Bombay Potatoes A.K.A Bombay Aloo

What do you get when a potato and beetroot have a one night stand?

A purple potato, of course! Last week UK’s first ever fully inside and out purple potato, called Purple Majesty, landed on the shelves of Sainsbury’s and the media had a field day. Unlike purple sprouting broccoli this purple potato retains its colour when cooked. Here are some common/obvious questions that crossed my mind when I first heard about this piece of news:

Is Purple Majesty genetically modified?

No. There are thousands of varieties of potatoes and some have deep red and purple colouring. Scientists from Colorado University have crossed these varieties and after two years of trials in Scotland these purple beauties finally became available to the public.

Are purple potatoes healthier than the average white ones?

Yes. The purple potato contains the same antioxidant, called anthocyanins, that appears in blueberries, blackberries and aubergine. It is beneficial to the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Do purple potatoes taste any different from normal, white ones?

No. They taste exactly the same.

Is there a specific way of cooking a purple potato?

No. Treat it like any potato. You can make chips, mash, roasties, baked potatoes and crisps. Boiled, microwaved, fried, you name it.

How much does the Purple Majesty cost?

£1.50 for a 1.25kg bag.

What’s the future of purple potatoes?

While Sainsbury’s claim it will forever change the traditional appearance of meal times I have my doubts. People might try it for novelty value or health benefits, and with Halloween just around the corner it will make for some attention-grabbing, ghoul-gasping grub. Food is just as much about looks as taste and old-fashioned people might feel intimidated by the colour. While some find the vegetable highly unattractive, others are excited by the thought of adding colour to their meal. Only time will tell if purple potatoes are here to stay or are just another passing fad.

I was curious to try these babies so that I could tick off this item on my never ending bucket list. Life would have been much less fulfilling if I hadn’t tried them, you know!

There seems to be two schools of thought regarding Bombay Potatoes; with or without tomatoes. This recipe is the latter. It is a very popular dish in the west and you can even buy it canned or ready-made blends to be added to potatoes. Why not make your own from scratch though? It is cheaper, healthier and tastier and easy to prepare. Do you have to use purple potatoes? Nope! I was just having fun – a white potato-version would taste exactly the same.

Download and/or print the recipe! Click HERE.

Bombay Potatoes A.K.A Bombay Aloo
Serves 4 as side dish
Preparation Time: 10 mins – Cooking Time: 20 mins
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 5ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds
  • 5ml (1 tsp) mustard seeds
  • 2.5cm (1 in) ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium-hot chili, finely chopped [optional]
  • 5ml (1 tsp) turmeric
  • 5ml (1 tsp) garam masala
  • 1kg (2 lbs) potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2.5cm (1 in) pieces
  • fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)
  1. Heat the oil in a hot, lidded frying pan and fry the cumin and mustard seeds for a minute or do until they pop.
  2. Now add the ginger, garlic, onion and chili and continue frying for a further minute before adding the turmeric and garam masala. Cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Now turn the heat down to low and add the potatoes to the pan. Mix in 125ml (½ cup) of water, put the lid on and continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly, or until the potatoes are just tender. You may need to add a little extra water to stop them sticking to the pan as theey cook. Add just enough water to keep the potatoes mobile in the pan.
  4. Top with fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) and serve.
  • If you like your food hot, add more chilies.
  • Instead of fresh chilies you can use chili powder and adjust it to the hotness you prefer.
  • For novelty value I used purple potatoes but you can use any variety you like.

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  1. says

    They look really cool although I don’t think they’re anything new – Waitrose stocked purple potatoes around five years ago shortly after Jamie Oliver did a purple potato salad in the book with him sitting in front of the green corrugated iron on the cover. Sadly they didn’t keep them for very long and this is the first time I’ve seen them reappear.

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