KaNcha Aam Dhonepata Alu Dum (Alu Dum with Raw Mangoes and Coriander)

Calcutta's repute as a street food paradise is probably unquestioned and universally accepted. But there are certain key items that contribute to its kingly stature in the domain of street food. the first and foremost among them is the ubiquitous Phuchkawala. The Phuchkawala is the life and blood of the city. I dare you to walk two blocks at a stretch without finding a Phuchkawala standing tall. You just can't. (You can read more about the Phuchka culture in Calcutta and check out my recipe of the same here). 
Now a Phuchkawala is not somebody who churns out only phuchka. He has more tricks up his sleeve and the most potent of them are Churmur, Alukabli and Alu Dum. Phuchkawla-r Alu Dum is a class apart. Back in school I remember I would plead my parents to get me that alu dum (they served 5 pieces for 2 bucks then!) and make me piping hot luchis at home. That would be what I called a dinner to pamper yourself.
I've cooked many a thing in my life and time but never even dared to venture into the exclusive copyright that the Phuchkawala has over his Alu Dum. This time too the intention wasn't such. But this recipe from Priyadarshini (of Let's Talk Food), I tell you, is a gem! This was probably one of the very few times I cooked something without garlic and was actually blown by the taste. It does not have the quintessential phuchkawala-r alu dum ingredients (viz tamarind, turmeric powder and bhaja masala) but my oh my! The addictive tang provided by the raw mangoes coupled with the kick from the green chillies and coriander makes it nothing short of the alu dum I've grown up eating and loving. I'll make sure this becomes a Sunday breakfast staple at our house during the Summer months. With luchis of course!
Recipe adapted from Priyadarshini's Let's Talk Food


Potatoes, quartered: 5-6 (you can also use 18-20 baby potatoes)
Cumin seeds: 3/4 tsp
Ginger paste: 2 tsp
Raw mango, grated: 1
Green chillies: 4-5
Coriander leaves: 1 cup
Raisins: 2 tbsp
Coriander powder: 1.5 tsp
Mustard oil: 1.5 tbsp
Salt: to taste
Sugar: to taste


1. In a deep bottomed pan or pressure cooker, add water and a little salt and boil the potatoes. Let them cool, peel off the skin and set aside.

2. Grind 3/4 cup of coriander and the green chillies into a coarse paste. Set aside.

3. In a non stick pan, heat the mustard oil and add cumin seeds. They should splutter in a matter of 30 seconds. Now add the ginger paste and fry for a minute or so.

4. Add the grated raw mangoes, coriander and green chilli paste and raisins. Fry on medium high heat for 2 minutes.

5. Add the coriander powder, salt, sugar and keep on stirring. Add half a cup of water to loosen the masala if it sticks to the bottom and sides of your pan and cook for 2 minutes.

6. Now add the potatoes and coat them well with the masala. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and cook covered for another 4-5 minutes.

7. Once the gravy reaches your desired consistency, turn off heat and sprinkle the remaining coriander. Serve with luchi or just by itself. Phuchkawalar alu dum right in your kitchen!
It's Raining Mangoes: Day 3
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