Alu Dum – Darjeeling Style

During our school days in Darjeeling,  alu-dum was a craze and it still is and children and grownups all thronged for the street-side alu dokans (shops).


Among the famous ones were the ‘Bhola’s alu dum ‘ & ‘Badi’s dokan’ which are still the talk of the town. These were hot (both in terms of chilliness and steaming) bowls of alu-dum served along with bhuja  and finger chips and eating them in the cold chilly weather was a treat in itself.

The preparation of this in the typical Darjeeling style is simple and I have tried to keep  the originality of it in the recipe below.


Preparation time: 30mins                      Cooking Time 25 mins    Serves 4


  • 500gms poatato boiled-(grown in the hills of Bhutan)
  • 2 tbs Kalonji -(locally called kalo jira)
  • 4 tbs cooking oil
  • dalle paste
  • chilly paste
  • a little turmeric paste
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • plain bhuja/potato chips/finger fries
  • corriander


  • Cut the tomatoes into small pieces and keep them aside
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the kalonji.
  • Let the kalonji splutter for a while and then add the tomatoes and let them cook for a while.
  • Make a thick paste of chilly/dalle paste, turmeric , salt.
  • Add the paste and let it simmer for a while.
  • Add the cut potatoes and again cover them allowing them to simmer.
  • Add half a cup of water and let them cook for a while
  • When a thick gravy is formed allow the dish to stay covered and allow it to stay for some time. Let the potatoes absorb as much of the gravy and allow to stay .
  • Serve with crushed chips/fingers or bhuja
  • garnish with corriander leaves

A typical aludum stall in Darjeeling Bhola’s alu


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