Bombay Aloo (Potatoes)

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Simple, flavorful, and crispy, this Instant Pot Bombay Aloo recipe comes together in 30 minutes for a one-pot appetizer or side dish your whole family will love. With directions for Instant Pot and stovetop, you can easily make this vegan and gluten-free spiced potato recipe any night of the week.

A white bowl with Bombay Potatoes and a silver fork to the right.
Instant Pot Bombay Potatoes

What is Bombay Aloo?

Growing up in Bombay (now Mumbai), I had never heard of Bombay potatoes. That was until I came across a recipe for Bombay potatoes on Pinterest.

The recipe called for roasting parboiled potatoes seasoned with oil, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and other spice powders.

I was intrigued and decided to dig up its history. I didn’t find any but considering most sites from the UK feature this recipe; I am guessing that it is an anglicized and British version of jeera aloo.

There are many variations to this recipe, as you’ll learn below, but the most popular one is where the dish calls for no onions, ginger, or garlic, just roasting the boiled potatoes in spices. What you’ll love about my recipe is that you don’t have to boil the potatoes in advance, it cooks along with the spices.

I have used onions along with ginger and garlic in my recipe but feel free to skip it to make a simpler, quicker version of masala aloo.

Fun fact: The Hindi word for potato, aloo or alu, is often used as an alternative name for this dish. You may see this dish referred to as Bombay potatoes or Bombay Aloo, but they mean the same thing.

Reasons to love this recipe

  • Made one pot using Instant Pot – no need to boil potatoes separately.
  • This Indian side dish uses simple pantry ingredients you already have on hand.
  • It is vegan-friendly and gluten-free, making it perfect for any dietary restrictions.
  • You can serve this versatile dish as an appetizer or a side dish.

What kind of potatoes are best for this recipe?

Baby potatoes or new potatoes – These waxy potatoes require no peeling and only minimal chopping and also hold their shape while cooking, making them perfect for this one-pot recipe.

If you can’t find baby potatoes, I suggest using diced russet, red potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes instead. Note: Dice the potatoes into 1.5-inch cubes.

Here’s what you need for Bombay Potatoes

Ingredient notes/swaps

  • Baby potatoes– If you do not have baby potatoes try russet, red, or Yukon diced into 1.5-inch cubes instead.
  • Oil– I used olive oil in this recipe, but you can also use avocado oil instead.
  • Spices– A blend of cumin seeds, coriander, cumin, garam masala, turmeric powder, chili powder, and salt season these addictive potatoes.
  • Onion, garlic, and ginger– You can skip these if you want to make a simpler version of masala aloo.
A silver tray on a blue counter with a side of instant pot roasted Bombay potatoes.
Instant Pot Roasted Potatoes

TIPS

  • Chop the potatoes into half unless you have bought the tiny bite-sized baby potatoes.
  • No need to peel the potatoes just scrub them clean.
  • If the spice powders start sticking to the base, add a tablespoon of water to prevent it from burning.
  • If using an Instant Pot, scrape the pot to remove any food particles stuck to the bottom before pressure cooking to avoid the burn signal.

Bombay Aloo Variations

  • Skip the onions, ginger, and garlic to make a simpler, quicker roast Bombay potatoes dish.
  • To make Bombay potato curry, add a cup of tomatoes along with the spices after the onions turn soft and translucent. Continue to cook until tomatoes soften and oil starts to leave the sides. At this point, add the potatoes and cook till they are fork tender.
  • Don’t have an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker? Make it over the stovetop (instructions in the recipe card below).

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don’t have all of the ingredients in your pantry for this Bombay potato recipe or want to try a different flavor, here are some easy ingredient swaps:

  • Substitute dry mango powder with a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice.
  • Garnish with dried fenugreek leaves instead of cilantro

Prep, storage, and reheating instructions

Bombay Aloo stores well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Cooking it ahead of time is the best way to prep ahead.

To reheat quickly, simply microwave the cooked potatoes. For a crispy finish, pop the seasoned potatoes into a skillet and pan fry for a few minutes until heated through and crispy on the outside.

