Potatoes and Aubergine (Eggplant) Curry (Ringna bateta nu shak)


Potatoes and aubergines is a lovely combination for a curry.  It’s quick and economical dish as these vegetables are readily available in all supermarkets and vegetable stalls.

Even though it’s an economical dish, it’s still one of the classics. In fact, this was usually one of the curries offered to guests at weddings in Kenya where I grew up. When I see both the aroma and colour, those memories come flooding back.

Ringna bateta nu shaak is the epitome of authentic Indian vegetarian cookery of the Gujarati style. That means many of you probably know this recipe but I wanted to share my take on it anyway, particularly to help the young and new budding chefs (like my son).

Often, those children who now live away have cravings for home-cooked food but are too embarrassed to “ask mum” for the recipe! Therefore, from time to time, I will be posting such easy to make recipes like this one under the Mirage series.

Ingredients to serve 4 people:

  • 2 medium potatoes – washed and diced.
  • 1 aubergine (aka eggplant) – washed and diced
  • 1 tsp oil (most cooking oils are fine but try and use one which is low in saturated fats and trans fats) ( if you are watching calories – you can use spray oil)
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder (or as required to your taste)
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin (jeera) powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed or grated
  • One cup of tomato passata (if you can’t get this, just blitz a can of chopped tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp lemon
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar or jaggery (leave this out if you are watching calories)
  • A small bunch of fresh coriander – washed.

Method:

  1. Dice the potatoes and aubergine into approx 2cm cubes. Then, to avoid them going brown, soak them in cold water (optional).
  2. Add the oil to the saucepan and place over a medium-high heat.
  3. Add the cumin seeds to the saucepan and wait for them to start popping and going dark. If they don’t do this soon, stir them with a wooden spoon! Once they pop, the oil is at the right temperature. This is called tempering.
  4. Drain the diced potatoes and aubergine and add to the saucepan.
  5. Add the salt, turmeric, chili powder, sugar or jaggery (optional) and stir well.
  6. Add a cup of water to this mixture and cover.
  7. Let this cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat, stir and cook for 5 more minutes. (You can transfer this to a microwave and cook until the vegetables soften.)
  8. Continue cooking and checking until the potatoes have softened.  This should take a further 5 or 10 minutes. The aubergines don’t take long to cook and they do tend to mash up a bit so be careful when stirring your curry.
  9. Once the potatoes are tender, add the passata, cumin powder, garam masala and lemon juice and let it cook for 5 minutes. The passata will make the curry’s gravy thicker and also makes the curry look delicious.  If you are using garlic, add it now.
  10. Stir through the garam masala (optional). Then, just prior to serving, chop the fresh coriander, sprinkle it over the curry and serve hot.

Tips

  • This curry can be served with all kinds of accompaniments, such as puris, chappatis, bhakri, parathas, theplas, naan bread, khichedi, plain rice or even bread rolls.
  • Many people prefer add finely diced onions and/or garlic just after the tempering with mustard or cumin seeds.  I like to add my onions and garlic later in the recipe, as above,  as some of my family members do not like the taste. Adding it later allows me to remove their share of the curry before adding the two aromatics.
  • A microwave can often help speed up cooking times, particularly for the potato. It also reduces the risk of the aubergine falling apart whilst the potato is still cooking.

Ringna bateta nu shaak - potato & aubergine curry

A classic, simple curry of the Gujarati style
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: curry, Indian food
Servings: 4
Author: Mina Joshi

Ingredients

  • 2 medium potatoes - washed and diced.
  • 1 aubergine - eggplant - washed and diced
  • 1 tsp oil most cooking oils are fine but try and use one which is low in saturated fats and trans fat( if you are watching calories – you can use spray oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder or as required to your taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala optional
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic pressed or grated
  • 1 cup tomato passata if you can’t get this, just blitz a can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp lemon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar or jaggery Leave this out if you are watching calories
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander – washed.

Instructions

  • Dice the potatoes and aubergine into approx 2cm cubes. Then, to avoid them going brown, soak them in cold water (optional).
  • Add the oil to the saucepan and place over a medium-high heat.
  • Add the cumin seeds to the saucepan and wait for them to start popping and going dark. If they don’t do this soon, stir them with a wooden spoon! Once they pop, the oil is at the right temperature. This is called tempering.
  • Drain the diced potatoes and aubergine and add to the saucepan.Add the salt, turmeric, chili powder, sugar or jaggery (optionaand stir well.
  • Add a cup of water to this mixture and cover.
  • Let this cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat, stir and cook for 5 more minutes. (You can transfer this to a microwave and cook until the vegetables soften.)
  • Continue cooking and checking until the potatoes have softened. This should take a further 5 or 10 minutes. The aubergines don’t take long to cook and they do tend to mash up a bit so be careful when stirring your curry.
  • Once the potatoes feel soft, add the passata, cumin powder, garam masala and lemon juice and let it cook for 5 minutes. The passata will make the curry’s gravy thicker and also makes the curry look delicious. If you are using garlic, add it now.
  • Stir through the garam masala (optional). Then, just prior to serving, chop the fresh coriander, sprinkle it over the curry and serve hot.

Notes

  • This curry can be served with all kinds of accompaniments, such as puris, chappatis, bhakri, parathas, theplas, naan bread, khichedi, plain rice or even bread rolls.
  • Many people prefer add finely diced onions and/or garlic just after the tempering with mustard or cumin seeds. I like to add my onions and garlic later in the recipe, as above, as some of my family members do not like the taste. Adding it later allows me to remove their share of the curry before adding the two aromatics.
  • A microwave can often help speed up cooking times, particularly for the potato. It also reduces the risk of the aubergine falling apart whilst the potato is still cooking.

Have you tried this recipe? Share your photos with me on Instagram: @givemesomespice.