Ringan Batata Nu Shaak is a traditional vegetarian Gujarati dish. It is made with ringan (eggplant) and batata (potatoes) as the main ingredients. The dish is one of the most popular wedding dishes because of its cultural significance, regional tradition, and its delicious, celebratory nature.
About this Recipe
Ringan Batata Nu Shaak is a traditional Gujarati dish. Gujarati cuisine is known for its vegetarian dishes, the use of spices, and the balance of sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors, all encompassed by ringan batata nu shaak.
This was one of my grandmother’s favorite dishes, partly because of her undying love for all things eggplant, and also because it is simply a lovely dish. It is packed with flavor from the umami tomatoes to the sweet and sour of tamarind and jaggery. It also includes just about every spice commonly used in Gujarat, from dhana jeeru to ginger-garlic paste.
Eggplant – grandma’s favorite, these have been a part of Gujarati cuisine for millenia.
Potato – potatoes are a great carrier of flavor and provide some variety of texture. They are a late edition to the cuisine but are very much a part of Gujarati cuisine.
Tomato – tomatoes provide a balance of umami flavor, as well as a little sweet and tartness.
Ginger-Garlic Paste – adds a good base flavor. You can use store-bought or make it yourself. This is a common paste in Gujarati cuisine amongst Gujaratis who eat root vegetables.
Tamarind paste or lemon juice – for acidity. An important element for dish for a classic Gujarati sweet and sour taste.
Dhana jeeru – toasted cumin and coriander is an important spice element, along with garam masala. You can make your own dhana jeera, or use half cumin and half coriander if you don’t have it.
Jaggery – traditionally used in Gujarati cooking, can easily be substituted with brown sugar or regular granulated sugar. Adjust the quantity or leave out entirely to your taste.
For the Vaghar:
- Curry leaves
- Bay Leaf
- Black Pepper
- Kashmiri Chili Powder
It looks like a lot of ingredients, but are very standard ingredients for a vaghar. If you have a masala dabba, it’s as simple as grabbing a quick pinch from each container.
- The amount of chili used can be adjusted but a balance of spicy, sweet, and sour is important. If you adjust one, be sure to adjust the others. If you skip the sugar or reduce it, cut back on the acidity.
- Indian eggplant is served very soft, almost to the point of falling apart. Which is different from other cuisines. If you want your eggplant to hold together more, you can parboil the potato and reduce the cook time.
- Reduce or skip the sugar, but be sure to reduce the acid to compensate.
- Swap fresh tomatoes for tomato paste or tomato sauce
- Use 3/4 cup of tomato sauce or 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
- Replace the hing with granulated garlic, or skip altogether
- Adjust the quantity of water based on how thick you want the gravy to be. Mine is thicker because I like to scoop the gravy with my rotli. If you like it more liquidy, add up to 2 cups additional water.
Batata nu shaak will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months, but you can expect some change in texture. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop.
Ringan Batata nu Shaak | Eggplant and Potato Sabzi
- ¾ pounds potatoes peeled
- 1 large tomato 1/2 cup
- 1 pound eggplant
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 3 cloves
- 2 1 ” pieces cinnamon
- 2 dry red chili boriya
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1-2 green chilies
- ⅛ tsp hing
- 1 strip curry leaves 12
- 1 Indian bay leaf
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp kashmiri chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 ½ Tbsp dhana jeeru
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice or 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 Tbsp jaggery
- ½ tsp garam masala
- Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add cloves, cinnamon, dry red chilies, cumin seeds, green chilies, hing, curry leaves, and Indian bay leaf. Sauté until the spices release their aroma.
- Mix in turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, ginger garlic paste, dhana jeeru, black pepper, and salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the spices are well combined.
- Toss in the diced potatoes and cook covered until they turn golden, approximately 6 minutes.
- Add the masala mixture and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Then, stir in the diced tomatoes and cook until they become jammy.
- Pour in 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
- Introduce the diced eggplant and cook in an Instant Pot for 8 minutes or until tender.
- Finish off with a flourish! Add chopped cilantro, garam masala, lemon juice (or tamarind paste), and jaggery.
- Serve this delightful dish with puri and enjoy the explosion of flavors!