When baby red potato globes grace my supermarket bins in large mounds, it invariably means that Dum Aloo is about to make an appearance on the dinner or brunch table.
Dum Aloo is yet another example of how simple kitchen staples from Kashmir and North-India have been mostly over-done, over-spiced and over-creamed to point beyond recognition.
It is also the reason why I hold traditional cooks like my mother, my mother-in-law and my grand-mother who hold on to authentic recipes with hoops of steel in such esteem and reverence. I think they represent a dying breed - the last of the stalwarts who continue to carry forward recipes of their mothers and grandmothers resolute against tv-chef-doms that seems to be changing the face of traditional Indian cuisine into cream based-tomato paste versions of everything.
It therefore is startling when at a dinner party the one thing that gets rave reviews and numerous recipe requests are these potatoes from my mother-in-law's kitchen. So simple is this recipe that when I recite it in person, it is looked upon with disbelief.
A sense of - "how is it possible, that some thing so simple tastes this good? surely she's holding out on us".
Except that I am not. It far more difficult to cook simply, to be simple and there-in lies true art.