Slow cooker Dum Aloo/Crock Pot Dum Aloo | Slow Cooker Indian recipes

Dum Aloo is a creamy curry, usually made with baby potatoes, were the potatoes are slow cooked in a spicy sauce in a sealed vessel. This cooking method is referred to as ‘dum’. The vessel is closed with a tight lid and sealed with a dough made of wheat flour and water, hence making the vessel airtight. The steam created in the dish condensates into water, thereby cooking the potatoes and the slow cooking process lets the potatoes absorb all the flavor from the curry.

I had planned on making this dish for quite a while now, but I didn’t want to go through the dough making/sealing process, and decided to use a slow cooker instead. I secured the lid of the slow cooker with pieces of tape, so that it was air tight. Traditionally, the potatoes are fried prior to being cooked in dum, either shallow fried or deep fried. But I added the potatoes raw, since I cooked it on low heat for about 8 hours. Yes, I set it up at night, before I went to bed and had it ready next morning. Packed it for lunch with some rotis and it was yummy.

The process is very simple and literally hands free. The slow cooker is my best friend to make atleast one meal during the weekday. I make all kinds of things using it. Here are some ideas for using a slow cooker to make Indian meals.

  • Dals/Legume based curries
  • Sambar
  • BisibeleBaath – one of my favorite recipes for slow cooker
  • Arisi paruppu sadham – a cousin of bisi bele bath
  • Paruppu Payasam(Lentil jiggery dessert)
  • Carrot halwa

I will post the recipes for these very soon. But here is the recipe for dum aloo using slow cooker:

10-12 baby potatoes(or as many as can fit your slow cooker in one layer)
1 large onion, sliced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp raisins(optional)
1 tbsp kasoori methi
4 green chillies, slit
1 tsp oil(optional)
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafetida/hing
1/ 3cup water
1/2 cup thick plain yogurt(greek yogurt would also work fine)
Salt to taste
Cilantro, chopped for garnish.

Scrub and peel the baby potatoes. Prick all over with a fork. This step is important so that the potatoes absorb all the flavors of the curry.

Add a tsp of oil to the base of your crock pot and brush it on all the bottom and sides. This is optional  – to prevent the curry from sticking and to aid the potatoes in getting a sear. You can spray with a non stick cooking spray instead, or just omit this step. Add the potatoes in a single layer on to the bottom of the crock pot. Turn the crock pot on HIGH and leave it on until you prep the rest of the ingredients.

Slice the onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Layer this on top of the potaotes. Top this with the whole garam masala: cinnamon, cloves bay leaf. Top this with the spice powders and salt: garam masala, chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt. Add enough water to reach half way through the potatoes, but no so much to cover it.

Close the lid of slow cooker, set it to low, tape the lid such that it is airtight and cook for 8-10 hours.(When you tape the lid this way, there will be moisture collected due to condensation that will cook the potatoes, so your potatoes won’t burn.)

Switch off the slow cooker and carefully remove the lid. Add the raisins, kasoori methi and the yogurt and mix to combine. The residual heat from the crockpot will cook the yogurt. No need to keep it on. If kept on, the yogurt may curdle when added. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with roti or pulav.

Verdict: The curry was creamy and potatoes were cooked to perfection. The potatoes had absorbed every bit of flavor from the spices during the slow cooking  of 8 hours and tasted fabulous. The taste of the curry itself was well balanced with the tartness of the yogurt with the sweet bite from raisins and the mild bitterness from the kasoori methi. A easy dish to place on a table for a party. 

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  1. cheznarayanBadri N

    I just made this, following the recipe almost exactly, step by step.

    Three minor changes:
    1. I added fennel, some whole black and green cardamom, one piece of mace and some ground nutmeg.
    2. I finished with sour cream instead of yogurt.
    3. I cooked 2.5 hours on high since I needed this quicker.

    Results = DELICIOUS. Absolutely fantastic. Looked exactly as shown (wish I could share pictures, I too took photos of every step) and tasted unbelievable. And I didn’t have to touch the stove!! 🙂

    Bravo! And thank you for sharing. This will definitely be in my rotation!!!

  2. Bijal

    What if I put the Greek yogurt and Kasoori methi also with the potatoes n spices n let it cook for high for 4 hours?

  3. AR

    Tried this receipe yesterday in my crock pot, the onions were not cooked even at the end of 10hrs. Does it require to be stirred at regular intervals?

