Aloo Chaas (Potatoes in Buttermilk)


4 - 6 dried red chilis

1.5 cups boiling water

1 c. firmly packed cilantro leaves and stems, very coarsely chopped

12 garlic cloves, peeled

1 t salt

2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes

2 T canola oil

1/2 t turmeric powder

1 c nonfat buttermilk

1/4 c heavy cream

Cooking directions

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks about 1 or 1.5 inches across.  Put the pieces in a bowl of cold water until you are ready to cook them.

Mix the buttermilk and cream.

Remove the stems from the dried chilis and put them in a heatproof measuring cup or bowl.  Add 1.5 cups boiling water, and let the chilis steep for 15 minutes.  When the chilis are soft, remove them from the water, setting aside the water for later use.  Coarsely chop the chilis.

In a blender or a food processor, grind the garlic, chopped chilis, cilantro, and salt into a corse paste.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan, over medium-high heat, until it shimmers.  Add the cilantro mixture and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring, until the garlic just begins to brown.

Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan.  Sprinkle in the turmeric.  Cook the mixture 1 or 2 minutes more, tossing all the ingredients well.

Add the reserved chili water to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil.  Once the liquid is boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.  While the potatoes are cooking, open the lid once or twice to stir everything.

When the potatoes are just about done, remove the lid and boil rapidly to reduce the liquid by 1/3 or so.  The potatoes will still be in quite a bit of watery sauce.

Add the buttermilk/cream mixture and cook for 1 or 2 minutes more, to heat the sauce.


This dish creates a very thin, soupy sauce, so you may wish to serve the curry in small bowls.

This recipe is a slight adaptation from one in Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries (New York: Workman Publishing, 2008).

Page last updated: 12/28/08