This really easy mild potato curry – aloo masala in Hindi – is a deliciously comforting, lightly-spiced mixture of fried potatoes, onion, and tomato. It’s a fantastic meal at any time of the day!
I really love aloo masala – it’s one of my most favourite curries in the whole wide world. It has the same comforting effect on me as buttery mashed potato, or chips… but with so much more flavour. I mean, just look at it – who wouldn’t fall head over heels in love?
I learned to make this when I was living in India, courtesy of my friend, Usha, who makes the most amazing food. In fact, it was the first thing she ever taught me. It soon became a regular in our home!
Nigel Slater once said that he considered a fluffy baked potato the food equivalent of a hug. If that’s true (and I don’t disagree with him), then this aloo masala is akin to being wrapped in a duvet, and vegging out on the sofa, bingeing on Netflix.
Ingredients for aloo masala
At first glance, it may seem like a long list of spices but actually, they can be used to make most of my curries, and some are used in my masala chai recipe, too. To make aloo masala, you’ll need:
- garlic, ginger, and green chilli
- spices: mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, mace, and cloves
- plus some oil, coriander (cilantro), and salt. If you want to make a wet curry, you’ll need some milk, too.
How to make this mild potato curry
Making this curry is actually very easy. First you need to cook your potatoes. I prefer to cook them whole, then let cool before peeling and lightly mashing them. The reason for this is that fewer nutrients are lost, plus there’s far less wastage. And they’re easier to peel when cooked!
While the potatoes are cooking, you can make the masala by heating some oil in a kadai, and then spluttering some mustard seeds and curry leaves for a few seconds. Add the onion, and fry for about 5 mins, then when it starts to become translucent, add the rest of the spices.
The whole lot needs to be fried for another couple of minutes, so while it’s doing its thing, smoosh up the garlic, ginger, and green chilli into a rough paste. If you have a small attachment for your food processor, you can do it in that, or a blender, but I find it just as easy to use a mortar and pestle.
Add this paste to the pan, and continue to fry for another 3 mins or so. Mix in the chopped tomatoes, and fry for about 5 mins, until it all comes cleanly away from the sides of the pan.
Now it’s time to add the potato. Make sure it’s all coated with the masala. You can break up any larger lumps with your spatula or wooden spoon. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook for around 10 mins. Taste, and season with salt.
Now you need to decide whether you want a wet or dry curry. For a dry one, it’s ready to be served, garnished with a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves. If you want a wet curry, mix in a cupful or so of your favourite milk, and then heat through for 5 mins. Serve as before.
What to have with aloo masala
This also makes an excellent filling for toasted sandwiches, wraps, panini, etc. And of course, for masala dosa. Yum!
You’ll love this aloo masala
- lightly-spiced and flavoursome
- comforting & filling
- gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free
- easy-peasy to make
- deliciously satisfying
However you you have this aloo masala, I know you’re going to love it as much as we do! Enjoy!
Easy Aloo Masala
- 500 g small-medium potatoes
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp Black mustard seed
- 1 sprig curry leaves (fresh is better but dried work too)
- 1 large onion
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 star anise
- 3 cm piece cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 piece nutmeg flower (mace)
- 2 whole cloves
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 cm piece of ginger
- 1 large green chilli
- 1 medium tomato
- salt to taste
- fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves torn
- 250 ml milk (use your favourite)
- Scrub the potatoes, and then boil them whole. When they are cool, peel, then slice them. Finally, roughly mash – a few lumps are good.
- In the meantime, heat the oil, splutter the mustard seeds, then add the curry leaves. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Sauté the onion until it's translucent, then add the turmeric, star anise, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, nutmeg flower (mace), and cloves. Mix in, and fry for another couple of minutes.
- Pound the garlic, ginger, and chilli together, and add to the onions. Cook for a few minutes (stirring all the time), until the raw garlic smell is gone.
- Add the tomatoes, and cook for 5 minutes or so. Don't burn the onion – keep the masala moving around the pan.
- Add the potato, mix well, breaking up any large lumps with your spatula. Cook over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Taste, and season with salt.
- If you want a wet curry, add the milk, mix well, and continue to heat for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle over a few torn coriander leaves, and then serve with rice, naan, other curries. Or just eat it as it is!
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml