I don’t care what you call them. Call them Bombay potatoes. Or Bombay aloo. No matter what you call them this is one thick, glorious potato curry. Restaurant style. At home.
I love potatoes. And I love Indian cooking. So Bombay potatoes are a dream dish for me.
If you like potatoes, this could be your new favourite way to cook them. For an Indian dinner anyway.
This is a thick curry. A dry curry almost. Like a crazy seasoning paste on potatoes. Not like the usual saucy curries you get at restaurants.
That’s what makes it special. Intensely flavoured. Perfect against the mild taste of potato.
In your face delicious Bombay potatoes
It’s not like a lot of the recipes out there for Bombay potatoes. This is in your face restaurant cooking. No subtlety here. None. Not your mom’s Bombay aloo.
Tomato. Onion. Garlic. Ginger. Mustard seed. Spice. And a bit of tart zing from amchoor powder.
Not super spicy though. Unless you want to go there. Well seasoned. Big bold tastes. Good eating.
Amchoor is dried mango. You can get it at any Indian grocer. It’s one of those ingredients you didn’t know you needed until you try it. Then you have to have it.
But lemon works as well if you don’t feel like going to the store.
I’m not super clear on the origin of Bombay potatoes. Some say it started in Goa where potatoes were introduced to India.
Others claim this is a mostly British dish that was introduced to anglicize Indian cooking.
It’s big in Bombay as well. Guess that’s why they call it Bombay aloo. Aloo is potato in Hindi.
Doesn’t really matter where Bombay potatoes come from though. What matters is you can make them at home.
Serve them to friends. Or just eat them all up yourself. I know I’m guilty of doing that…
Learn how to make Bombay potatoes (video)
Pick your potatoes wisely
Choice of potato is important. Probably the most important thing in this recipe. You want a waxy potato. Floury potatoes like russets are good for mashed potatoes.
If you want Bombay potato mash then try that. Otherwise stick to waxy. I like whole waxy potatoes the size of golf balls. That works well for me.
I like round too. Square cut is a bit more delicate. You are boiling the potatoes before you make the curry.
They will be a bit soft. Round seems to hold up better. For me, anyway. Guess I’m a bit picky…
Bombay aloo. Bombay potatoes. Potato curry. Who cares what it’s called. What matters is it’s delicious. And you can make it at home. Try it. It may surprise you.
- 6-7 small waxy potatoes, peeled – around the size of golf balls
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp indian restaurant spice mix – recipe link below
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder – or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp kasoor methi – dried fenugreek leaves
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt or 1/3 tsp table salt
- 3 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
- the cooked potatoes
- 3-4 tbsp onion sliced about 1/8 inch thick
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp garlic ginger paste – recipe link in notes
- 1/2 tbsp tomato paste diluted with 1 tbsp water
- 10 oz curry base – recipe link in notes
- 1/2 tsp amchoor powder or the juice of 1/6 lemon
- 1/2 small tomato coarsely chopped
- cilantro to taste
Do your prep
- Make the spice mix. Combine all the spice mix ingredients in a small bowl.
- Dilute the tomato paste with the water.
- Cook the potatoes. Combine the potatoes, turmeric and salt along with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Simmer until you can just push a fork into the potato without resistance. Be gentle. You don’t want to break them up.
- Have everything ready to go. Onions chopped. Garlic ginger paste standing by. Curry base pre-heated. Ingredients at hand. Be ready. It’s going to go fast from here.
Make the Bombay potatoes
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium low heat .
- Add the potatoes to the hot oil and fry until they just start to colour. This firms them up so they don’t self destruct when you make the curry.
- Remove the potatoes and set aside. Add the onions and cook over gentle heat until translucent. You are trying to keep them from browning. I know – anti-Indian cooking but this time that’s what you want.
- When the onions are translucent, raise the heat to medium. Add the mustard seed and cook around 20 seconds.
- Add the garlic ginger paste. Cook until it stops sputtering, around a minute.
- Turn down the heat and add the spice mix.. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
- Turn the heat up to medium high. This is important. The heat is what makes curry base work and gives the this dish its Indian restaurant flavour. As you become more comfortable with this technique try pushing it. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
- Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Think lively boil. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here. Sticking is OK. Just scrape it back into the base. Burning is bad.
- Now add the remaining curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to low. Add the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are warmed through and the sauce thickens. This takes about 3 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and amchoor (or lemon if you aren’t using amchoor). Stir to combine. Cook for another minute or two.
- Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and green chili if you like. Serve. Enjoy.