Serving Bombay Potatoes

Bombay Aloo makes an excellent appetizer as well as a delicious side. Here are a few fun ways to serve your crispy, spiced potatoes.

  • As an appetizer – Set a large bowl of Bombay aloo out with a small bowl of toothpicks for people to enjoy without plates or forks.
  • In a wrap – Use leftover Bombay potatoes at the base of a wrap with rice, beans, and other toppings for an Indian-inspired taco.
  • Part of a full meal – Dish out these fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside baby potatoes with Indian rice dishes and curries. Check out the examples below.

Serve it with

These crispy and delicious Bombay potatoes go well with rice, roti, and dal. Some of my favorites include:

Pink circle with light bulb

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take for potatoes to soften in the Instant Pot?

The amount of cooking needed will vary depending on the type and size of the potatoes you use. Baby potatoes, like the ones used in this recipe, soften in 5 minutes of high-pressure cooking. Read this post: Instant Pot Potatoes for more information on how to boil potatoes of different sizes.

Do you have to peel the potatoes before cooking?

No, simply wash the skin of the potatoes well before cooking. If you are using baby potatoes, keeping the skin on helps the potato maintain its shape while you fry them to a crispy finish.

Other potato recipes to try

Easy Bombay Potatoes Recipe

A white bowl with Bombay Potatoes and a silver fork to the right.

Spiced Bombay Potatoes (Masala Aloo)

5 from 1 vote
Fluffy on the inside and crispy and spiced on the outside, these roasted Bombay Potatoes are a vegan and gluten-free side dish you can easily whip up in your Instant Pot or stovetop in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Diet : Gluten-free, Vegan
Course : Side Dish
Method: Instant Pot, Stovetop
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
 
 

For garnishing

  • cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Rinse and scrub the baby potatoes to remove any dirt. Chop it into half. Set it aside.
  • Set the Instant Pot to ‘Saute’ mode and adjust the setting to ‘More’. When the display reads ‘Hot’, add oil.
  • When the oil heats up, add cumin seeds.
  • Once the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add onions and fry till they are translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, garlic cloves, and ginger paste along with salt. Note: I have use frozen ginger and garlic cubes for this recipe.
  • Fry them for about 30 seconds. Add a tablespoon of water if you notice the spices sticking to the pot.
  • Add potatoes and mix well. Saute them for 2-3 minutes till they are crisp on the edges.
  • Add 3/4 cup water. Mix well and scrape the pot to remove any food particles stuck to the bottom.
  • Close the vent and set it to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.
  • Once the cooking cycle is complete, immediately release pressure by moving the vent to the venting position.
  • Set the Instant Pot to ‘Saute’ mode and adjust the setting to ‘normal’. Saute for 3-4 minutes till the water is absorbed. The gravy will continue to thicken as it cools down.
  • Add amchur (dry mango) powder and mix well.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.
  • Serve hot with rice and dal or ghee laden rotis.

Notes

Stovetop method

Note: Use a non-stick wok for best results. Also, you don’t need water will cooking over the stovetop. 
  1. Rinse and scrub the baby potatoes to remove any dirt. Chop it into half. Set it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok/kadhai kept over medium heat. When hot, add cumin seeds. 
  3. Once the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the onions and fry them till they turn soft and translucent. 
  4. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, garlic cloves, ginger paste, and salt. Fry them for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the chopped potatoes and mix them well. 
  6. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cover the wok and let the potatoes cook until they have softened and fully cooked. This step will take around 15-20 minutes. Note: Don’t forget to stir around the 10-minute mark to ensure the potatoes are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. 
  7. The potatoes are done when a fork easily pierces them.
  8. Add the amchur (dry mango powder) and mix well.
  9. Garnish it with either coriander leaves or dried fenugreek leaves. Mix well.
  10. Serve hot with rotis or rice and dal. 

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Nutrition

Calories: 137kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 400mgPotassium: 383mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 66IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : Indian side dish, Potatoes with cumin

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