Rasawara batata nu shaak is a traditional Gujarati potato curry often served at weddings and celebrations. Rasawara means “with gravy,” as this a shaak steeped in a flavorful sweet and sour shaak.
About this Recipe
This is an easy-to-make recipe for the Instant Pot or stovetop. It’s a one-pot dish and can be made casually with a few ingredients for a quick meal, or it can easily be made very fancy by adding a few ingredients.
Potato – potato is used in two ways in this recipe. Some is mashed and returned to the gravy, helping to thicken the sauce. The rest is kept as full, bite-sized pieces that make up the main texture of the dish. This recipe does not require peeling the potatoes, although you might choose to if you use a thicker-skinned potato or simply prefer it that way.
Tamarind – provides the sour part of the classic Gujarati flavor profile. If you don’t have tamarind, you can substitute amchoor.
Kashmiri Chili Powder – used in a larger quantity in this recipe than others, giving it the bright red color. You can use paprika instead or a combination of paprika and cayenne to get the spice level you are comfortable with.
Jaggery – an essential sweet component of every Gujarati dish, helps to balance the sourness of the tamarind.
When the shaak is served for weddings or celebrations, it is made fancier by adding cinnamon sticks, cloves, and bay leaves to the vaghar. That vaghar is then boiled with the gravy so the gravy is more fragrant.
Many Gujarati people do not eat garlic, so this traditional dish is typically made without garlic. If you want to add garlic, add some thinly sliced garlic to the vaghar.
Another variation is to add tomato or tomato paste to the gravy for some nice umami and tang.
- The trick is to get the balance of the spicy, sour, and sweet just right
- The thickness of your gravy makes a big difference. The more potatoes you mash, the thicker it becomes.
- From the potatoes that you mash, make sure to remove the skins so you don’t have loose potato skins floating around in the gravy.
This is a classic Gujarati shaak often served at special occasions. It goes well alongside other Gujarati foods. Other Gujarati dishes include lilva kachori, khandvi, dhebra, and mango ras.
In my opinion, batata nu shaak is one of those dishes that tastes better on the second day than it does when freshly made. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the microwave or stovetop. It also freezes well, for up to 6 months. Defrost it by reheating on the stovetop or microwave it from frozen. It can be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator.
Batata nu Shaak
- 1 pound yellow potatoes or any thin-skinned potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 10-12 curry leaves optional
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 1 Tbsp dhana jeeru
- 1 Tsp Kashmiri chili powder or paprika
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 ½ Tbsp jaggery
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp tamarind paste or amchoor
- Wash and cut potatoes. They do not need to be peeled. Set aside in a bowl of cold water to keep them from browning.
- Set the Instant Pot to saute mode. Add oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Let them sizzle and pop. Add cumin, followed by curry leaves if using. Let sizzle for a few seconds.
- Add turmeric, red chili powder, and dhana jeeru. Stir and let the spices bloom for 10 seconds.
- Drain the water from the potatoes and add the potatoes to the pot. Mix well to coat the potatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add 3 cups of water and salt. Mix well. Ensure potatoes are fully submerged. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, followed by a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
- Set the Instant Pot back to saute mode. Take 1/4 cup of potatoes and mash with a fork (remove the skins of the mashed potatoes to avoid floating skins in the curry). Mix back in. Add tamarind paste, jaggery, and garam masala. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add cilantro and serve.