Bombay Aloo [Bombay Potatoes]

Bombay aloo, better known as Bombay potatoes, is one of those Indian potato recipes that you order in restaurants. Why not recreate it at home? Super easy. Super delicious! Super flavoursome!

Bombay Aloo in a skillet with a black spoon on blue napery

Why You’ll Love Bombay Aloo

Indian food is not always something you can only enjoy in restaurants. Many dishes, particularly their side dishes that can be made at home, are surprisingly easy to do.

Indian cuisine for me was for many years in the “too hard basket” category, but once I tried making some dishes, I’m not sure why I was so intimidated.

Perhaps the long list of spices makes it look daunting. But buy it once, and you’re set for many other Indian recipes. With these spices, you’ll also be able to make dishes such as chicken pakora or easy onion bhaji recipe.

This dish is remarkably simple. First, boil the potatoes and then fry them up with some spices. That honestly is all it takes. It is incredibly tasty, which is why it’s such a popular dish.

What Is Bombay Aloo?

Bombay aloo, Bombay potatoes or aloo Bombay is a popular Indian potato recipe. I’m sure you’ve guessed that “aloo” means “potatoes”. The potatoes are boiled and then fried in a delicious masala made of quintessential Indian spices and pastes.

It is a bit like a dry curry and makes for an excellent Indian side dish that’s perfect with other saucy or wet curries over some veg pulao Indian rice dish or turmeric rice recipe.

It’s also an excellent Indian side dish to serve up for any Diwali festivities you may be having.

Diwali themed Bombay aloo in a skillet served with veg pulao

Is Bombay Aloo Spicy?

Traditionally, Bombay aloo is meant to be a spicy side dish. Some Bombay aloo recipes will call for dry red chillies, fresh red chillies, and red chilli powder. You can, of course, dial this up or down as required to suit your palate.

Dry red chilli in an earthen bowl

Is Bombay Aloo Vegan?

Yes, Bombay aloo or Bombay potatoes are vegan. In fact, they tick quite a few other dietary boxes such as being dairy free, egg free, gluten free and are also nut free. This Bombay potatoes are plant-based side dishes.

What Type of Potatoes Are Best for Bombay Aloo?

Waxy potatoes are the best potatoes to use for this Bombay aloo recipe. We have used baby potatoes, but you can certainly use large potatoes if you prefer.

Unlike floury potatoes which contain a lot of starch and therefore are great for mashing, waxy potatoes are not. This means that they can hold their shape better and won’t crumble. As we wish to serve these intact, waxy potatoes are a better choice.

It is also advisable not to peel or cut the potatoes until after they are cooked. This keeps them intact and will also mean less water is absorbed into the potato. As mentioned, this recipe is like a dry curry, so we don’t want excess water.

Baby potatoes with a variety of spices and garlic in the background

How Many Calories Are in Bombay Potatoes?

This recipe of 10 baby potatoes will serve 4 people as a side dish and the calories are approximately 200kcal per person.

Recipe Overview

Flavour/Texture: Yet another Indian side dish that is a flavour bomb! Potatoes and masalas or curries are a match made in heaven, and they are incredibly tasty.

The potatoes are perfectly cooked. Soft on the inside with all the lovely spices and seeds coating the outside of the potatoes.

Ease: As with many Indian recipes, the long list of seeds and spices automatically deem some dishes “too hard”. When in actual fact, it’s not at all.

Essentially all the seeds, spices and pastes are thrown in around the same time into the fry pan and tossed until they splutter and become fragrant. We then add the boiled potatoes into the mix, and that’s it!

Time: Most of the time is spent boiling the potatoes. Make good use of that time to gather up the rest of the ingredients.

Put all the seeds in one bowl, powdered spices in another, and mince and grate the garlic and ginger. This will make good use of your time.

Ingredients

These are the ingredients you need for Bombay aloo (Bombay potatoes).

Individually labelled ingredients for Bombay Aloo [Bombay Potatoes]

Baby potatoes: When buying baby potatoes, ensure they are the waxy kind. Also, try and select baby potatoes around the same size so they all cook evenly.

Seeds; black mustard, cumin and coriander: Quintessential Indian ingredients. When they start to crackle and pop in the hot oil, you’ll know that they are doing their magic! Love side dishes with seeds.

Curry leaves: Just the leaves of 2 sprigs will suffice, although I am partial to being a little heavy handed. Fried curry leaves are something else!

Curry leaves on blue napery

Dry red chillies: These can be quite spicy and not usually eaten, although if you’re brave enough, you can! The heat will infuse into the dish really well. So, omit it if you don’t want it too spicy.

Garlic and ginger: Minced and grated, garlic and ginger add immense flavour to any dish. You can also buy them as a paste in Indian grocery stores. Handy if you are short on time.

Powdered spices; turmeric, red chilli, garam masala: Can’t have a good masala with these ingredients. You can find these easily in the spice section of your supermarket.

Water: The masala can get a bit dry, especially after adding all the powdered spices. Add a little water to rectify that, although we’re not after a sauce, so don’t overdo it. 1 tbsp at a time until you get the consistency you need.

