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The secret to absolutely delicious Masala Aloo

The one potato recipe you MUST have in your folder of favourite recipes - crispy masaledaar, crusted with dry spices, super delicious with naan, roti or dal and rice. Get it here!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, north indian
Servings 3 servings


  • 4 to 5 potatoes medium
  • 1 tbsp rice flour or corn meal
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (optional, but really elevates the taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (upto 1 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped for garnish


  • Pressure cook* or boil potatoes until they are well cooked. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skins and quarter each potato into 4 large pieces.
  • In a large bowl, toss the pieces in rice flour coating well, and keep aside.
  • In a large non-stick wok / kadai, heat the oil. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add the coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and SALT to the oil.
  • Stir well so that all the spice powder including salt get cooked in oil.
  • Do this on a low flame so that none of the spices burn. Immediately, throw in the rice flour tossed potato chunks, stirring gently to coat with the spices and oil.
  • Cook them on a low flame until all the potato chunks get encrusted with spices, around 7-8 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander.


This Masala Aloo makes an excellent accompaniment to rotis or sliced bread.
Perfect with steamed rice and any dal.
You could easily customize this recipe for kids by omitting the red chilli powder and following all other steps.
One secret to this recipe is the rice flour (easily available in supermarkets in India or Indian stores abroad). If you cannot find this, you could substitute with corn meal or makkai atta. This is a tip used in Tamil style potato roast, where the coarse rice flour gives the final dish a nice crunch.
The second secret is adding the salt to the oil, which was shown in the Khana Khazana cookery show, by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's mum. It just makes the potatoes taste so much better seasoned!.
How to pressure cook potatoes:
Place scrubbed whole potatoes in a container and place this inside a pressure cooker with an inch high water in the cooker. Do NOT add any water to the container in which the potatoes are kept.
Close pressure cooker lid with the whistle. Keep on high flame and allow two whistles, lower the flame to minimum and let this be on sim for 7 minutes or so. Keep for 10 minutes for bigger sized potatoes, or they will be raw inside.
Once pressure falls, let out excess steam by pulling up the whistle with a pair of tongs and open lid.
Insert a knife inside the potato to check if it is cooked all the way through. Peel when cool enough to handle. Do not wash with water to cool the potatoes quickly, they will become soggy.
No pressure cooker? You can boil potatoes in a pot of water until nearly tender and peel them when they are cool enough to handle.