Aloo masala is a warm potato dish with earthy spices and vibrant flavor. Make these Indian potatoes for an easy lunch or dinner side dish.
What is aloo masala?
This dish is perfectly named. Aloo, which means potato, and masala, which means spices or spiced. It’s a fantastic potato curry to serve with Indian crepes or flatbreads like dosa, puri, roti, or naan.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Potatoes- Yukon golds or red new potatoes work best in curry dishes because they hold their shape when you cook them.
Cut them into similar sizes for even cooking, and to prevent them from becoming mushy.
- Asafoetida (also spelled asafetida)- This staple spice 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 ethnic grocery store, you can replace it with a combination of ¼ teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder.
- 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.
- Ginger paste- Ginger paste is blended ginger with a bit of oil. If you can’t find it in the store, use minced fresh or jarred ginger.
- Fenugreek- This spice is sweet and bitter and has an almost maple-like flavor that is very recognizable in curries.
- Green Thai chiles- These spicy, thin-skinned chiles are also known as bird’s eye chilis and can easily be substituted with serrano chiles if you can’t find them locally. Jalapeno or cayenne peppers would be an acceptable substitute as well.
Recipe Video: Making Potato Masala
This recipe is simple and quick enough to make anytime you want some spicy comfort food. To see the process from start to finish, watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
1. Cook the potatoes: Peel and then boil potatoes for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Toast the spices: Heat the oil over medium-high heat in the same pot you used for the potatoes. When the oil begins to smoke, add the mustard and cumin seeds, and cook until they pop. Next, add the asafoetida, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves, and cook for another minute. Lastly, add onions, garlic, ginger, and chilies and cook for 3 more minutes.
3. Mix the flavors: Add the cooked potatoes, coriander, turmeric and salt and stir. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Finish and serve: Lightly mash the potatoes with a spoon and continue to cook them if there is still liquid in the pot. Extra liquid in the potatoes will make any bread you serve soggy.
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 – It is best to not freeze this dish, as potatoes 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.
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.