46 thoughts on “bombay potatoes – restaurant style bombay aloo”
Hi I hope this makes sense ! In the list of spices do you add all those spices as well as the Indian restaurant spice mix or is the list of spices what makes up the recipe for Indian restaurant spice mix ? There seems to be some duplication in the list of spices and in the restaurant mix. Thank you !
The spice mix for the dish is correct as written. It is restaurant spice mix with extra cumin, coriander and chili to change the flavour profile to be heavier on those spices. Think of the restaurant mix as a baseline that gets modified for specific dishes.
The nice thing about curry dishes is that you can use up whatever you have. And tonight that’s exactly what I did. Romain I don’t know if you would have laughed or thrown your hands up in despair had you been stood in the kitchen with me! I had a small bowl of lamb bhuna, few cooked potatoes, handful of mushrooms, plum tomatoes, onions and a dish of makhani gravy. Anyway I used this recipe as my guide…and followed instructions but substituting the base gravy with the makhani. Well it turned out extremely good and Ive been told that I must always make the bombay potatoes this way in future. Served with rice this was a very filling meal for 3. So I thank you once again for being my guiding light! Oh BTW I have printed off and laminated all of your curry recipes and put them in a binder and it takes pride of place in my kitchen!
You are really hitting your stride now! Your version sounds great. I can understand why everyone is telling you to make it again. Yum!!!
Thanks Romain, and now I plan to make them together which makes sense as they both have the same curry base + spice mix + ginger/garlic paste
Hopefully I do a good job and you get 5 stars
In the picture of the Bombay potato – restaurant style bombay aloo, there is shown another curry dish.
Could you say what it is and do you have the recipe. Thanks
Good thing it was a distinctive one. I took that picture a long time ago:-)
It’s a South Indian egg curry.
Another dish that I have never been happy with when I have tried to make it. But today that all changed! We had this for our evening meal tonight along with homemade naan and it was beyond excellent. Amchoor powder…now I had not even know of its existence before now but it added just enough hint of sweetness to the dish. Thank you once again. I cannot wait for tomorrow to come as I will be attempting the butter chicken.
Delighted to hear you found a recipe that works. Amchoor is one of those ingredients that you’ve never heard of but once you start using it you wonder where it has been your whole life.
I am not sure weather you like this criticise comment, but I can’t resist.
Being an Indian lady ,would like to inform that whenever you use mustard , always put first in hot oil at start of recipe and let them
cracle fully before putting onion or garlic or what so ever otherwise it will be raw in curry and give bitter taste.
Rest of your recipe is very good.
If you look at how much oil there is in the recipe (plus the garlic ginger paste) and the amount of onion you’ll see there is plenty of oil loose in the pan when the mustard seeds go in. They crackle. There’s enough oil to properly bloom the spices as well. I’m pretty fussy about undercooked/under-bloomed spices so I am careful about it.
I’m half Bengali. I’d be in a lot of trouble if I didn’t get my mustard seeds right:-)
Just done this for my Brother in law and Sister in law. I did this Bombay potato and your Tarka Dal and a pilau rice recipe. He said it took him back to the days when he used to go round to his Indian mate’s mum’s house for Sunday dinner and it was always curries. Can’t get better feedback than that. I love your recipes. I don’t want to eat any other food at the moment.
You’re right. I can’t get better feedback than that. Thank you!
There’s a few things to know about this dish before you try it. One, it requires a “curry base” (recipe provided), which you need to make at least the day before. This is a very large pot of onions and other aromatics with spices that end up being blended together. Two, this is not a dish to try out on guests, unless you’ve made it before. There is simply too much room for error and you could find yourself with a mushy dish after hours of prep like I did (shopping, curry base etc..). Three, as you guessed, this takes a lot of time. I would not recommend it to someone with kiddos underfoot or a busy lifestyle unless they can plan a few hours and two days to make this the first time. Four, watch the video ahead of time. It was much easier to see how he did it, than read it.
A saving grace is that you have the curry base, so you can try it again, which I plan to do. The second time around should be much easier.
Now that you have the curry base made please do try some of the curry recipes called restaurant style on the blog. You have taken the first big step to being able to make Indian dishes just like you get in restaurants. I hope you don’t give up!
Totally delicious. 10/10. I think your recipes have just changed my life!
Haha. That is just so awesome to hear. Thank you for putting a big smile on my face.
Looks like I’m going get busy to make both kinds of base sauce. Thank you again for your response.
That is just awesome. They are different but both methods make some great meals!
Recon I could use the Hotel Gravy in replace of the Restaurant Base as I have some spare in the fridge ready to go.
They aren’t really interchangeable from a technique perspective. If you’re going to use hotel gravy remember it doesn’t need to be fried like regular base gravy. You will also need to thin out the final dish and use less than the specified amount of gravy.
