Masala aloo (Bombay potatoes)

Bombay Potatoes

There are plenty of different recipes for making this Indian restaurant staple but this is without doubt one of the best. Easy and relatively quick to make once you’ve boiled and prepared the potatoes, this will go with almost anything.

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  • 3 large potatoes, halved (around 2lbs / 900g)
  • ½ ounce / 15g ginger, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 large tomatoes, one quartered, the other cut into wedges
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • ¾ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2/3 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • ½–¾ teaspoon of chilli powder, to taste
  • large handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • salt, to taste


In a large saucepan, bring well-salted water to the boil.

Add the unpeeled potatoes and boil them for around 30 minutes until they are tender. Test with the tip of a sharp knife that it can go through easily.

Remove from the heat and drain. Allow them to cool enough for you to handle.

Peel the potatoes and cut them up into cubes around 1-inch (2.5cm) square.

In a food processor, blend together the ginger, garlic, and the tomato cut into quarters until they are smooth.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil. Then add the cumin and mustard seeds.

Once the cumin seeds start to darken, add the onion.

Allow this to cook for a minute or so then add the blended ginger, garlic and tomato, together with ground coriander and cumin, turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder, and salt to taste.

Sauté for around two minutes and then taste so see that everything seems cooked and well-balanced.

Now add the tomato wedges and stir them in well.

Cook for around 3-4 minutes before finally adding the cubed potatoes to the frying pan. Continue cooking and gently stirring to allow the potatoes to absorb all the flavours. Add more salt to taste if needed.

Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped coriander and serve.


Bombay potatoes are in many respect India’s answer to Britain’s fish and chips, but without the fish. Every Indian household has a quick and easy recipe for knocking up these favourites if something good and simple is needed in a hurry. Recipes vary enormously but essentially they come down to chunks of boiled potatoes cooked in a spicy sauce. When Indian restaurants first started opening up in the UK, the owners drew on these recipes knowing they were most likely to bridge the culture gap and reach out to those unfamiliar with Indian cuisine. The name was created for the UK as a marketing ploy and they have always been a staple of Indian restaurant menus in Britain.

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About The Naughty Cook 297 Articles
The Naughty Cook is a digital cookery magazine packed with both healthy and indulgent recipes and is owned by Senlac Hill Publishing, UK.

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