Boil the potatoes with water to cover and salt until the potatoes are tender but still hold their shape, 15-20 minutes. Drain. Let cool to room temperature.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Fry potatoes until they turn medium brown, 5-6 minutes, turning often. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to the same skillet and heat over medium low heat. Fry bay leaf and red chilli until the chilli darkens. Sprinkle asafoetida over the spices. Add salt, sugar, potatoes, cumin and red pepper. Fry for 2-5 minutes to blend flavours, stirring often. Remove from heat. Stir in garam masala. Serve hot or at room temperature.