  4. Megan

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was very yummy. The sauce was a little watery in texture but I used coconut milk instead of greek yogurt so that could be the cause, will reduce the water a bit next time.

  5. Rachelle W.

    Oh my goodness…..this recipe did not work out. I ended up with 10 burnt potatoes. You should probably adjust your recipe, as this is NOT enough water. 1/3 cup? No. Not only do you need a lot of water in the beginning, but you should also tell people that they will probably keep adding water throughout the day. If I could include a pic, I would. Dinner. Ruined. To those reading these comments first, I would add about 2 cups of water, and keep checking it throughout the day. I have no clue how she got that thick, creamy sauce in the pic from just water, and yogurt. If I were you, I would just slooooowly back out of this recipe. Go search on Pinterest for a different recipe. Let me save you some tears.

    • It says add 1/3 cup of water and top. So I presume that’s 1/3 cup of water to be added at the bare minimum and then top up so as to cover the potatoes. Atleast that’s what I’m getting from it.

      • Re-reading the comments below, that is indeed what she means. Add 1/3 cup of water and more – just enough to cover your potatoes. Hopefully if you try it again it’ll come out better? x

  6. Anu

    I am thinking about trying this receipe tomm… Just wanted to confirm… No tomatoes need to be added to the dish?

    • Denny

      Hi Anu, no tomatoes need to be added to this dish, although if you like tomatoes, you can add them, it will give it a slightly different flavor.

    • Denny

      This is traditionally a vegetarian dish, but it should work with chicken too. Brown bite sized pieces of chicken in a skillet first before adding to the slow cooker. Do let me know of how it turned out.

    • Denny

      It should be ok if you don’t add raisins, the sweet aids in cutting the spice a bit, so you can reduce the heat if you prefer too.

    • Denny

      Yes, you can cook it on high for 4-6 hours, but please make sure there is enough water, so that the potatoes don’t burn.

  7. trace jackson

    this looks amazing… however since i am vegan, is there a way to make this without the greek yoghurt? do you have a recommended vegan option? i really want to make this!!!

    • Denny

      Thanks for the comment Trace…Yes, you can make it without the greek yogurt. Please substitute equivalent amount of coconut milk, it will in fact be more creamy and more delicious! Do try and leave a comment.

    • Denny

      The potatoes have to be fully immersed while cooking, if they are exposed to the air, they turn brown and eventually black. The color of the dish is from the spices added – so it depends on the color of your chilli powder, garam masala powder and whether you added turmeric. Hope this helps. Do try the dish again.

  8. Nisi

    Quick question , what is the size of your crockpot ? Just so I can adjust quantities. Thanks a lot for the recipes, I am yet to try one from your site but they look very doable and pics are tempting

  9. Jaya

    Hi Denny,
    Recently came across your website while looking for slow cooker recipes and have to tell you that you have an awesome website! I tried yuor dal in the slow cooker and came out very well. Next I ventured into Dum Aloo and unfortuantley was a flop! I followed your instructions and when I opened the cooker after 8 hours everything was cooked but the consistency was that of a Rasam:( There was no way by adding yogurt it will come atleast close your picture. I had to do some tweeking before adding the yogurt.

    It would be great if you can tell me what would be the consistency before adding the yogurt? I am so tempted by the picture that I want to give it one more try!!


    • Denny

      Hi Jaya, thanks for the feedback. Glad you like and tried out recipes from OhTastenSee. I’m sorry that the dum aloo became a flop. I used greek yogurt which was fairly thick, and maybe that’s why mine was thicker. Maybe next time, you can try reducing the amount of water you add to the slow cooker. Do let me know if these suggestions worked.

    • Denny

      Yes, frozen is most often pre-cooked, just reduce the cooking time accordingly. This means that with a slow cooker you check after about 4 hours onwards for doneness..

  10. Hey Denny,

    The recipe looks marvelously simple, but I have one crucial question – Can I do this without a crockpot or a slow cooker? WIll a normal heavy bottomed vessel or a pressure cooker with a flat lit work?

    • Denny

      Hi Pragni, sure this will work in a pressur cooker, or a heavy bottomed vessel with a tight fitting lid. Reduce cooking time accordingly. It will also help if you shallow fry the potatoes before cooking to add flavor. Thanks for visiting OhTastenSee. Hope you try out this recipe and others too..

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