Grandma’s Gujarati Style Eggplant and Potato Curry (Ringan Batata nu Shaak)

Eggplant and Potato Shaak recipe by Indiaphile.info

My grandma often talks about wedding season in Nadiad, the town in Gujarat where she grew up. The 1920s and 30s were a time when everything was done by hand and meals were cooked at home from scratch – even for weddings. When a neighborhood wedding came around, all the women in the neighborhood got together and cooked endless amounts of food in massive copper pots. A wedding feast wasn’t just one meal, mind you, it was 5 days of festivities and all of the meals were cooked at home.

Eggplant and Potato Shaak recipe by Indiaphile.info

My grandma tells stories about carrying large pots of bubbling dal on her head, going, from one house to another in bare feet, to feed wedding guests. She was forbidden to wear shoes because weddings are auspicious occasions and shoes were made out of leather, that is, the skin of dead animals, making them inauspicious and therefore unwearable at this auspicious occasion. The baking hot dirt would cause blisters on her feet and the steaming hot dal was uncomfortable to hold and transport.

Eggplant and Potato Shaak recipe by Indiaphile.info

Life wasn’t easy for women in those days but my grandma thinks back to that time fondly. She remembers this shaak and still continues to make it often. This eggplant dish is a simple dish, but it has always been one of her favorites. I think she could eat eggplant every single day of her life. Although I really like eggplant, there’s only so much of the vegetable I can eat. But not my grandma. She loves it!

Eggplant and Potato Shaak recipe by Indiaphile.info

Eggplant and Potato Shaak recipe by Indiaphile.info

Indian weddings have gotten a lot fancier these days and this simple but delicious shaak is not likely to be found on the menu of a modern Gujarati wedding. But maybe it should be. It’s a reminder of a simpler time!

Grandma’s Gujarati Style Eggplant and Potato Curry (Ringan Batata nu Shaak)

Eggplant and Potato Shaak recipe by Indiaphile.info1 pound eggplant, cut into 1 inch pieces (I used small eggplants but Japanese eggplants will work as well)
2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 fresh green chili, (or to taste. I usually use a jalapeno chili)
2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic glove, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a wide bottomed saute pan until it begins to shimmer.
Add the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, green chili and garlic. Let these cook for about 20 seconds.
Add the potatoes and 2 1/2 cups of water. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until the potatoes are partially cooked.
Add the eggplant, turmeric, chili powder,salt and brown sugar. Stir. Cover and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the eggplant and potatoes are cooked through. Be sure to stir every 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
Serve warm with paratha or rice.

Nutrition Info
Serving Size about 1/2 cup Sodium 200mg
Calories 202 Trans Fat 0g
Carbohydrates 37g Fat 3g
Protein 3g Cholesterol 0g

Comments

  1. Nena Sanchez says

    Oh my, my little stomach just gave a big lurch. This looks so delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
    Saludos!

  2. Bill B. says

    In the directions I see “green chili”, but I don’t see it on ingredient list. Do you mean fresh green chili? How much and what kind. Thanks

  3. salmadinani says

    I’ve never cooked with eggplant myself before, I always leave that up to my mom. Maybe it’s time to be adventurous since this recipe looks delicious!

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