Dum aloo

Spicy potatoes

We couldn’t not do a potato dish, given that were coming into prime potato season and for this one, we were very lucky to get the first of the year’s crop of Ballymakenny Farm violet potatoes – not only do these potatoes have the perfect starch content for this dish, they have a wonderful vibrant purple colour.

Serves 4


  • 16 violet potatoes
  • 40g vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 3-4 dried red chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 pinch cloves
  • 1 pinch black cardamom
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • Salt


1 Steam the violet potatoes for 10 minutes – we want them softened but not fully cooked.

2 Whilst they’re steaming away, gently sauté the rest of the ingredients in a thick bottomed pot for a few minutes – we don’t want to over fry them until they are bitter, so gently gently.

3 When the potatoes are steamed, put them into the pot and give them a good shake to evenly coat the spiced oil over the skins and into any nooks and crannies that have formed when the potatoes burst a bit. Those canyons of fluffiness are great for soaking up the flavours.

4 Put a lid on the pot and gently heat over a very low heat for 7-8 minutes until the potatoes are just cooked and all the favours have mingled nicely.

Tip: In India, there would be a huge emphasis on vegetarian food, so this one would be a winner for any vegetarians or vegans coming to dinner – a real tasty treat.

Recipe credit: Kinara Kitchen

Photography credit: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke