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Monday, January 16, 2012

Kalo Aloor Dum (Dum Aloo in Black Pepper Paste)

IMG_1820My choto-mashi (aunt) and grandma lived close by. I was heading over to my grandma’s place from my aunt’s. Choto-mashi was down with cold and she told me to ask grandma to make some kalo-aloor dum (dum potato with black pepper) and send it over. I had no idea what it was. However, I can tell you that a large percentage of what grandma made didn’t make it over. As they call it “lost in transit”. It became my gravy of choice for poori and luchi.

Kalo-aloor dum, gets it’s kalo (black) color from black pepper paste. Combined with ginger it works wonder when you are under the weather. Living in a cold country we frequently make it.


  1. 10-12 baby potatoes
  2. 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  3. 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  4. 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  5. 2 tbsp black pepper corn
  6. 2,3 tejpatta ( bay leaf)
  7. 4,5 green chilies
  8. 1 tbsp. ghee
  9. Salt
  10. Sugar
  11. Oil


In a pan bring enough water to a boil. Add salt to it. Add potatoes and cook it till its boiled. Drain the water and pour cold water on the potatoes. Peel the skin off.

Make a paste of whole cumin, coriander and pepper corn. Somehow I found it difficult to make a fine paste of these ingredients in a mixer. I first dry grind my whole spices in a coffee grinder and then transfer them to the mixer to get the fine paste.

Heat oil in a pan and temper with 1/2 tsp. of cumin seeds, tejpatta and green chilies. Once the spices start sputtering remove the green chilies and keep them for later use.

Add boiled potatoes to it and fry on medium low heat till the potatoes take a light brown hue.IMG_0412

Add ginger paste to it followed by salt and little sugar and sauté till the raw smell subsides. You can add water incrementally if the masala sticks to the bottom of the pan. Now its time to add the masala paste you made before.  Mix the spice paste with potatoes and fry them till oil separates out from the masala.

Pour half a cup of water to it and check the seasoning. Let it simmer till the gravy becomes thick . I like it dry so I put less water and cook till the moisture dries up and the potatoes are well coated with spices. In Bengali we call this Makha-Makha.

Add a spoonful ghee along with the fried green chilies you kept aside. Cover the pan with a lid and turn off the heat.

This time my dad and husband made some luchi to enjoy with it.



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