Monday, November 30, 2009

Cashews Are the New Cream

Out grocery shopping this weekend, we spotted a mesh bag of the teeniest tiniest potatoes I have ever seen in my life. Some of them were only a little bigger than chickpeas! V's eyes lit up as he mouthed the words, "dum aloo".

So that is how recipe #32 is Vegan Dum Aloo. The inspiring recipe was this Alu Dum recipe from The Spice Who Loved Me.

There's quite a bit of butter and cream involved in the way most restaurants make this dish. Here, cashew paste takes over and contributes a rich and creamy taste and totally eliminates the need for any dairy products. Paprika is used to add a beautiful color and taste while keeping the curry mild. I chose to roast the potatoes with their skin on; the crackling roasted skin contributes a wonderful smoky flavor to the dish.

Here's my version of the original recipe:

1. The potatoes-
Wash and dry 2-3 cups of baby potatoes. Prick each one 2-3 times with a fork and toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast at 425F for 20-25 minutes (I used a toaster oven to save energy) or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

2. The paste-
a) Chop 2 medium onions in large dice. Saute them in a spoonful of oil until light brown. Let them cool down.
b) Soak ¼ cup raw cashews in hot water for 20 minutes or so.
c) Grind together the soaked cashews and onions to a fine, thick paste.

3. Heat oil and temper it with 1 tsp. each of cumin seeds and nigella seeds (kalonji).

4. Add 2 tsp. ginger-garlic paste, 2 tsp. kasuri methi, turmeric, red chilli powder, paprika, salt and saute for several seconds.

5. Stir in the cashew paste and a cup of tomato puree and cook the mixture together for 10 minutes. Add water as required to adjust the consistency of the curry to your own taste.

6. Taste the curry and add a pinch of sugar if it is too tangy. Finally, turn off the heat, add the following:
1 tsp. garam masala
the hot roasted baby potatoes
handful of minced cilantro

Let the curry rest, covered, for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend in. Serve with rotis (or whole wheat tortillas masquerading as rotis) or rice.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to write in very helpful tips regarding rice cookers on my previous post! Y'all are the best!


  1. Yummy and easy. Will definitely try it.

  2. Cashews are a weakness of mine.... this looks simple and wonderful. Can't wait to try it.

  3. I agree, cashews are better alternative to cream, they are musch more tastier. dum aloo looks good.

  4. Looks creamy, smoothy and delicious...nice combo with chapathi.

  5. Mmmm....this is so good. I used the same recipe from The spice who loved me - almost a year ago and it was so yum. I just ground up everything in the blender and then cooked the paste/gravy. Your picture made me want to try it again and this time with roasting the potatoes....Yum!

  6. You know Nupur, Cashew is my one of the my poison! So needless to say...I love cashew in every dish. :)
    I think even I did try Trupti's Dum Aloo...a long time before blogging. I have some baby potatoes in my pantry...I know I am gonna to make Dum Aloo soon. :)

    Everyday, trying new recipe -blogging-posting needs a lot of I appreciate your efforts here. You and your blog rocks! :)

  7. Cashews definitely make a richer and creamier gravy. Curry looks delicious.

  8. It's the begining of the day here and am already salivating just after BF. Thanks Nupur, I am book marking this.

  9. I stumbled on your blogspot cause i was trying to make thalipeeth (international calls are a bit expensive than internet surfing) anyways i love to read of your food escapades.. jevayla kadhi yeu?(just kidding ;-)) . happy cooking..

  10. yeah i've been using cashews for thicken graven for ages, never thought of them as replacing cream though. this puts ideas in my head..

  11. Now that's a real decadent dum aloo!
    Cashews are the new cream..hmm maybe I can also try paneer makhni this way..thanks for sharing

  12. Yummy! It is very nice to see one new post every day:)

  13. Hi Nupur,
    As Iam reading through the recipe my mouth is just watering...I will surely give this recipe a try but let me see if I have luck finding these kind of tiny tiny potatoes...

  14. Nupur - this sounds fab! Where can I get the spices?

  15. i also love dum aloo with baby potatoes but peeling them is a pain. the dish has come out so creamy...looks delicious.

  16. Kelsey- I love cashews too :) Do try it- it is delicious!

    Madhu- Yes, they have a delicious taste of their own.

    delhibelle- Oh yeah paneer makhni would be divine in this sauce!

    Supriya- Thanks, it is fun to cook and post in a mad rush ;)

    Nags- Well, one can add cream but it is really quite unnecessary in this case.

    Anjali- That's what food blog hopping does- make you hungry all the time ;)

    S- Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy your time here.

    Pavani- Thanks!

    Sonia- Thank you for saying that! When I enjoy something, I have a lot of patience for it, otherwise I am just about the most impatient person on this planet ;)

    Priya- Raw onions don't blend too well in my grinder hence the need to saute them first, I also prefer the taste this way actually :)

    Rekha shoban- Thanks!

    BDSN- It will work with all kinds of baby potatoes, or larger potatoes cut in cubes. Don't let that stop you :)

    Holly- You'll find the spices in international stores like Jay's on Grand or Global Foods in Kirkwood, or in smaller Indian grocery stores like Seema Enterprises on Olive. Contact me if you want details, or if you want to stop by and shop from my pantry :)

    sayantani- Peeling them is a pain, I agree, that's why I don't peel them at all! The skin is tasty, and nutritious too :)

  17. Isn't your V wonderful? I love the very idea of his eyes lighting up!!

  18. Now that I can comment, I have to.


    I'm going to make this very soon. :) I have a bag of baby potatoes :)

    Also, matki pulao in my lunch box today. Doubt I can get a picture. Next time :)

    Is there a way I can say thanks :)

  19. wow!! this was mind blowingly yummy. or should i say "is" as i am still finishing off my plate. just made this and can't say enough about how delicious it is!! you make my life so much easier and tastier.

  20. This recipe was so fabulous!! Thanks for sharing. I loved it :)

  21. Hi Nupur, I tried this recipe for Thanksgiving lunch yesterday and everyone loved it. Thanks for such a wonderful tasting simple recipe.


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