Mamta's Kitchen

Potato Bhaji With Cumin Seeds Tarka (Jeera Aloo or Sukhe Aloo)

Jeera-Alu Sabji or Sukhe Alu (Aalu)

Mamta Gupta

This simple dish is made in every Indian home up and down the country, with minor regional and family variations. My mum cooked it without garlic, but you can add a couple of chopped/grated/crushed garlic cloves along with ginger. Serve 4


  • 500 gm. new potatoes or any other potatoes

  • 2 tbsp. oil

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

  • A couple of whole, dry red chillies (optional)

  • A small pinch of asafoetida powder

  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder*

  • 1 tsp. of coriander powder

  • 1/2 tsp. of chilli powder (according to taste)

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/2 tsp. amchoor or dry mango powder or lemon juice to taste-I use roughly 2 tsp.juice.

  • 1/2 tsp. Garam Masala

  • A bunch of coriander leaves (optional), chopped finely.

  • *You can omit turmeric to give them a different colour and flavour


  1. Peel potatoes. If they are new potatoes, there is no need to peel. Chop into bite size pieces. Put them in a bowl of cold water until you need them.

  2. Peel and grate ginger.

  3. Measure all ground spices in a small bowl and mix.

  4. Heat oil in a karahi or wok.

  5. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida powder. Wait until seeds sputters, not allowing them to burn.

  6. Add whole red chillies and ginger, and fry for a minute. If you want to add garlic, add it here, along with ginger.

  7. Add potatoes, all the ground spices, except garam masala and amchoor. Add salt. Stir fry for a few minutes, until potatoes are well coated with spices.

  8. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook, stirring gently from time to time, until potatoes are done. Generally, no water is required if cooked in a heavy bottomed or a non-stick pan. However, if they begin to 'catch' at the bottom, sprinkle a tablespoon or two of water from time to time.

  9. Add amchoor and garam masala and mix. You can garnish with chopped coriander leaves, if you wish.

  10. Serve hot with any Indian meal. This type of potatoes are often served with Parathas or Poories at Sunday breakfast in northern India.


  • Alu-matar Bhaji: When potatoes are nearly cooked, you can add a handful of frozen peas to this dish.

  • Alu-tamatar Bhaji: You can also cook it with a cup full of chopped tomatoes, added when potatoes are at least half cooked.

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