Jeera aloo, a flavourful & delicious North Indian side dish made with potatoes, spices, and herbs. ‘Jeera’ is the Hindi name for the spice ‘CUMIN’ & aloo is the word for potatoes. So jeera aloo is potatoes sautéed with cumin. This is a quick, simple and delicious dish that can be made even by novice cooks. It is a side dish that can be eaten with Rice Dal, roti, paratha, phulka, or Poori.
Here are some Potato recipes that are popular in Indian cuisine:
Hara bhara kabab
How to make jeera aloo
1. Wash potatoes thoroughly. Boil them just until cooked and not mushy. You can boil them in a pot, stovetop pressure cooker, or an instant pot. You can also cube the potatoes first and add them to a steam basket. Steam them in a pressure cooker or in a pot. The potatoes must hold shape and not become mushy.
Boiling potatoes in the pot: Here I cooked them directly in a pot by covering the potatoes with just enough water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and reduce the flame to medium heat. Cover and cook them until fork tender but not mushy.
Boiling in a pressure cooker: Pour 1 cup of water into your stovetop pressure cooker or instant pot. Place the potatoes and cook them for 3 to 4 whistles depending on the size of the potatoes. If doing it in an IP, press the pressure cook button and set the timer to 6 to 8 minutes, depending on the size. For the largest russet potatoes, cook them for 10 minutes.
2. To check if they are cooked, prick with a fork. If still uncooked then you will feel the hardness. Cool them and remove the skin. Cube them to desired sizes. If you chop them too large they won’t taste good.
3. Next add 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil to the hot pan. Add 1¼ teaspoon cumin seeds and fry on low heat until they smell good.
4. Add 1 chopped green chili and 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger. If you have kids at home, skip the chili. Ginger is also optional but adds flavor. You can also add ginger garlic paste if you do not have ginger.
5. Fry them for a minute until a nice aroma comes out. Then add 1 pinch of asafoetida. You can skip things if you don’t have or don’t like them. Take care not to over fry ginger as it may lend a bitter taste.
6. Reduce the flame to low. Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder, ¾ teaspoon cumin powder, and 1¼ teaspoon coriander powder.
Tip: To make cumin powder, I roasted the cumin seeds on a low flame until aromatic. Cooled completely and then powdered. I usually make a lot of cumin powder and store it in a glass jar. I do the same to make the coriander powder as well.
7. Add ¼ teaspoon dried mango powder (amchur). You can skip this and add lemon juice later.
8. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) too. You can skip Kasuri methi, but we love that as it adds a unique aroma.
9. Mix and fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not burn. Quickly pour 3 tablespoons of water and mix.
10. Soon the spice powder blends well with water and thickens.
Sautéing jeera aloo
11. Next add in the potatoes and toss them gently. Do not over mix otherwise they may turn mushy.
12. Cover and cook on the lowest flame. This helps jeera aloo to absorb the flavors. Taste it and add more salt if needed.
13. Finally sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves.
Serve jeera aloo as a side with rice, roti, or paratha. It also goes well in sandwiches, wraps, or rolls.
Tips to make Jeera aloo
- Jeera aloo can be made in 2 ways. The first method is to boil the potatoes and then saute them with spices. The second method is to saute the aloo first with cumin and then cook them in the pan itself. I go with the first method as it is easy to boil the potatoes first.
- Most homes make jeera aloo in the simplest way just by using cumin and green chilies to spice & add heat. But I prefer to use a few more ingredients that elevate the flavor of the dish.
- You can also grill the potatoes in an oven and then add them to the tempering. I often do this for dinner to go with the rice & gravy.
Variations of jeera aloo
I make so many variations to this recipe. Kids need fancy & new varieties every time for their meal. So I sometimes add in some green peas, cubed capsicum, sometimes a handful of methi leaves or palak (spinach).
I even add sliced mushrooms or broccoli. Then roast them for a while. Then add the potatoes. Any variations will just go well in this dish. Get creative & add in the veggies you love!
This Jeera aloo is absolutely the best!! Boiled potatoes are sauteed with cumin seeds and spice powders to make the most delicious potatoes. Serve it with rice, roti, or as an aside.
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
Preparation for jeera aloo recipe
How to make jeera aloo
Pour oil or ghee into a hot pan. When the oil turns hot, add cumin seeds.
When they begin to splutter, add ginger and green chilies. Saute for 30 to 60 seconds.
Reduce the flame to low. Then add in asafoetida, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, and mango powder (optional). Make sure the pan is not too hot at this stage as we don’t want the spices to burn.
Take Kasuri methi in your palm and crush them in between your palms. Add it here. Saute till fragrant. This takes just a minute.
Pour 3 tablespoons of water and combine well. Very soon the mixture thickens.
Add in the boiled aloo. Toss them gently and cover the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 mins on low heat.
Sprinkle coriander leaves. Taste test and add more salt if needed. If you have not added mango powder, sprinkle lemon juice.
Serve jeera aloo with rice-dal, poori, roti, or chapati.
- You can use more spice powders to make the dish spicy. It was medium spicy and not hot.
- To make the recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free asafoetida or skip it.
- To make the recipe vegan, use oil in place of ghee.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
Jeera aloo recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A 370IU7%
Vitamin C 13.4mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.