Bengali Aloo Dum (Spiced Baby Potatoes)

Bengali Aloo Dum | Playful Cooking

Bengalis don’t have a wide range of breakfast options. It’s often bread or ruti with leftover curry. Of course that was never my choice of breakfast and I used to settle with cereal or toast. But on weekends and festive season, a few varieties start showing up for breakfast table. One of them is this spiced baby potato stew (Bengali Aloo Dum), often paired with luchi (fried mini flat bread).

Bengali Aloo Dum | Playful Cooking

I would gobble up the breakfast as fast as I could, which was a rare scene. Because I was always a slow eater. I could hear my brother say, “So you can eat fast?” I wouldn’t care to respond, I was just too excited to go for shopping. My Dad was ready, he has promised me 8 outfits and two pairs of shoes. No kidding! 4 days of Durga Puja meant 2 new outfits per day, one for morning and one for evening. Yes, that’s the ritual. My brother never cared for new clothes but my excitement was always at heights, especially during this time of the year.

Bengali Aloo Dum | Playful Cooking Bengali Aloo Dum | Playful Cooking Bengali Aloo Dum | Playful Cooking

Food, being the biggest part of happiness in our life, always gets extra attention and breakfast during these four days is always grand. It almost always involves luchi (fried mini flatbread) with some kind of potato stew. Bengali Aloo Dum (spiced baby potato stew) is a little different from the North Indian version, mainly in terms of spices that goes in. We kids would help Mom by peeling those boiled baby potatoes and then Mom would make a super quick stew coated with warm spices. Depending on the size of the baby potatoes, she would leave those whole or cut in half. I often like it the way I made here, not loaded with gravy. But then Mom would always keep it saucier.

Durga Puja is next week and my craze for shopping is totally taken over by my craze for cooking, feeding and eating! With the arrival of autumn and the sudden weather change, this meal fits right in!

Bengali Aloo Dum (Spiced Baby Potatoes)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Bengali Aloo Dum (Spiced Baby Potatoes)


  • 1 lb./500 gm baby potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon Indian Five Spice (paanch phoron)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • finely chopped cilantro for garnish


  • Boil the baby potatoes with lots of salt and then peel the skin off. Keep it aside.
  • Place a heavy bottom saucepan at medium heat and drizzle the mustard oil. When the oil heats up, drop the paanch phoron, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and sugar. Give it a couple of seconds for the spices to sizzle and the sugar to caramelize. Then, scatter the onion, ginger and sprinkle the salt. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste, stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Take a bowl and add turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and chili powder along with 2 tablespoons of water. Give it a mix and pour it to the pan. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until you see the oil being released from the corner of the pan.
  • Drop the boiled potatoes and stir to coat the spice mix evenly. Cook for 2 minutes and pour enough water to dunk the potatoes. Crank up the heat on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Then, lower the heat to medium and let it simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala powder and let it cook for 3 more minutes. Check for salt at this point and add any, if required.
  • I like it semi gravy so I stop cooking here and let it sit for a while before serving. If you prefer it with lots of gravy, add more water and let it cook for some more time.
  • It tastes best when served warm.


I used tomato paste only because I like the rich color it gives. You can always replace it with 2 medium juicy tomatoes.

Bengali Aloo Dum | Playful Cooking

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Gorgeous shots Kankana. Love each and everyone of them. The light, mood and styling are amazing 😍😍

these look so delicious, what wonderful flavors!

Moggie says:

This popped into my inbox on Thursday or Friday and, after having a look in the deepest darkest debt’s of my cupboards, I found I had all the ingredients so cooked in yesterday. It was amazing, Just the type of dish to add to curry and rice to make it sing. Thank you.

Kelsie says:

These potatoes sound delicious! I’d gobble them up quickly too, whether I’m going shopping after or not 🙂

I LOVE potatoes so this is just about the best meal for me!

potato stew sounds so cozy! and with all those spices and tomato paste, it sounds incredibly flavorful (:

These potatoes are gorgeous!!! What a delicious combination of flavors. I will be trying these soon. 🙂

Looking good,I wanna try this in my home

I read this when Durga Puja is over and Shubho Bijoya to you and your family members . This alur dom always tasted better in winters for the baby sized potatoes and coriander leaves. This is that indigenous Bangali fail safe staple which will always bring smiles to peoples face.

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