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Wednesday 7 September 2022

Jeera Aloo (Cumin Potatoes)

 Jeera Aloo (Cumin Potatoes)

Jeera Aloo is a vibrantly spiced side dish that’s as satisfying to eat as it is easy to prepare. This classic potato recipe is loaded with cumin and fresh herbs, and is naturally gluten-free and vegan. Try it for a healthy and comforting lunch or as an addition to your favorite dinner dishes!

About This Recipe

Jeera aloo is Hindi for “cumin potatoes,” which is about the most perfect name for this deliciously spice-ful dish. Lots of earthy, rich cumin seeds are the foundation in this recipe.

They are complimented with green chilies, turmeric, chili powder and lemon juice, and all together create a fantastic blend of bold and tangy flavors. Every bite of tender potato tastes so warm and comforting!

You can also add a bit of fresh minced ginger, if you like, for even more spice. And although I don’t include garlic or onion here, feel free to add them when you try this easy jeera aloo recipe for yourself.

The recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Whole potatoes are boiled with the skins on, then 

cooled, peeled and chopped, and sautéed with spices.

How to Make Jeera Aloo

Cook the Potatoes

1. First, scrub and rinse 5 to 6 medium-sized potatoes (500 grams) in water.

2. Boil or steam the potatoes along with ½ teaspoon salt in a stove-top pressure cooker, Instant pot or a pan, until they are tender and cooked well. Do not overcook or they’ll become mushy!

a) In a stove-top pressure cooker: Place the potatoes and add enough water which just about covers the potatoes in a 3 or 4 litre pressure cooker. Pressure cook on medium-heat for 7 to 9 minutes.

b) In a pan or pot: Peel, and chop the potatoes in small cubes. Chopping will make them cook faster in a pan. Add water enough to cover the potatoes. Sprinkle salt. Cover and simmer on a low to medium-low heat until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain all the water and set aside.

c) In the Instant Pot: Place a trivet in the steel insert of a 6 quart IP. Keep the potatoes on top of the trivet. If you do not have a trivet, you can use a steaming pan which fits in the IP. Pressure cook for 20 to 25 minutes on high pressure.

3. For the stovetop pressure cooker, wait until all the pressure falls in the cooker and then remove the lid.

For the Instant Pot, do a quick pressure release (QPR) after 5 to 7 minutes. 

The potatoes should be just cooked until barely fork-tender. You want them to still be firm enough to withstand additional cooking in a skillet next.

Get the Potatoes and Other Ingredients Ready

4. Once they are cool enough to touch, peel the skins and chop the potatoes into bite-sized cubes.

5. Next I recommend that you go ahead and measure out all of the ingredients you’ll need per the recipe below. A bit of prep work ahead of time will make cooking the jeera aloo much easier!

Fry Cumin (Jeera)

6. Now it’s time to make the aloo jeera. Firstly, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

7. Reduce the heat and to the hot oil add 3 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera) and let them crackle for a few seconds as you continuously stir. They should brown but not burn, so be sure to keep them moving.

The cumin seeds must crackle and you must get the lovely earthy aroma from them.

Add Green Chillies

8. Once the cumin seeds crackle and change color, then add 2 to 3 finely chopped green chilies (1 to 1.5 teaspoons finely chopped green chillies or serrano peppers).

TIP: Green chillies add the pungency and heat to the dish. If you are sensitive to spice, then skip adding them or add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of chopped chillies. 

9. Stir well to combine the chilies and cumin seeds.

Add Potatoes

10. Next, add the boiled potato cubes to the pan.

11. Mix together so that the potato cubes are evenly coated with the cracked cumin seeds and green chilies.

Add Ground Spices

12. Sprinkle the potatoes with ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon of red chili powder, and salt to taste. You can also add 1 pinch asafetida if you are not looking for a gluten-free dish.

13. Saute the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes on low to medium-low heat, stirring often to keep the potatoes from sticking and overcooking. The smell of the seasonings together is absolutely amazing!

Add Lemon Juice

14. Next add 2 to 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, depending on how much sour flavor you like. Start with 1 teaspoon, and taste as you add a bit more of the lemon juice at a time to reach just the right level of tanginess.

The brightness from the lemon really brings the flavors in the dish together. 3 teaspoons of lemon juice makes the dish nicely tangy and if you love tangy food, you will like it.

If you are not a fan of tangy or sour food, then add 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.

15. Lastly, add ¼ cup of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves.

16. Gently mix the coriander into the jeera aloo, and turn off the heat.

Serving Suggestions

17. Serve jeera aloo hot or warm with Chapati, Poori, Paratha or your favorite bread. You can also serve aloo jeera as a side dish with dal and steamed rice.

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