Yet again a beautiful flavoursome dish made it first time this weekend as a side dish and it was a total triumph. Thank you so much
I’m glad you liked them. I am a big potato lover so this one is high on my list!
Can I add or partially substitute cauliflower in this recipe to make Aloo Gobi? Or would that require a different set of spice ingredients?
Or even if it’s not Aloo Gobi, would cauliflower work in this?
I don’t known that it would be textbook aloo gobi but it would be delicious!
looks promising but can you give a gram weight for potatoes? I can’t even begin to guess what 7 golfballs looks like. I realize in a lot of recipes “it doesn’t matter that much” but I always like to make a recommended amount exactly first time out, then adjust once I have experience. BTW you write short sentences. Like James Ellroy. Read American Tabloid. It’s good. You’ll like it. Kindred spirit.
A golf ball is 43mm in diameter and weighs about 43 grams. A potato is likely denser than a golf ball so maybe 50-60 grams. I don’t have potatoes handy to weigh. In this case it really doesn’t matter. Go for two smallish bites per potato or thereabouts. It should be fine.
Hi Romain, I just wanted to say that I rarely leave feedback, but you have created such an amazing collection of “food art” here, that I just had to thank you, wonderful pictures, the video clips were a great help and you have made me a better cook in a few short weeks!
Thanks for saying. I’ve worked hard on my pictures. There are few old ones still up here and there that I haven’t fixed yet. You’ll know them when you see them:-)
Super glad to know glebekitchen is helping you out as a cook!
If I changed the potatoe to swede or celeriac would that make it keto friendly?
I’m not a keto expert or even a keto food blogger. There’s onion in the curry base and I’m not sure about the tomato paste. I know most of the curries are keto friendly but I don’t know about celeriac or sweet potato vs chicken or lamb…
Delicious! Have tried Bombay aloo a couple of times before but this is by far the best I have tried. Also did the chicken jalfrezi and it was really tasty too. Will make both again but tweak the jalfrezi to add a bit more chilli. Overall very impressed. And worth the effort!
Great to hear! The curries on glebekitchen are generally spiced to medium (as a starting point) so if you like it spicier fire it up!
I never comment on recipes but I made this today (covid lockdown) only subbing some chicken stock with ginger and turmeric for the curry base (will be making that another time for sure!) and it was perfect! As a Brit I eat a lot of potatoes and a LOT of Indian restaurant food and this recipe is exactly what it says it is. Thank you! My wife thanks you! Awesome.
Thank you for taking the time. When you try it with curry base you are going to be even happier I think!
I have tried 15 Bombay aloo recipes none have hit the mark that I’m looking for But my search is now over ..This recipe is amazing the end product is divine. The depth of flavor is wonderful sweet savoury spicy rich creamy just perfect, all the little details like caramelising the base gravy cooking out the spices (don’t let them burn) raising the heat lowering the heat all these step create a layered flavor second to none …I really appreciate the time you have put in to this website I can’t wait to use more of your recipes
Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment! I’m delighted that you liked the Bombay potatoes and look forward to hearing how some of the other recipes turn out for you.
I love your site! We had your Bhuna recipe for tea tonight and it was amazing! Now we are looking for our next one to try which I think is these!
A silly question but is there a type of potato you use specifically as I’m not sure which potatoes are waxy or not?
I use what are called new potatoes here. Slightly waxy thin skinned potatoes.
I love your site, thank you so much! It’s just what I’ve been looking for 🙂 I’ve been cooking curries for years, but you have finally helped me to take it up a notch. Just one quick thing, when I was following this recipe this evening, and I wonder if the order of the directions is supposed to be 6, 8, 7, 9, (or maybe 6, 8, 9, 7?), or is it ok as it is?
PS If you’re reading the comments to help you decide whether or not to try this recipe (or any of the others on this site), DO IT! They taste awesome. They’re a bit more extra effort than usual, but we’ll worth it! 🙂
Glad you like it and I’m especially glad to hear it’s taking your cooking up a notch. That’s exactly why I do this.
The order is 6,7,8,9. If there is diluted tomato paste I always add it first and then start with the base. I want the tomato paste to fry to cook out the raw flavour.
Great recipe, tastes lovely with a nice level of spice
Glad you liked it. I try for medium spicy in most of the recipes. A bit of bite but not so spicy you can’t taste all the nuances.
What an amazingly flavorful potato dish!! These sound incredible.
When do you add the amchoor powder? Is it at the end with the tomatoes, also you’ve got down to add the mustard seeds twice, can’t wait to give it a go
Wow. I must have been daydreaming when I proof read this recipe. All fixed now. Thanks.