These easy delicious Bombay potatoes, also known as Bombay aloo, take a little time to prepare, but the rich spiced sauce and perfectly tender potatoes more than make up for it.
All you need is a food processor or blender, and a large frying pan, no separate boiling or roasting. Cooking everything in the same pan also means the potatoes get infused with more flavor from the sauce.
This recipe also happens to be both vegan and vegetarian, so perfect if you have any dairy or egg allergies, or just fancy a meatless Monday.
There is a lot of disagreement about where Bombay potatoes originated, in Goa or Mumbai or even in the UK.
I regularly had them in India as a dry curry, or with just a little sauce, so this version is not exactly authentic but I do love my sauce so I’ve amped up the amount a bit. It’s a very thick sauce which clings to the potatoes (yes please!).
All the better to mop it up with some tasty roti or naan, and to spoon over some fragrant basmati rice.
Bombay potatoes are usually eaten as a side dish and pair perfectly with a tasty raita, like onion raita, or another curry like chickpea spinach curry or creamy coconut chickpea curry for an epic meal you certainly won’t forget in a hurry.
Is it spicy?
No. Bombay potatoes is a very mildly spiced dish. The only spice included in this dish that has any heat is the smoked paprika and even then calling it spicy is quite a stretch.
If you do want your potato dish spicy that’s no problem though, just add a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper in with the cumin, cilantro, and other spices for a mild-medium spiced curry. If you like it hot hot hot (like me!), then add half a teaspoon.
Which potatoes to use
By far the easiest option is some nice baby or fingerling potatoes, they don’t need to be peeled and can just be chopped and chucked in.
If you don’t have any baby potatoes you can use any thin-skinned potato (again, no need to peel but you can if you prefer) and just chop them into 3/4 inch chunks.
How to make it
Although super easy to make, there are a few steps involved in making Bombay potatoes so do check in with the process photos in this section if you’re unsure about anything. Gather your ingredients together and check-in with the photo below to make sure you have the right items.
First, chop the tomatoes and scrub and wipe your potatoes dry. For baby potatoes that are around 1.5 inches just chop them in half, for larger ones chop them into three.
As I mentioned above you can use other potatoes but chop them into 3/4 inch pieces, and peel them if the skin is thick (thin-skinned potatoes are fine).
Take one of the onions and slice it lengthwise into strips. Add the sunflower oil to a large frying pan and heat on medium-high. You can use any flavorless oil instead of sunflower oil, e.g. grapeseed or canola.
When the oil is hot add the sliced onion and the halved potatoes (see image one below before frying) and fry for eight minutes, stirring often, until the onions are brown and the potatoes have crisped on some sides (image two below).
While the onion is cooking, peel the garlic and ginger and toss into the bowl of a blender or food processor along with the remaining onion, the tomato paste, and the dijon mustard. Separate the leafy parts of the cilantro from the stems and add the stems to the blender or processor as well (image three above).
Process/blend on high. You may need to add between one-two tablespoons water to get everything to puree smoothly (as in image four above). Then add the puree to the pan with the potatoes and onions, mix well, and fry for five minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
Measure the cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, curry powder, and cilantro, add to the pan (image five below), mix, and cook one minute more. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, and the salt (image six below), mix well again and fry a further eight minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down – the contents of your pan should look like image seven below.
Add a cup of water (240ml) to the pan and mix until it’s incorporated and a loose sauce has formed (image eight above). When the sauce starts bubbling, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook for fifteen minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender and done.
Finally add the garam masala, lemon juice, and optional sugar, stir, cook one minute, stir again and take off the heat. The tomato paste and lemon juice can make this really tangy and I like it that way but my hubby and the kids prefer it with sugar added. If you’re on the fence about it, just add the garam masala and lemon juice and then taste and add the sugar as needed up the amount of two teaspoons.
The sauce should have thickened up from the starch released by the potatoes but if you’d like it thicker just simmer another few minutes uncovered. Similarly, if you’d like the sauce looser just add a little water to the pan and mix it in.
Serve hot and sprinkled with some chopped cilantro (the leaves should have been leftover from using the stems) and an optional drizzle of raita or yogurt. Preferably accompanied by some steamed basmati, naan or roti, and another curry.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to four days. To reheat, you can use the microwave (heat on high for two-three minutes) or do it on the stovetop. I prefer doing it on the stovetop in a dry pan over medium heat but each to their own.
The sauce may thicken up as the potatoes release more starch, just add a little water a tablespoon or so at a time to loosen it again.
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Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian), I love seeing all your creations!
- 4 large tomatoes
- 20oz new potatoes (about 14, 565g)
- 2 onions, divided
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil (or canola or grapeseed)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1-inch ginger
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (optional)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cilantro
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp sugar (optional)
- Chope the tomatoes, scrub and wipe the potatoes, and peel and slice one of the onions into thin strips.
- Heat the oil in a wide large frying pan or skillet on medium-high, and add the potatoes and onions. Stir often and fry for 8 minutes until the potatoes and onions are browned.
- While the potatoes and onion are cooking, process or blend the garlic and ginger (both peeled), cilantro (stems only), remaining onion (peeled), tomato paste and Dijon mustard. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if needed to puree properly.
- After the 8 minutes are up, add the pureed mixture to the pan, mix well until the potatoes are evenly coated, and fry for 5 minutes. Stir every now and then to prevent sticking and burning.
- Add the next five spices (cumin, turmeric, paprika, curry powder, ground cilantro - NOT the garam masala yet), mix, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and the salt. Mix and fry for 8 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down.
- Add 1 cup of water (240ml) and mix. Reduce heat to medium when bubbling, and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Add the garam masala, lemon juice, and optional sugar (or add sugar to taste), stir, cook one minute, stir again and take off the heat.
- Serve with finely chopped cilantro leaves sprinkled over.
Amount Per Serving Calories 309Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 0mgSodium 637mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 7gSugar 12gProtein 7g