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


Eggplant and Potato Shaak recipe by

My grandma’s eggplant and potato curry or ringan batata nu shaak as we call it in Gujarati, was a staple in my house when I was growing up. My grandma made it often in the summer.  I especially love it not only because it is super easy and really has a lot of flavor but also because it reminds me of my grandma in her youth when I make it. 

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

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. Women who cooked and served at weddings were forbidden from wear shoes because weddings are auspicious occasions. 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

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!

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!

Eggplant and Potato Shaak recipe by

Eggplant and Potato Shaak recipe by


A pot with the curry with a container full of red chili powder and an eggplant to the side

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

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 243kcal


  • 1 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 clove 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.


Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 1210mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Vitamin C: 33.1mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 8.2mg

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

  1. August 31, 2015
    Nena Sanchez:

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

    1. August 31, 2015
      Puja Thomas-Patel:

      Oh, thanks Nena! :)

  2. September 1, 2015
    Bill B.:

    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. September 1, 2015
    Puja Thomas-Patel:

    Hi Bill. Thanks for catching that! I've updated the recipe to include the fresh green chili.

  4. October 7, 2015

    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!

  5. June 15, 2018
    Avni Trivedi:

    I love the story of the weddings - it would be so lovely if life went back towards that simplicity and shared celebration.

  6. January 27, 2021

    Trying this recipe now! I don't have the methi seed, ? so I'm hoping it still comes out well! It looks delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  7. February 15, 2021
    Anne Korde:

    A wonderful authentic recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. February 15, 2021

    I accidentally sent the above message, and also want to say that the older generations worked so hard! Loved your grandmother's story.

Leave a reply