Bombay aloo or Bombay potatoes is an Indian dish prepared using cubed potatoes spiced up to become aromatic and flavour-packed. You can serve Bombay aloo as a side dish or as an appetiser. Every Indian restaurant you'll visit will have its own version of Bombay aloo. Some will be spicer, others will be milder but more aromatic.
Today we are going to explore my own version of Bombay aloo, which is milder but with very intense aromas of coriander, turmeric and garam masala.
Indian Bombay Aloo (Bombay Potatoes)
The first time I ever enjoyed Bombay Aloo was back when I lived in Manchester and went to an Indian restaurant for the first time. I didn't know anything about Indian cuisine or spice, nor have I ever tried any Indian dishes. It's interesting how the world changes, as I'm now more in love with India than ever, with its colours, spices, aromas and infatuation food flavours. I cannot wait to return to India to explore more of its epic culinary scene.
My first ever Indian dish was Bombay Aloo. Intimidated by the pages long menu given to me in the Indian restaurant, I picked Bombay Aloo as an appetizer. The description put me at ease: Bombay Aloo also known as Bombay potatoes it's an Indian classic dish made with boiled potatoes in spicy sauce.
I thought I love potatoes, I love spices, this is a winner dish. Only that spicy in Indian cuisine really means full of heat. I barely made it without sweating, but let me tell you, Bombay aloo, as spicy and hot as it was, really was the gateway to more reformed Indian dishes, curries and spicy fry-ups which still make hungry every single time I think of them.
In fact, I think it's fair to say that Indian cuisine was also what made me develop a taste for spice. And I'm not just talking aromatic garam masala mixed with the ever-brilliant ground coriander. No, I'm talking about proper hot food. From the mild Korma, I built my way to the mighty Vindaloo. I'm still to try Phall which is said to be only for the brave of heart.
Don't worry though, this recipe of Bombay Aloo is actually pretty mild. You can even serve it to your kids, they probably won't even notice the heat from the chilli. So why did I make it so mild when I'm a lover of all things spicy? Because my husband cannot take the spice. Trust me, I attempted a spicy version of my tea chana masala and he couldn't even go past the first bite without downing a pint of water.
Spice warriors, I have you covered too! There is a super quick fix to make Bombay Aloo spicy. And I'm going to walk you through how to make Bombay Aloo and how to alter it to make it mild, or spicy, according to your own taste.
How to make Bombay aloo
First things first, you will need to cut your potatoes into smallish cubes and boil them in salted water for about 10-12 minutes. They should just about be tender and not too soft to fall apart.
Mild Bombay aloo:
Heat up a little oil in a frying pan and add the sliced onions. Fry them until they are translucent and a little sticky for a good 5-8 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally so they don't blacken on one side.
Add the garlic and the chilli. The chilli should be halved and deseeded. Mix and fry for about 1-2 minutes. Add the spices: garam masala, turmeric, ginger, ground coriander and mustard seeds. Cover the onions, garlic and chillies in spices and fry for another 1-2 minutes until everything becomes really aromatic. Your kitchen should start smelling pretty amazing at this point.
Add the tomatoes to the onion mixture, reduce the heat to a low and simmer. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan. Simmer for a good 20 minutes until the tomato sauce reduces to a thick sauce.
Remove the chillies from the pan and serve with fresh herbs (ideally you'll use coriander). Enjoy hot. I managed to store Bombay aloo in an air-tight container for 3 days in the fridge. Although it's best served fresh.
Spicy Bombay aloo:
Now we are talking! Let's make this as spicy as you'd like. To make the Bombay aloo spicy, rather than half and deseed the chillies, just slice them thinly and add them to the dish as instructed above. You won't remove them at the end, and you will just eat them as any other ingredient, part of the dish.
I would start with two chillies, but add no more than four or the heat will just overpower any other aromas from the dish and it will be just spicy with no other flavours.
Quicker Bombay aloo:
If you are in a hurry and don't fancy simmering your Bombay aloo until the sauce is reduced, simply add a 15 oz / 400 g can of tomatoes to your dish. Mix well and simmer for just 3-5 minutes. This also means less sauce, so if you want to serve Bombay aloo together with a saucier main course, then make sure to add less tomato sauce to the dish.
That's it. Super easy to make and alter. Do you want a milder or spicer Bombay Aloo? Let me know in the comments section below.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.