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Rupa’s Potatoes (Bengali Dum Aloo)

Servings 4 people


  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil (canola, safflower, vegetable, or similar)
  • 2 teaspoons panch phoron
  • 3 small red dried chilies (cut in half*)
  • 2 Indian bay leaves (or substitute bay leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 2 medium/large tomatoes cubed
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder*
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • *Adjust these quantities based on how spicy you like your food.


  • Peel the 6 medium potatoes, cut them into large-bite-sized pieces, and rinse in cold water.
  • Put the potato chunks into a pot of water, add a large pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Once they’re becoming tender but aren’t yet completely soft, remove from the heat and drain.
  • Heat a dry pot over medium-high heat, then add 1/2 cup flavorless oil. Once it’s shimmering, add the 2 teaspoons of panch phoron, chilies, and the 2 bay leaves. Stirring constantly, cook for about 10 seconds, then add the 2 teaspoons of grated ginger and 1 tablespoon of garlic. Keep stirring until the ginger and garlic stop sputtering, about 20 more seconds.
  • Add the 2 cubed tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of turmeric, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil in the pan, smashing the tomato cubes around the pan as you stir. Once the tomatoes have become soft, about 5 minutes, add the potato cubes and mix well.
  • Add the 3/4 teaspoon of chili powder (adjust to taste) and the 2 tablespoon of sugar to the pan, stir, then pour in 1 1/2 cups of water. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Cook covered, stirring every few minutes, until the potatoes are soft and coated in a thick gravy, about 20 minutes.
  • Serve with flatbread, and enjoy!