Madhur Jaffrey's Potatoes with asafoetida and cumin

As seen on Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose.

For each of our 'Relative Recipe’s' a different famous face will introduce us to a dish that has been passed down through their family.

In our first Relative Recipe Madhur Jaffrey makes her mother’s Potatoes with asafoetida and cumin, a dish she learnt from letters her mother would send her as a student in London.



3 (250g) medium sized potatoes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon asafoetida (optional, or use a pinch of garlic salt)
½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1-2 dried hot red peppers
½ teaspoon turmeric
200ml passata
500ml water
1 tsp salt


1 Wash, peel and quarter the potatoes

Heat vegetable oil in large pot and add the asafoetida until it sizzles (around 5 secs) then the cumin seeds until they sizzle and change colour (5 to 10 secs). Follow with the red peppers which will begin to change colour after a few seconds. 

3 Now add the drained potatoes and the turmeric and fry for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4 Add the passata, water and salt, and bring to the boil. Cover and allow to simmer gently for about 1 ½ hours.

To serve: Give each person a little bowl with the potatoes as well as plenty of sauce. They are best served with pooris, chapattis, or parathas, or with plain boiled rice