Jeera Aloo is a vibrantly spiced side dish that’s as satisfying to eat as it is easy to prepare. This classic potato recipe is loaded with cumin and fresh herbs, and is naturally gluten-free and vegan. Try it for a healthy and comforting lunch or as an addition to your favorite dinner dishes!
About this recipe
Jeera aloo is Hindi for “cumin potatoes,” which is about the most perfect name for this deliciously spice-ful dish.
Lots of earthy, rich cumin seeds are the foundation in this recipe. They are complimented with green chilies, turmeric, chili powder and lemon juice, and all together create a fantastic blend of bold and tangy flavors. Every bite of tender potato tastes so warm and comforting!
You can also add a bit of fresh minced ginger, if you like, for even more spice. And although I don’t include garlic or onion here, feel free to add them when you try this easy recipe for yourself.
Jeera aloo is ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Whole potatoes are boiled with the skins on, then cooled, peeled and chopped, and sautéed with spices. It’s great for making as a filling and healthy lunch, or hearty side for any number of main dinner dishes.
Below you’ll find my step-by-step photos and instructions for making the best jeera aloo, plus yummy serving ideas!
How to Make Jeera Aloo
Cooking the Potatoes
1. First, scrub and rinse 5 to 6 medium-sized potatoes (500 grams) in water.
2. Boil or steam the potatoes along with ½ teaspoon salt in a stove-top pressure cooker, Instant pot or a pan, until they are tender and cooked well. Do not overcook or they’ll become mushy!
a) In a stove-top pressure cooker: Place the potatoes and add enough water which just about covers the potatoes in a 3 or 4 litre pressure cooker. Pressure cook on medium-heat for 7 to 9 minutes.
b) In a pan or pot: Peel, and chop the potatoes in small cubes. Chopping will make them cook faster in a pan. Add water enough to cover the potatoes. Sprinkle salt. Cover and simmer on a low to medium-low heat until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain all the water and set aside.
c) In the Instant Pot: Place a trivet in the steel insert of a 6 quart IP. Keep the potatoes on top of the trivet. If you do not have a trivet, you can use a steaming pan which fits in the IP. Pressure cook for 20 to 25 minutes on high pressure.
3. For the stovetop pressure cooker, wait until all the pressure falls in the cooker and then remove the lid.
For the Instant Pot, do a quick pressure release (QPR) after 5 to 7 minutes.
The potatoes should be just cooked until barely fork-tender. You want them to still be firm enough to withstand additional cooking in a skillet next.
4. Once they are cool enough to touch, peel the skins and chop the potatoes into bite-sized cubes.
5. Next I recommend that you go ahead and measure out all of the ingredients you’ll need per the recipe below. A bit of prep work ahead of time will make cooking the jeera aloo much easier!
Making Jeera Aloo
6. Now it’s time to make the aloo jeera. Firstly, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
7. Reduce the heat and to the hot oil add 3 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera) and let them crackle for a few seconds as you continuously stir. They should brown but not burn, so be sure to keep them moving.
8. Once the cumin seeds crackle and change color, then add 2 to 3 finely chopped green chilies (1 to 1.5 teaspoons finely chopped green chillies or serrano peppers).
9. Stir well to combine the chilies and cumin seeds.
10. Next, add the boiled potato cubes to the pan.
11. Mix together so that the potato cubes are evenly coated with the cracked cumin seeds and green chilies.
12. Sprinkle the potatoes with ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon of red chili powder, 1 pinch asafetida (optional) and salt to taste.
13. Saute the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes on low to medium-low heat, stirring often to keep the potatoes from sticking and overcooking. The smell of the seasonings together is absolutely amazing!
14. Next add 2 to 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, depending on how much sour flavor you like. Start with 1 teaspoon, and taste as you add a bit more of the lemon juice at a time to reach just the right level of tanginess.
The brightness from the lemon really brings the flavors in the dish together. 3 teaspoons of lemon juice makes the dish nicely tangy and if you love tangy food, you will like it.
If you are not a fan of tangy or sour food, then add 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
15. Lastly, add ¼ cup of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves.
16. Gently mix the coriander into the jeera aloo, and turn off the heat.
What are the best potatoes to use for making jeera aloo?
There are several different potatoes that work well for this recipe. Yukon gold (yellow potatoes), red skinned potatoes, baby potatoes, and russet potatoes are all well-suited for Indian cooking.
What else can I use instead of lemon juice?
If lemon juice is not available you can use dry mango powder (amchur powder) or dry pomegranate powder (anardana powder) to get the lovely sour note.
How can I make aloo jeera without boiling the potatoes?
If you do not want to boil the potatoes, then follow these steps.
- Fry the cumin seeds and green chillies in the oil as I have explained above in the step-by-step guide.
- Add potato cubes (rinsed, peeled and preferably cut in 0.5 to 1 inch cubes). Mix and then add the spice powders and salt.
- Cover the skillet or pan tightly and cook the potatoes until tender on a low to medium-low heat. If they start sticking to the pan, add some splashes of water. Mix, cover and continue to cook until potatoes are tender.
- Finish with the coriander leaves and lemon juice.
Satvik – No Onion No Garlic
If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. If you’d like more delicious Indian vegetarian recipes delivered straight to your inbox, Sign Up for my email newsletter. You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspiration.
Potatoes spiced with cumin and herbs.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Cuisine North Indian
Course: Side Dish
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy
Rinse potatoes a couple of times in water.
If pressure cooking then add enough water which just about covers the potatoes. Add about ½ teaspoon salt. Then pressure cook for 7 to 9 minutes on medium heat.
You can even boil or steam the potatoes with ½ teaspoon salt in pan, until they are cooked well. the potatoes should be just cooked. They should not be crumbly.
When the potatoes become warm or cool down, then peel them and cut into small cubes.
Making jeera aloo
In a pan, heat oil on medium flame. Let the oil become hot.
Add cumin seeds and let them crackle in the oil.
Now add chopped green chillies and mix very well.
Add the potato cubes. Mix them with the cumin seeds and green chilies.
Sprinkle turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt as required.
Saute the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes on low to medium flame stirring often.
Next add ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice.
Mix the whole mixture well. Then switch off the heat.
Serve jeera aloo hot with phulka, poori or paratha or bread.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 86 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Vitamin A 129IU3%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Vitamin E 4mg27%
Vitamin K 3µg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Like our videos? Then do follow and subscribe to us on youtube to get the latest Recipe Video updates.
All our content & photos are copyright protected. Please do not copy. As a blogger, if you you want to adapt this recipe or make a youtube video, then please write the recipe in your own words and give a clickable link back to the recipe on this url.
This jeera aloo recipe post from the archives (September 2011) has been republished and updated with better photos and FAQs on 13 December 2020.