Eggplant & Potato Curry – Ringan Batata nu Shaak

This simple vegetarian dish has been cooked by generations of women in Hetal Parbhu’s family, from the Gujarat region of India. The recipe is popular in the region because eggplant, potato and tomato are readily available year-round. Hetal adds hot Indian pickle to her portion. Asafoetida, or hing, is a powdered taproot used for flavouring vegetarian cooking.
In Wairarapa, it is available at Krishna Food N Spice and Moore Wilson’s in Masterton.

1 medium eggplant, cubed 1 medium potato, cubed
1 large tomato, chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons oil
1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds Pinch of asafoetida (optional)
Ginger paste and garlic paste (optional, to taste, or in place of asafoetida)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Red chilli powder to taste
1 tablespoon coriander powder
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Finely chopped fresh coriander (garnish)
Water – approximately 1/2 cup, or as needed

To a bowl of cold water, add eggplant and potato cubes. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan, on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add the asafoetida, then tomatoes. Add all spices.

Cook until the tomato is tender and you see oil on the sides. Strain the bowl of eggplant and potato, and add to the pot.

Add 1/2 a cup of water (more as needed while cooking) and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the potato is tender. Add the sugar and stir.

Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with puri or roti bread, khichdi (a rice and lentil side dish), or plain rice.