkened.
Add the diced potatoes to the pan and coat them well with the garlic, tomato and spice mixture. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
To serve, garnish with coriander leaves.