You’ll love the spicy, vibrant, and warm flavor of aloo masala. It’s an Indian dish made with plenty of potatoes, spices, and seasonings. Serve it as a side for dinner or enjoy it as a light lunch!
I’ve never met a potato that I didn’t like. Seriously — it’s one ingredient that I can’t get enough of! Recipes like batata harra (Lebanese potatoes), skordalia (potato and garlic dip), and crispy Greek roasted potatoes are just a handful of my favorites. Potatoes are so versatile and there are so many ways to prepare them. Another one of my preferred dishes is aloo masala, an Indian dish filled with seasonings, spices, and (of course) potatoes.
Aloo masala translates as spicy potatoes. This dish totally lives up to its name! It involves cooking up potatoes and adding a whole bunch of spices like cumin, mustard seeds, ginger paste, chiles…the list goes on! I like to serve mine with Indian crepes or flatbreads like puri, roti, or garlic naan. You can eat it as a light lunch, or as a side for a filling dinner.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Potatoes - Yukon Gold or red new potatoes work best in curry dishes because they hold their shape when you cook them.
- Onion - Go for medium red onions.
- Vegetable Oil - You’ll need this to cook your spice seeds.
- Black Mustard Seeds - A staple in Indian cooking! They smell slightly like cumin and have the same taste as mustard.
- Cumin Seeds - Make sure to use cumin seeds here! You’ll cook them along with the black mustard in order to release their flavors.
- Ground Asafoetida (Hing) - This is another staple spice in Indian cuisine. It comes from the gum of giant fennel plants. Due to its onion-like aroma, it’s a great substitute for people who can’t tolerate onions or garlic. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can replace it with a combination of ¼ teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder. You can also purchase online here!
- Fenugreek Seeds - This spice is sweet and bitter and has an almost maple-like flavor that is very recognizable in curries. You can buy it online here if you can’t find it locally.
- Curry Leaves - These shiny green leaves taste nothing like curry seasoning. They bring a citrusy flavor and subtle aroma that compliments the earthy spices in the dish. If you can’t find them in your local Asian or Middle Eastern market, you can use lime zest or lime leaves.
- Garlic - I can’t help myself — I always add a bit of garlic to savory dishes like this one.
- Ginger Paste - Blended ginger with a bit of oil. If you can’t find it in your grocery store, use minced fresh or jarred ginger.
- Green Thai Chiles - Also known as bird’s eye chilis, these can easily be substituted with serrano chiles if you can’t find them locally. Jalapeño or cayenne peppers can work as a substitute as well.
- Coriander - Another one of my favorite spices to work with.
- Turmeric - Earthy and peppery, turmeric also adds great color to whatever you put it in.
HOW TO MAKE ALOO MASALA (SPICY POTATOES)
- Cook The Potatoes. Using a Dutch oven or a large pot, cook your potatoes in boiling water until tender (it should take about 15 minutes). Drain them and then set them aside.
- Toast The Seeds. Heat a bit of vegetable oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook until you hear them pop or about 1 minute. Then, add the asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute more. Next up are the onion, garlic, ginger paste, and chiles. Cook the mixture for 3 minutes.
- Put It All Together. Add in the cooked potatoes, coriander, turmeric, and salt, and reduce the heat to low. Cook your aloo masala (covered) for 5 minutes. Then, uncover the potatoes and stir to mash lightly with a spoon. If you find that your dish is too watery, you can simmer it uncovered for 1-2 minutes to help it thicken.
Aloo Masala Recipe Notes
- Storage – Keep the potato masala in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For the best flavor, use it within 4 or 5 days.
- Freezing – I'm not a fan of freezing cooked potatoes. It is best to not freeze this dish, as potatoes can become mushy and watery when they are frozen.
- Reheating- Use the microwave to reheat any leftovers. Or, cook or over medium heat in a pot on the stove until they are warm throughout.
- Handling peppers – It is best to wear gloves when handling spicy peppers like Thai or serrano chiles, as oils from the peppers can burn your eyes or skin.
Is Aloo A Potato?
Aloo is a South Indian term for potato. You’ll see it in many names for Indian dishes as it is such a popular ingredient! Easy to find and prepare, affordable and versatile, it’s easy to see why!
What Can I Serve With Aloo Masala?
There are so many possibilities for this dish! You can eat it on its own, with rice, or you can pair it with a variety of different types of bread. You can also treat it like chicken or tuna salad and make it into a sandwich. Otherwise, serve it as a side dish with vegetable jalfrezi stir fry, gobi masala (cauliflower curry), chicken korma, or dal gosht (lamb stew)!
Which Potato Is Good For Indian Cooking?
As mentioned, I typically go for Yukon Gold potatoes for my Indian-inspired recipes. They hold up the best and even act as a thickener for curry dishes.
This post, originally published on Silk Road Recipes December, 2020, was updated with new content, photos and/or video in July, 2022.
Aloo Masala (Spicy Potatoes) + Video
- 2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 2" pieces
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground asafoetida (hing) (See Note 1)
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 20 fresh curry leaves (See Note 2)
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger paste
- 2 small green Thai chiles (See Note 3)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- In a Dutch oven or large pot over high heat, cook potatoes in boiling water until just tender, 15 minutes, drain and set aside.
- In same pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook mustard and cumin seeds until they pop, 1 minute. Add the asafoetida, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves and cook 1 minute. Next add the onion, garlic, ginger and chiles, cooking 3 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, coriander, turmeric and salt. Reduce heat to low, toss to coat potatoes and cook, covered for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and stir, mashing lightly with back of spoon. If there is still liquid, cook uncovered until slightly dry, another 1-2 minutes.
- A substitute can be ¼ teaspoon onion powder plus ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
- Fresh curry leaves can be found in most Asian and Middle Eastern markets.
- Substitute can be 1 Serrano chile, halved.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.