Variations and Substitutions

Normal potatoes: You can use 3-4 large potatoes and cut them into halves or quarters after boiling them if you don’t want to use baby potatoes. Be sure to leave the skin on when boiling too so that they don’t absorb too much water. Just peel after they are cooked.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are also a popular addition to this Bombay aloo side dish. You can cut them up into small pieces or wedges and add to the cooking process when adding the potatoes to the masala.

Asafoetida: If you love Asafoetida, you are more than welcome to add some to this Indian side dish. About ¼ of a tsp will suffice.

Spice level: To reduce the spiciness of this dish, don’t add the dry red chillies. On the other hand, if you want to increase the spiciness of the dish, add fresh chillies.

Instructions

Step by step instructions for how to make Bombay aloo (Bombay potatoes).

Wash the unpeeled baby potatoes. In a pot of water, add 1 tsp of salt and the baby potatoes (uncut).

Pouring some salt into pot of water with baby potatoes

Bring to a boil and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until ¾ cooked. Remove, peel and set aside.

Remove the leaves from the stalk of the curry leaves. Just hold the stem in one hand. With your other hand, push the leaves form the bottom to the top and they will all come off quickly.

Collage of 3 photos for how to remove curry leaves

In a large fry pan, heat up 2 tbsp of oil. Then add all the seeds; black mustard, cumin and coriander. Toss until it starts to crackle.

Add the sliced red onion and the curry leaves. And fry until onions are translucent.

Add 2 dry red chillies, minced garlic and grated ginger. Fry until aromatic.

Time to add the powdered spices; turmeric, red chilli and garam masala. Continue to fry for about 3 minutes.

Collage of 4 photos for how to make Bombay Aloo

If the mixture seems very dry, add 1 tbsp of water at a time until you get the consistency you need. You’re not creating a sauce, so don’t overdo the water.

Add the potatoes, 1/2 tsp salt and toss well.

Collage of 4 photos for how to make Bombay Aloo

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

What To Eat with Bombay Aloo?

Bombay aloo and Indian bread would go perfectly! Select from paratha recipe (pan-fried Indian flatbread, homemade traditional naan or soft pav bread

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bombay aloo gluten free?

Yes, Bombay aloo or Bombay potatoes are gluten free. In fact, they are also vegan and plant-based friendly. Dairy, egg and nut free too.

Can you freeze Bombay aloo?

Bombay aloo is a good dish to freeze. You can pack them in freezer bags, zip lock bags or an airtight container. Then, when you’re ready to eat them, take them out to defrost fully before heating them.

Can Bombay potatoes be reheated?

Bombay potatoes reheat well, especially if you use waxy potatoes. Waxy potatoes are less starchy and therefore hold their shape better.

Simply place them in a microwave with a microwave-safe lid and reheat for about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.

Can I make Bombay potatoes ahead of time?

This Indian potato recipe can be prepared ahead of time and eaten at room temperature, although it is best eaten straight out of the fry pan. You can reheat it in the microwave just before serving, and it should keep well.


If you’re going to try a masala for the first time, this is the side dish to try. You won’t be disappointed with this Bombay potatoes recipe, and you’ll be surprised how little effort it requires. It’s a family-friendly dish that is easy to cook and put together.

More Indian Side Dishes

Bombay Aloo in a skillet with a black spoon on blue napery

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Bombay Aloo in a skillet with a black spoon on blue napery
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4.98 from 49 votes

Bombay Aloo [Bombay Potatoes]

Bombay aloo, better known as Bombay potatoes, is one of those Indian potato recipes that you order in restaurants. Why not recreate it at home? Super easy. Super delicious!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Dietary: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Amy Chung

Ingredients

Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.

Instructions

  • Wash the unpeeled baby potatoes. In a pot of water, add 1 tsp of salt and the baby potatoes (uncut). Bring to a boil and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until ¾ cooked. Remove, peel and set aside.
  • Remove the leaves from the stalk of the curry leaves. Just hold the stem in one hand. With your other hand, push the leaves form the bottom to the top and they will all come off quickly.
  • In a large fry pan, heat up 2 tbsp of oil. Then add all the seeds; black mustard, cumin, and coriander. Toss until it starts to crackle.
  • Add the sliced red onion and the curry leaves. And fry until onions are translucent.
  • Add 2 dry red chillies, minced garlic and grated ginger. Fry until aromatic.
  • Time to add the powdered spices; turmeric, red chilli and garam masala. Continue to fry for about 3 minutes.
  • If the mixture seems very dry, add 1 tbsp of water at a time until you get the consistency you need. You’re not creating a sauce, so don’t overdo the water.
  • Add the potatoes, 1/2 tsp salt and toss well.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

Notes

  • If you don’t use baby potatoes, you can use 3-4 large potatoes and cut them into halves or quarters after boiling them. Be sure to leave the skin on when boiling too so that it doesn’t absorb too much water. Just peel after they are cooked.
  • Tomatoes are also a popular addition to this Bombay aloo side dish. You can cut them up into small pieces or wedges and add to the cooking process when adding the potatoes to the sauce.
  • If you love Asafoetida, you are more than welcome to add some to this Indian side dish. About ¼ of a tsp will suffice.
  • To reduce the spiciness of this dish, don’t add the dry red chillies. On the other hand, if you want to increase the spiciness of the dish, add fresh chillies.

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 718mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg

*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.

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